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
Adam, D. British chemists warned of impending stagnation. Nature 421, 100 (2003).
A journal article with 2 authors
Tanaka, H. K. M. & Watanabe, H. 6Li-loaded directionally sensitive anti-neutrino detector for possible geo-neutrinographic imaging applications. Sci. Rep. 4, 4708 (2014).
A journal article with 3 authors
Reiner, J. W., Walker, F. J. & Ahn, C. H. Materials science. Atomically engineered oxide interfaces. Science 323, 1018–1019 (2009).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Islam, M. R. et al. The newt reprograms mature RPE cells into a unique multipotent state for retinal regeneration. Sci. Rep. 4, 6043 (2014).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chiasson, A. D. Geothermal Heat Pump and Heat Engine Systems. (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2016).
An edited book
Reading the Archive of Earth’s Oxygenation: Volume 3: Global Events and the Fennoscandian Arctic Russia - Drilling Early Earth Project. (Springer, 2013).
A chapter in an edited book
Fast, M. & Clark, W. W. Qualitative Economics: The Science Needed in Economics. in The Next Economics: Global Cases in Energy, Environment, and Climate Change (ed. Clark, W. W., II) 71–91 (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 Physics.

Blog post
Taub, B. Freak Minerals Found Buried In Siberia Could Become The Fuel Cells Of The Future. 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. Computer Reservation Systems: Action Needed to Better Monitor the CRS Industry and Eliminate CRS Biases. (1992).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Scheepers, E. M. Psychotherapists’ use of outcome measures in psychotherapy practice: Differences related to academic background. (Capella University, 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
Crow, K. What Rhymes With Asbestos? An Urban Musical in Three Acts. New York Times 148 (2000).

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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