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
Nelson, F. E. Geocryology. (Un)frozen in time. Science 299, 1673–1675 (2003).
A journal article with 2 authors
Lucadamo, G. & Medlin, D. L. Geometric origin of hexagonal close packing at a grain boundary in gold. Science 300, 1272–1275 (2003).
A journal article with 3 authors
Behnia, K., Balicas, L. & Kopelevich, Y. Signatures of electron fractionalization in ultraquantum bismuth. Science 317, 1729–1731 (2007).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Lal, R., Griffin, M., Apt, J., Lave, L. & Morgan, M. G. Ecology. Managing soil carbon. Science 304, 393 (2004).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ribéreau-Gayon, P., Dubourdieu, D., Donèche, B. & Lonvaud, A. Handbook of Enology. (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2006).
An edited book
El-Salhy, M. Understanding and Controlling the Irritable Bowel. (Springer International Publishing, 2015).
A chapter in an edited book
Alper, A. B. Pathogenesis of Diabetic Nephropathy: Hemodynamic Alterations/Renin Angiotensin System. in Diabetes and Kidney Disease (eds. Lerma, E. V. & Batuman, V.) 29–38 (Springer, 2014).

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
Andrews, R. Some Volcanoes Become Eerily Silent Just Before They Erupt. 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. Highway Contracting: Disadvantaged Business Eligibility Guidance and Oversight Are Ineffective. (1992).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Bremond, D. S. When women win: Prominent leadership traits that contributed to the successful election of women in California. (Pepperdine University, 2017).

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
Murphy, M. J. O. Looking Back (and Learning From) ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’. New York Times C22 (2016).

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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