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
Tollestrup, A. V., 2000. Robert Rathbun Wilson (1914-2000), Nature, 404, 6776, 350.
A journal article with 2 authors
Grandi, P., Palumbo, G. G. C., 2004. Jet and accretion-disk emission untangled in 3C 273, Science (New York, N.Y.), 306, 5698, 998–1002.
A journal article with 3 authors
AbdAlla, S., Lother, H., Quitterer, U., 2000. AT1-receptor heterodimers show enhanced G-protein activation and altered receptor sequestration, Nature, 407, 6800, 94–98.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Huang, Y., Unni, A. K., Thadani, A. N., Rawal, V. H., 2003. Hydrogen bonding: single enantiomers from a chiral-alcohol catalyst, Nature, 424, 6945, 146.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kaplan, W., 1998. Maxima and Minima with Applications, Hoboken, NJ, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Charney, N. (Ed.), 2016. Art Crime: Terrorists, Tomb Raiders, Forgers and Thieves, London, Palgrave Macmillan UK.
A chapter in an edited book
Lapidus, M. L., van Frankenhuijsen, M., 2013. Explicit Formulas for Generalized Fractal Strings, in van Frankenhuijsen, M. (Ed.), Fractal Geometry, Complex Dimensions and Zeta Functions: Geometry and Spectra of Fractal Strings, New York, NY, Springer (Springer Monographs in Mathematics), pp. 137–178.

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
Andrew, E., 2014. Learning New Words Activates The Same Brain Regions As Sex And Drugs, 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, 1990. FAA Procurement: Major Data-Processing Contract Should Not Be Awarded, IMTEC-90-38. 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
Schey, K. A., 2010. A paradigm for historical and biographical research in support of living history programming at Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site, 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
Schmidt, M. S., 2017. Dismayed by Trump, Head of Drug Enforcement Administration Will Leave, New York Times, 26 September, p. A15.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Tollestrup, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Tollestrup, 2000, Grandi and Palumbo, 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (Grandi and Palumbo, 2004)
  • Three or more authors: (Huang et al., 2003)

About the journal

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

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