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
van Swinderen, B. Attention-like processes in Drosophila require short-term memory genes. Science 315, 1590–1593 (2007).
A journal article with 2 authors
Pera, M. & Trounson, A. Cloning debate: Stem-cell researchers must stay engaged. Nature 498, 159–161 (2013).
A journal article with 3 authors
van den Ent, F., Amos, L. A. & Löwe, J. Prokaryotic origin of the actin cytoskeleton. Nature 413, 39–44 (2001).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Gruene, P. et al. Structures of neutral Au7, Au19, and Au20 clusters in the gas phase. Science 321, 674–676 (2008).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Cofnas, A. Trading Binary Options. (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2011).
An edited book
Taylor, L. D. Consumer Demand in the United States: Prices, Income, and Consumption Behavior. (Springer, 2010).
A chapter in an edited book
Cui, S. & Goldsmith, A. J. Cooperation Techniques in Cross-layer Design. in Cooperation in Wireless Networks: Principles and Applications: Real Egoistic Behavior is to Cooperate! (eds. Fitzek, F. H. P. & Katz, M. D.) 101–126 (Springer Netherlands, 2006).

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
Andrew, E. Astronomers Have Spotted Something Very, Very Strange Surrounding A Distant Star. 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. Tax Systems Modernization: Private Sector Modernization Efforts IRS May Want to Examine. (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1991).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Becker, L. A. Noncredit to credit transitions: The role of cultural capital and habitus for adult immigrant learners in the community college. (California State University, Long Beach, 2010).

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
Steinmetz, P. by G. Let a Hundred McMansions Bloom. New York Times MM51 (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