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
Jia H (2015) Alliances for scientific success. Nature 528:S187-9
A journal article with 2 authors
Bjerrum CJ, Canfield DE (2002) Ocean productivity before about 1.9 Gyr ago limited by phosphorus adsorption onto iron oxides. Nature 417:159–162
A journal article with 3 authors
Farkas I, Helbing D, Vicsek T (2002) Mexican waves in an excitable medium. Nature 419:131–132
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Scherstén A, Elliott T, Hawkesworth C, Norman M (2004) Tungsten isotope evidence that mantle plumes contain no contribution from the Earth’s core. Nature 427:234–237

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Röpke G (2013) Nonequilibrium Statistical Physics. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany
An edited book
Batyrshin I, González Mendoza M (eds) (2013) Advances in Artificial Intelligence: 11th Mexican International Conference on Artificial Intelligence, MICAI 2012, San Luis Potosí, Mexico, October 27 – November 4, 2012. Revised Selected Papers, Part I. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
Tang Y, Deng K, Cao H, Zhou X (2005) Trace-Based Runtime Instruction Rescheduling for Architecture Extension. In: Yang LT, Zhou X, Zhao W, et al. (eds) Embedded Software and Systems: Second International Conference, ICESS 2005, Xi’an, China, December 16-18, 2005. Proceedings. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 4–15

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
Andrew E (2015) Happy News! Masturbation Actually Has Health Benefits. 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 (1973) Protest of Air Force Contract Award. 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
Fertig BM (2010) Stable nitrogen isotopes (delta-nitrogen-15) in the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) as an indicator of nitrogen source. Doctoral dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park

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
Barron J (2017) An Ink-Stained Reunion After Years of Digital Upheaval. New York Times A24

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Jia 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Bjerrum and Canfield 2002; Jia 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Bjerrum and Canfield 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Scherstén et al. 2004)

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