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
Underwood E (2015) Neuroscience. A faster, brighter picture of brain cells in action. Science 350:895
A journal article with 2 authors
Schmidt M, Lipson H (2009) Distilling free-form natural laws from experimental data. Science 324:81–85
A journal article with 3 authors
Fenn KM, Nusbaum HC, Margoliash D (2003) Consolidation during sleep of perceptual learning of spoken language. Nature 425:614–616
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Vijaykrishna D, Smith GJD, Pybus OG, et al (2011) Long-term evolution and transmission dynamics of swine influenza A virus. Nature 473:519–522

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lieberman JA, Tasman A (2006) Handbook of Psychiatric Drugs. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK
An edited book
Swearingen B, Biller BMK (eds) (2011) Cushing’s Disease, 1st edn. Springer US, Boston, MA
A chapter in an edited book
Fattorini D, Regoli F (2012) Hyper-Accumulation of Vanadium in Polychaetes. In: Michibata H (ed) Vanadium: Biochemical and Molecular Biological Approaches. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp 73–92

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) Nature Can’t Pay Its Own Way – So Let’s Take The Market Out Of Conservation. 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 (1995) International Aviation: Airline Alliances Produce Benefits, but Effect on Competition Is Uncertain. 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
Parker JS (2006) Land Tenure in the Sugar Creek Watershed: A Contextual Analysis of Land Tenure and Social Networks, Intergenerational Farm Succession, and Conservation Use Among Farmers of Wayne County, Ohio. Doctoral dissertation, Ohio State University

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
Schuman M (2017) A Heartland’s Flickering Pulse. New York Times B1

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Underwood 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Schmidt and Lipson 2009; Underwood 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Schmidt and Lipson 2009)
  • Three or more authors: (Vijaykrishna et al. 2011)

About the journal

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

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