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
Bloodworth, A. Resources: Track flows to manage technology-metal supply. Nature 505, 19–20 (2014).
A journal article with 2 authors
Yoo, B. C. & Lubec, G. p25 protein in neurodegeneration. Nature 411, 763–4; discussion 764-5 (2001).
A journal article with 3 authors
Reinhard, C. T., Planavsky, N. J. & Lyons, T. W. Long-term sedimentary recycling of rare sulphur isotope anomalies. Nature 497, 100–103 (2013).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
von Ahn, L., Maurer, B., McMillen, C., Abraham, D. & Blum, M. reCAPTCHA: human-based character recognition via Web security measures. Science 321, 1465–1468 (2008).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Knudsen, S. A Biologist’s Guide to Analysis of DNA Microarray Data. (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2005).
An edited book
Medical Imaging and Informatics: 2nd International Conference, MIMI 2007, Beijing, China, August 14-16, 2007 Revised Selected Papers. vol. 4987 (Springer, 2008).
A chapter in an edited book
Wear, D. N. et al. Climate Change and Forest Values. in Climate Change and United States Forests (eds. Peterson, D. L., Vose, J. M. & Patel-Weynand, T.) 93–112 (Springer Netherlands, 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 Physics.

Blog post
Andrew, E. Scientists Generate Ultralight, Ultrastiff Materials Using 3D Printing. 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. Public Transportation: Improvements Are Needed to More Fully Assess Predicted Impacts of New Starts Projects. (2008).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Tsai, C.-N. A simulation study of hierarchical wireless sensor networks. (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
Feeney, K. Hearty, and Classic, Favorites. New York Times NJ9 (2008).

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

Other styles