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
Levitt, P. Neuroscience. Sealing cortical cell fate. Science 303, 48–49 (2004).
A journal article with 2 authors
Marinoni, C. & Buzzi, A. A geometric measure of dark energy with pairs of galaxies. Nature 468, 539–541 (2010).
A journal article with 3 authors
Biastoch, A., Böning, C. W. & Lutjeharms, J. R. E. Agulhas leakage dynamics affects decadal variability in Atlantic overturning circulation. Nature 456, 489–492 (2008).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
De Smedt, P. et al. The 3-D reconstruction of medieval wetland reclamation through electromagnetic induction survey. Sci. Rep. 3, 1517 (2013).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ugeux, G. International Finance Regulation. (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2014).
An edited book
Political Science and Chinese Political Studies: The State of the Field. (Springer, 2013).
A chapter in an edited book
Braverman, M. Noise versus Computational Intractability in Dynamics. in The Nature of Computation. Logic, Algorithms, Applications: 9th Conference on Computability in Europe, CiE 2013, Milan, Italy, July 1-5, 2013. Proceedings (eds. Bonizzoni, P., Brattka, V. & Löwe, B.) 32–32 (Springer, 2013).

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. I Fucking Love Science Teams Up With The Science Channel To Curate The Best Science Content On The Web. IFLScience (2014).


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. DOD Computer Contracting: Inadequate Management Wasted Millions of Dollars. (1993).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Estrada, M. I. A community risk assessment of the 90806 zip code. (California State University, Long Beach, 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
Schwartz, J. You, Too, Can Rewire Your Brain. New York Times ED6 (2017).

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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