How to format your references using the Naturwissenschaften citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Naturwissenschaften. 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
Maxmen A (2013) Drug development: A combined effort. Nature 502:S4-6
A journal article with 2 authors
Dioumaev VK, Bullock RM (2003) A recyclable catalyst that precipitates at the end of the reaction. Nature 424:530–532
A journal article with 3 authors
Bréon F-M, Tanré D, Generoso S (2002) Aerosol effect on cloud droplet size monitored from satellite. Science 295:834–838
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Pennington DJ, Silva-Santos B, Silberzahn T, et al (2006) Early events in the thymus affect the balance of effector and regulatory T cells. Nature 444:1073–1077

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Alberty RA (2005) Thermodynamics of Biochemical Reactions. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Hulst R, Montfort A van (eds) (2007) Inter-Municipal Cooperation in Europe. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht
A chapter in an edited book
Gegg BC, Suh CS, Luo ACJ (2011) Cutting Dynamics Mechanism. In: Suh CS, Luo ACJ (eds) Machine Tool Vibrations and Cutting Dynamics. Springer, New York, NY, pp 101–121

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 Naturwissenschaften.

Blog post
Hale T (2015) Hyperloop Test Track Will Begin Construction In A Few Weeks. In: IFLScience. Accessed 30 Oct 2018


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 (1988) Civilian Agencies’ Management and Use of Aircraft. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Crawford MJ (2009) Empire’s experts: The politics of knowledge in Spain’s royal monopoly of quina (1751–1808). Doctoral dissertation, University of California San Diego

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
Crow K (2001) Neighbors Say an S.R.O. Is O.K., Just Make It Better. New York Times 145

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Maxmen 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Dioumaev and Bullock 2003; Maxmen 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Dioumaev and Bullock 2003)
  • Three or more authors: (Pennington et al. 2006)

About the journal

Full journal titleNaturwissenschaften
AbbreviationSci. Nat.
ISSN (print)0028-1042
ISSN (online)1432-1904
ScopeEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
General Medicine

Other styles