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
Stern, A. Commercial space flight is a game-changer. Nature 484, 417 (2012).
A journal article with 2 authors
Sullenger, B. A. & Gilboa, E. Emerging clinical applications of RNA. Nature 418, 252–258 (2002).
A journal article with 3 authors
Li, C. W., Ciston, J. & Kanan, M. W. Electroreduction of carbon monoxide to liquid fuel on oxide-derived nanocrystalline copper. Nature 508, 504–507 (2014).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Terry, I., Walter, G. H., Moore, C., Roemer, R. & Hull, C. Odor-mediated push-pull pollination in cycads. Science 318, 70 (2007).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Samuel, G. R. Formulas and Calculations for Drilling Operations. (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2010).
An edited book
Deved¿ic, V. Model Driven Engineering and Ontology Development. (Springer, 2009).
A chapter in an edited book
Stampar, S. N. et al. Ceriantharia in Current Systematics: Life Cycles, Morphology and Genetics. in The Cnidaria, Past, Present and Future: The world of Medusa and her sisters (eds. Goffredo, S. & Dubinsky, Z.) 61–72 (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 Drug Discovery.

Blog post
Andrew, D. Here’s How An Artist With Synesthesia ‘Sees’ Famous Songs. 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. NASA: Better Mechanisms Needed for Sharing Lessons Learned. (2002).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Gravano, A. Turn-taking and affirmative cue words in task-oriented dialogue. (Columbia University, 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
Sisario, B. Music Distributor Helps Artists With a Tricky Part: Splitting Royalties. New York Times B4 (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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