How to format your references using the Nature Reviews Cancer citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Nature Reviews Cancer. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Forrest, S. R. The path to ubiquitous and low-cost organic electronic appliances on plastic. Nature 428, 911–918 (2004).
A journal article with 2 authors
Wilusz, J. E. & Sharp, P. A. Molecular biology. A circuitous route to noncoding RNA. Science 340, 440–441 (2013).
A journal article with 3 authors
Wang, L., Baade, D. & Patat, F. Spectropolarimetric diagnostics of thermonuclear supernova explosions. Science 315, 212–214 (2007).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Smith, S. B. et al. Rfx6 directs islet formation and insulin production in mice and humans. Nature 463, 775–780 (2010).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ratzliff, A., Unutzer, J., Katon, W. & Stephens, K. A. Integrated Care. (John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2015).
An edited book
Philosophy of Behavioral Biology. vol. 282 (Springer Netherlands, 2012).
A chapter in an edited book
Comazzi, S. Oxidative Stress in Diabetes Mellitus. in Studies on Veterinary Medicine (eds. Mandelker, L. & Vajdovich, P.) 77–91 (Humana Press, 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 Reviews Cancer.

Blog post
O`Callaghan, J. SpaceX Wants To Start Launching Rockets ‘Every Two To Three Weeks’. IFLScience (2017).


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. The Need for Strong Central Oversight of the Federal Government’s War on Drugs. (1987).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Piekielek, J. A. Public wildlands at the U.S.-Mexico border: Where conservation, migration, and border enforcement collide. (University of Arizona, 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
Pilon, M. Decision Is Annulled, Exonerating Officials. New York Times B12 (2014).

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 Reviews Cancer
AbbreviationNat. Rev. Cancer
ISSN (print)1474-175X
ISSN (online)1474-1768

Other styles