How to format your references using the Nature Reviews Drug Discovery citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. 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
Hoyt, M. A. Cell biology. Extinguishing a cell cycle checkpoint. Science 313, 624–625 (2006).
A journal article with 2 authors
Younesi, E. & Hofmann-Apitius, M. Biomarker-guided translation of brain imaging into disease pathway models. Sci. Rep. 3, 3375 (2013).
A journal article with 3 authors
Li, C., de Grijs, R. & Deng, L. The exclusion of a significant range of ages in a massive star cluster. Nature 516, 367–369 (2014).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Gunjakar, J. L., Kim, T. W., Kim, I. Y., Lee, J. M. & Hwang, S.-J. Highly efficient visible light-induced O₂ generation by self-assembled nanohybrids of inorganic nanosheets and polyoxometalate nanoclusters. Sci. Rep. 3, 2080 (2013).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Alexander, M. & Walkenbach, J. 101 Ready-to-Use Excel® Macros. (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2012).
An edited book
Shaw, S. Beginning T-SQL 2012. (Apress, 2012).
A chapter in an edited book
El-Galaly, T. C. & Hutchings, M. Imaging of Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas: Diagnosis and Response-Adapted Strategies. in Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: Pathology, Imaging, and Current Therapy (eds. Evens, A. M. & Blum, K. A.) 125–146 (Springer International Publishing, 2015).

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 Drug Discovery.

Blog post
Andrew, E. Want More Innovation? Try Connecting The Dots Between Engineering And Humanities. IFLScience (2015). Available at: (Accessed: 30th October 2018)


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. Air Force C-17 Embedded Computers. (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1994).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Daly, K. M. Cinema 3.0: How digital and computer technologies are changing cinema. (Columbia University, 2008).

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. Executive In-Baskets Meant for a Park Picnic. New York Times 145 (2002).

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 Drug Discovery
AbbreviationNat. Rev. Drug Discov.
ISSN (print)1474-1776
ISSN (online)1474-1784
ScopeGeneral Medicine
Drug Discovery

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