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
Russo, G. Raising Arizona. Nature 449, 372–373 (2007).
A journal article with 2 authors
Penninger, J. M. & Woodgett, J. Stem cells. PTEN--coupling tumor suppression to stem cells? Science 294, 2116–2118 (2001).
A journal article with 3 authors
Grey, M., Haggart, J. W. & Smith, P. L. Variation in evolutionary patterns across the geographic range of a fossil bivalve. Science 322, 1238–1241 (2008).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Ramadan, K. et al. Cdc48/p97 promotes reformation of the nucleus by extracting the kinase Aurora B from chromatin. Nature 450, 1258–1262 (2007).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Zhong, Q.-C. & Hornik, T. Control of Power Inverters in Renewable Energy and Smart Grid Integration. (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 2012).
An edited book
Skalna, I. Advances in Fuzzy Decision Making: Theory and Practice. vol. 333 (Springer International Publishing, 2015).
A chapter in an edited book
Bünger, M. Information and Imagination: How Lux Research Forecasts. in Presenting Futures (eds. Fisher, E., Selin, C. & Wetmore, J. M.) 71–89 (Springer Netherlands, 2008).

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
Andrew, E. Mercury-Filled Balloon Popped For Science. IFLScience (2015).


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. Highway Needs: An Evaluation of DOT’s Process for Assessing the Nation’s Highway Needs. (1987).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Bankas, J. K. CAFE—Community and Family Enrichment: Toward Community-Based Mental Health Support for Families. (Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2014).

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
Kelly, M. THE 1992 CAMPIAGN: Undeclared Candidate; Where Perot Exhibits A Lifetime of Memories. New York Times 18 (1992).

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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