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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Nature Reviews Microbiology. 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
Frey, P. A. Enzymology. Coenzymes and radicals. Science 294, 2489–2490 (2001).
A journal article with 2 authors
Hartonen, T. & Alava, M. J. How important tasks are performed: peer review. Sci. Rep. 3, 1679 (2013).
A journal article with 3 authors
Maurer, S. M., Firestone, R. B. & Scriver, C. R. Science’s neglected legacy. Nature 405, 117–120 (2000).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Björklund, M. et al. Identification of pathways regulating cell size and cell-cycle progression by RNAi. Nature 439, 1009–1013 (2006).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Anderson, D. TKO Management! (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2007).
An edited book
Biology, Controls and Models of Tree Volatile Organic Compound Emissions. vol. 5 (Springer Netherlands, 2013).
A chapter in an edited book
Tan, W., Li, L. & Sun, Y. A Novel Performance Prediction Framework for Web Service Workflow Applications. in Human Centered Computing: First International Conference, HCC 2014, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, November 27-29, 2014, Revised Selected Papers (eds. Zu, Q., Hu, B., Gu, N. & Seng, S.) 55–68 (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 Microbiology.

Blog post
Carpineti, A. Australian Radio Telescope Begins Hunt For Intelligent Alien Life. 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. District of Columbia Charter Schools: Multi-Agency Plan Needed to Continue Progress Addressing High and Disproportionate Discipline Rates. (2017).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Muniyappa, V. K. Performance analysis of IPv4 versus IPv6 in a simple campus network. (California State University, Long Beach, 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
Crow, K. UPPER WEST SIDE. New York Times 145 (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 Microbiology
AbbreviationNat. Rev. Microbiol.
ISSN (print)1740-1526
ISSN (online)1740-1534
ScopeGeneral Immunology and Microbiology

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