How to format your references using the Nature Neuroscience citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Nature Neuroscience. For a complete guide how to prepare your manuscript refer to the journal's instructions to authors.

Using reference management software

Typically you don't format your citations and bibliography by hand. The easiest way is to use a reference manager:

PaperpileThe citation style is built in and you can choose it in Settings > Citation Style or Paperpile > Citation Style in Google Docs.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
Mendeley, Zotero, Papers, and othersThe style is either built in or you can download a CSL file that is supported by most references management programs.
BibTeXBibTeX syles are usually part of a LaTeX template. Check the instructions to authors if the publisher offers a LaTeX template for this journal.

Journal articles

Those examples are references to articles in scholarly journals and how they are supposed to appear in your bibliography.

Not all journals organize their published articles in volumes and issues, so these fields are optional. Some electronic journals do not provide a page range, but instead list an article identifier. In a case like this it's safe to use the article identifier instead of the page range.

A journal article with 1 author
Ittekkot, V. Geochemistry. A new story from the Ol’ Man River. Science 301, 56–58 (2003).
A journal article with 2 authors
Peel, M. C. & McMahon, T. A. Continental runoff: a quality-controlled global runoff data set. Nature 444, E14; discussion E14-5 (2006).
A journal article with 3 authors
Penner, J. E., Rotstayn, L. D. & Crowley, T. J. Indirect aerosol forcing. Science 290, 407a (2000).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Yao, Y. et al. The increase of the functional entropy of the human brain with age. Sci. Rep. 3, 2853 (2013).

Books and book chapters

Here are examples of references for authored and edited books as well as book chapters.

An authored book
Rehder, D. Chemistry in Space. (Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, 2010).
An edited book
Plant Biotechnology: Experience and Future Prospects. (Springer International Publishing, 2014).
A chapter in an edited book
Karanastasi, A. & Matsatsinis, N. Agent Technology Meets the Semantic Web: Interoperability and Communication Issues. in Emergent Web Intelligence: Advanced Semantic Technologies (eds. Badr, Y., Chbeir, R., Abraham, A. & Hassanien, A.-E.) 105–120 (Springer, 2010).

Web sites

Sometimes references to web sites should appear directly in the text rather than in the bibliography. Refer to the Instructions to authors for Nature Neuroscience.

Blog post
Andrews, R. Miniature Brains Grown Quickly And Cheaply. IFLScience (2015). Available at: (Accessed: 30th October 2018)


This example shows the general structure used for government reports, technical reports, and scientific reports. If you can't locate the report number then it might be better to cite the report as a book. For reports it is usually not individual people that are credited as authors, but a governmental department or agency like "U. S. Food and Drug Administration" or "National Cancer Institute".

Government report
Government Accountability Office. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Organization Organic Act. (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1978).

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Lieberman, V. One yard shy of empowerment: Cinematic portrayals of female athletes. (Florida Atlantic University, 2012).

News paper articles

Unlike scholarly journals, news papers do not usually have a volume and issue number. Instead, the full date and page number is required for a correct reference.

New York Times article
Vecsey, G. Kickers Form Bond And Find Sorority. New York Times D6 (2010).

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in superscript:

This sentence cites one reference 1.
This sentence cites two references 1,2.
This sentence cites four references 1–4.

About the journal

Full journal titleNature Neuroscience
AbbreviationNat. Neurosci.
ISSN (print)1097-6256
ISSN (online)1546-1726
ScopeGeneral Neuroscience

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