How to format your references using the Nature Reviews Genetics citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Nature Reviews Genetics. 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
Gibson, M. Conservation. Fate of Iraqi archaeology. Science 299, 1848–1849 (2003).
A journal article with 2 authors
Gibbs, R. A. & Nelson, D. L. Human genetics. Primate shadow play. Science 299, 1331–1333 (2003).
A journal article with 3 authors
Kilner, R. M., Madden, J. R. & Hauber, M. E. Brood parasitic cowbird nestlings use host young to procure resources. Science 305, 877–879 (2004).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Bahar, F., Pratt-Szeliga, P. C., Angus, S., Guo, J. & Welch, R. D. Describing Myxococcus xanthus aggregation using Ostwald ripening equations for thin liquid films. Sci. Rep. 4, 6376 (2014).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Zeng, K., Lou, W. & Li, M. Multihop Wireless Networks. (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2011).
An edited book
After Bourdieu: Influence, Critique, Elaboration. (Springer Netherlands, 2005).
A chapter in an edited book
Appelmann, I., Liersch, R., Kessler, T., Mesters, R. M. & Berdel, W. E. Angiogenesis Inhibition in Cancer Therapy. in Angiogenesis Inhibition (eds. Liersch, R., Berdel, W. E. & Kessler, T.) 51–81 (Springer, 2010).

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 Genetics.

Blog post
Hamilton, K. Superbugs Evolve In Waste Water, And Could End Up In Our Food. 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. Underinflated Tires in the United States. (2007).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Gowda, V. Pollination biology and inter-island geographical variation in the mutualistic Heliconia (Heliconiaceae)-hummingbird (Trochilidae) interaction of the Eastern Caribbean Islands. (George Washington 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
Crow, K. Coffee, Two Eggs Over Easy And a Sketch of a Landmark. New York Times 146 (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 Genetics
AbbreviationNat. Rev. Genet.
ISSN (print)1471-0056
ISSN (online)1471-0064
Molecular Biology

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