How to format your references using the Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology. 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
Somorjai, G. A. On the move. Nature 430, 730 (2004).
A journal article with 2 authors
Anderson, M. J. & Dixson, A. F. Sperm competition: motility and the midpiece in primates. Nature 416, 496 (2002).
A journal article with 3 authors
Doncaster, C. P., Jackson, A. & Watson, R. A. Competitive environments sustain costly altruism with negligible assortment of interactions. Sci. Rep. 3, 2836 (2013).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Gruber, T. et al. Comment on ‘PDK1 nucleates T cell receptor-induced signaling complex for NF-kappaB activation’. Science 312, 55; author reply 55 (2006).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
McGeough, J. A. The Engineering of Human Joint Replacements. (John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2013).
An edited book
Direct Methods for Limit and Shakedown Analysis of Structures: Advanced Computational Algorithms and Material Modelling. (Springer International Publishing, 2015).
A chapter in an edited book
Avramova, Z., De Vleeschauwer, D., Wittevrongel, S. & Bruneel, H. Dimensioning Multicast-Enabled Networks for IP-Transported TV Channels. in Managing Traffic Performance in Converged Networks: 20th International Teletraffic Congress, ITC20 2007, Ottawa, Canada, June 17-21, 2007. Proceedings (eds. Mason, L., Drwiega, T. & Yan, J.) 6–17 (Springer, 2007).

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 Molecular Cell Biology.

Blog post
Andrew, E. Jupiter May One Day Be Visited By Floating “Windbots”. 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: Constellation Program Cost and Schedule Will Remain Uncertain Until a Sound Business Case Is Established. (2009).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Tablason, J. M. Recollecting. (California State University, Long Beach, 2014).

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
Kelly, K. Seeking a Shift to Entrepreneurship, Executive Will Leave JPMorgan. New York Times B3 (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 Molecular Cell Biology
AbbreviationNat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol.
ISSN (print)1471-0072
ISSN (online)1471-0080
ScopeCell Biology
Molecular Biology

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