How to format your references using the Natures Sciences Sociétés citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Natures Sciences Sociétés (NSS). 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
Jones, C. H., 2003. Geophysics. How faults accommodate plate motion, Science (New York, N.Y.), 300, 5622, 1105–1106.
A journal article with 2 authors
Gaut, B. S., Ross-Ibarra, J., 2008. Selection on major components of angiosperm genomes, Science (New York, N.Y.), 320, 5875, 484–486.
A journal article with 3 authors
Bunge, J., Epstein, S. S., Peterson, D. G., 2006. Comment on ‘Computational improvements reveal great bacterial diversity and high metal toxicity in soil’, Science (New York, N.Y.), 313, 5789, 918; author reply 918.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Choi, S. H., Bylykbashi, E., Chatila, Z. K., Lee, S. W., Pulli, B., Clemenson, G. D., Kim, E., Rompala, A., Oram, M. K., Asselin, C., Aronson, J., Zhang, C., Miller, S. J., Lesinski, A., Chen, J. W., Kim, D. Y., van Praag, H., Spiegelman, B. M., Gage, F. H., Tanzi, R. E., 2018. Combined adult neurogenesis and BDNF mimic exercise effects on cognition in an Alzheimer’s mouse model, Science (New York, N.Y.), 361, 6406.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Stauffer, H. B., 2007. Contemporary Bayesian and Frequentist Statistical Research Methods for Natural Resource Scientists, Hoboken, NJ, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Chan, A. T., Detering, E. (Eds.), 2013. Prospects for Chemoprevention of Colorectal Neoplasia: Emerging Role of Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, Berlin, Heidelberg, Springer (Recent Results in Cancer Research).
A chapter in an edited book
Greenfield, S., Billimek, J., Kaplan, S. H., 2010. The Total Illness Burden Index, in Preedy, V. R. and Watson, R. R. (Eds.), Handbook of Disease Burdens and Quality of Life Measures, New York, NY, Springer, pp. 73–85.

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 Natures Sciences Sociétés.

Blog post
Taub, B., 2016. Scientists Have Watched A Brain Getting Hooked On Sugar In Real Time, IFLScience, IFLScience. (online:


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, 1994. Longer Combination Vehicles: Potential Infrastructure Impacts, Productivity Benefits, and Safety Concerns, T-RCED-94-306. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Partma, L., 2009. Media: Pretrial publicity and its effects, Doctoral dissertation. California State University, Long Beach.

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
Barnes, B., 2012. In the Footsteps of Marvel, New York Times, 9 July, p. B1.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Jones, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Jones, 2003, Gaut and Ross-Ibarra, 2008).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Gaut and Ross-Ibarra, 2008)
  • Three or more authors: (Choi et al., 2018)

About the journal

Full journal titleNatures Sciences Sociétés
ISSN (print)1240-1307
ISSN (online)1765-2979

Other styles