How to format your references using the Nature Physics citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Nature Physics. 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
Gershon, D. When the chips are down. Nature 424, 585 (2003).
A journal article with 2 authors
Rajagopalan, H. & Lengauer, C. Aneuploidy and cancer. Nature 432, 338–341 (2004).
A journal article with 3 authors
Xuereb, A., Ulbricht, H. & Paternostro, M. Optomechanical interface for probing matter-wave coherence. Sci. Rep. 3, 3378 (2013).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Frank, R. A. W., Titman, C. M., Pratap, J. V., Luisi, B. F. & Perham, R. N. A molecular switch and proton wire synchronize the active sites in thiamine enzymes. Science 306, 872–876 (2004).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
McDonnell, G. & Sheard, D. A Practical Guide to Decontamination in Healthcare. (Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2012).
An edited book
Implementation and Application of Automata: 18th International Conference, CIAA 2013, Halifax, NS, Canada, July 16-19, 2013. Proceedings. vol. 7982 (Springer, 2013).
A chapter in an edited book
Yin, H., Chai, Y., Yang, S. X. & Chiu, D. K. Y. An Improved Mean-shift Tracking Algorithm Based on Adaptive Multiple Feature Fusion. in Informatics in Control Automation and Robotics: Revised and Selected Papers from the International Conference on Informatics in Control Automation and Robotics 2009 (eds. Cetto, J. A., Filipe, J. & Ferrier, J.-L.) 49–62 (Springer, 2011).

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 Physics.

Blog post
Taub, B. Leading Theory About How Consciousness Works May Be Wrong. 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. Comments on Senate Bill 991, A Bill to Establish a Department of Education. (1977).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Cheng, L. SiC Thin-Films on Insulating substrates for Robust MEMS Applications. (University of Cincinnati, 2003).

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
Wagner, J. Cespedes Powers the Mets Again. New York Times D3 (2016).

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 Physics
AbbreviationNat. Phys.
ISSN (print)1745-2473
ISSN (online)1745-2481
ScopeGeneral Physics and Astronomy

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