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
Detrick, R. S. Seafloor spreading. Portrait of a magma chamber. Nature 406, 578–579 (2000).
A journal article with 2 authors
Golz, J. & MacLeod, D. I. A. Influence of scene statistics on colour constancy. Nature 415, 637–640 (2002).
A journal article with 3 authors
Froemke, R. C., Poo, M.-M. & Dan, Y. Spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity depends on dendritic location. Nature 434, 221–225 (2005).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
O’Dowd, C. D., Aalto, P., Hmeri, K., Kulmala, M. & Hoffmann, T. Aerosol formation: atmospheric particles from organic vapours. Nature 416, 497–498 (2002).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Alacoque, J. C. Direct Eigen Control for Induction Machines and Synchronous Motors. (A John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2012).
An edited book
Practical Signal and Image Processing in Clinical Cardiology. (Springer, 2010).
A chapter in an edited book
Avby, G. Organizing for Deliberate Practice Through Workplace Reflection. in Supporting Learning Across Working Life: Models, Processes and Practices (eds. Billett, S., Dymock, D. & Choy, S.) 75–90 (Springer International Publishing, 2016).

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
Hale, T. Fossil Proteins 3.8 Million Years Old Found On Ancient Ostrich Eggshells. 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. Need To Remove More Low-Cost, Low-Usage Items From Inventories. (1971).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Pulido, M. D. Self-Reported Emotional State as a Measure of Interpersonal Vulnerability. (California State University, Long Beach, 2017).

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. Neighbors Say a School Is Just a Growing Bully. New York Times 147 (2001).

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

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