How to format your references using the Nature Structural & Molecular Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Nature Structural & Molecular 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Brock, J. D. Chemistry. Watching atoms move. Science 315, 609–610 (2007).
A journal article with 2 authors
Farrant, M. & Cull-Candy, S. G. Neuroscience. AMPA receptors--another twist? Science 327, 1463–1465 (2010).
A journal article with 3 authors
D’Hondt, S., Rutherford, S. & Spivack, A. J. Metabolic activity of subsurface life in deep-sea sediments. Science 295, 2067–2070 (2002).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Baena-González, E., Rolland, F., Thevelein, J. M. & Sheen, J. A central integrator of transcription networks in plant stress and energy signalling. Nature 448, 938–942 (2007).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Levitin, V. High Temperature Strain of Metals and Alloys. (Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, 2005).
An edited book
Schooling for Sustainable Development in Chinese Communities: Experience with Younger Children. vol. 1 (Springer Netherlands, 2009).
A chapter in an edited book
Yoshiuchi, K. Momentary Measurement of Psychosocial Factors. in Psychosocial Factors at Work in the Asia Pacific (eds. Dollard, M. F., Shimazu, A., Bin Nordin, R., Brough, P. & Tuckey, M. R.) 117–125 (Springer Netherlands, 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 Structural & Molecular Biology.

Blog post
Andrew, E. Gold Nanoparticles Could Be Used To Melt Fat. IFLScience (2014).


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. Space Acquisitions: Some Programs Have Overcome Past Problems, but Challenges and Uncertainty Remain for the Future. (2015).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Carley, R. Evaluation of the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and hurricanes on wildfires in southeast Louisiana. (Mississippi State University, 2013).

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
Greenhouse, L. A Quiet Place To Start a Revolution. New York Times F1 (2006).

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 Structural & Molecular Biology
AbbreviationNat. Struct. Mol. Biol.
ISSN (print)1545-9993
ISSN (online)1545-9985
ScopeMolecular Biology
Structural Biology

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