How to format your references using the Nature Photonics citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Nature Photonics. 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
Goldston, D. The scientist delusion. Nature 452, 17 (2008).
A journal article with 2 authors
Tan, S. & Lü, J. Characterizing the effect of population heterogeneity on evolutionary dynamics on complex networks. Sci. Rep. 4, 5034 (2014).
A journal article with 3 authors
Valet, J.-P., Meynadier, L. & Guyodo, Y. Geomagnetic dipole strength and reversal rate over the past two million years. Nature 435, 802–805 (2005).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Niederländer, C., Walsh, J. J., Episkopou, V. & Jones, C. M. Arkadia enhances nodal-related signalling to induce mesendoderm. Nature 410, 830–834 (2001).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Leach, M., Drummond, M. & Doig, A. Practical Flow Cytometry in Haematology Diagnosis. (John Wiley & Sons, 2013).
An edited book
Big Data Technology and Applications: First National Conference, BDTA 2015, Harbin, China, December 25-26, 2015. Proceedings. vol. 590 (Springer, 2016).
A chapter in an edited book
Wilbanks, T. J. & Fernandez, S. Urban Systems As Place-Based Foci For Infrastructure Interactions. in Climate Change and Infrastructure, Urban Systems, and Vulnerabilities (eds. Wilbanks, T. J. & Fernandez, S.) 41–54 (Island Press/Center for Resource Economics, 2014).

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 Photonics.

Blog post
Andrew, D. What Would Asia Look Like If All The Earth’s Ice Melted? 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. USDA Telecommunications: Better Management and Network Planning Could Save Millions. (1995).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Viramontes, M. Parenting styles and practices and their impact on school behavior. (California State University, Long Beach, 2009).

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
(nyt), S. K. World Briefing | Europe: Russia: More Delays For Kursk. New York Times A14 (2001).

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 Photonics
AbbreviationNat. Photonics
ISSN (print)1749-4885
ISSN (online)1749-4893
ScopeElectronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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