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
Tsiganis, K. Planetary science: How the Solar System didn’t form. Nature 528, 202–204 (2015).
A journal article with 2 authors
Weis, S. M. & Cheresh, D. A. Pathophysiological consequences of VEGF-induced vascular permeability. Nature 437, 497–504 (2005).
A journal article with 3 authors
Mullen, K. T., Kim, Y. J. & Gheiratmand, M. Contrast normalization in colour vision: the effect of luminance contrast on colour contrast detection. Sci. Rep. 4, 7350 (2014).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Månsson, M. et al. Lp(a) is not associated with diabetes but affects fibrinolysis and clot structure ex vivo. Sci. Rep. 4, 5318 (2014).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hansen, S., Pedersen-Bjergaard, S. & Rasmussen, K. Introduction to Pharmaceutical Chemical Analysis. (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2011).
An edited book
Turbulence and Interactions: Keynote Lectures of the TI 2006 Conference. 105, (Springer, 2009).
A chapter in an edited book
Yalowitz, K. S. Arctic Climate Change: Security Challenges and Stewardship Opportunities. in Environmental Security in the Arctic Ocean (eds. Berkman, P. A. & Vylegzhanin, A. N.) 31–36 (Springer Netherlands, 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 Photonics.

Blog post
Andrews, R. Tropical Cyclones Will Become Less Common But Far More Intense Thanks To Climate Change. IFLScience (2016).


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. Opportunities and Constraints for Expanding Use of Research Facilities at the National Bureau of Standards. (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1985).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Chung, Y.-K. A comparison of particle swarm optimization algorithms in data clustering. (California State University, Long Beach, 2010).

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

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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