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
Sowers, T. Late Quaternary atmospheric CH4 isotope record suggests marine clathrates are stable. Science 311, 838–840 (2006).
A journal article with 2 authors
Terman, J. R. & Kolodkin, A. L. Nervy links protein kinase a to plexin-mediated semaphorin repulsion. Science 303, 1204–1207 (2004).
A journal article with 3 authors
Assender, H., Bliznyuk, V. & Porfyrakis, K. How surface topography relates to materials’ properties. Science 297, 973–976 (2002).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Valenzuela, S. O. et al. Microwave-induced cooling of a superconducting qubit. Science 314, 1589–1592 (2006).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Safonov, V. O. Using Aspect-Oriented Programming for Trustworthy Software Development. (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2007).
An edited book
Living Rivers: Trends and Challenges in Science and Management. vol. 187 (Springer Netherlands, 2006).
A chapter in an edited book
Kletter, D., Bern, M. & Haab, B. Mining and Using Glycan Array Data with the GlycoSearch Analysis Program and GlycanBinder Database. in Glycoscience: Biology and Medicine (eds. Taniguchi, N., Endo, T., Hart, G. W., Seeberger, P. H. & Wong, C.-H.) 61–68 (Springer Japan, 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. Asteroids most likely Delivered Water To The Moon – Here’s How We Cracked It. 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. Transportation Security: DHS Efforts to Eliminate Redundant Background Check Investigations. (2007).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Ringberg, J. E. Daily life at Cerro León, an Early Intermediate period highland settlement in the Moche Valley, Peru. (University of North Carolina, 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
Kanter, J. Google Yields To Regulators In Eurozone. New York Times B1 (2017).

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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