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
Mace GM (2014) Ecology. Whose conservation? Science 345:1558–1560
A journal article with 2 authors
Diao A, Lowe M (2004) Cell biology. The Golgi goes fission. Science 305:48–49
A journal article with 3 authors
Akbarzadeh A, Qiu C-W, Danner AJ (2013) Exploiting design freedom in biaxial dielectrics to enable spatially overlapping optical instruments. Sci Rep 3:2055
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Zürch M, Rothhardt J, Hädrich S, et al (2014) Real-time and sub-wavelength ultrafast coherent diffraction imaging in the extreme ultraviolet. Sci Rep 4:7356

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Stevenson O (2008) Neglected Children and Their Families. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford, UK
An edited book
Picardo M, Taïeb A (eds) (2010) Vitiligo. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
Biffi A, Visigalli I (2013) Hematopoietic Stem Cell Gene Therapy for Lysosomal Storage Disorders: Expected Benefits and Limitations. In: Boelens JJ, Wynn R (eds) Stem Cell Therapy in Lysosomal Storage Diseases. Springer, New York, NY, pp 127–138

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
O`Callaghan J (2017) Bloodhound Supersonic 1,000mph Car To Be Driven For The First Time In October. 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 (2006) Financial Management Systems: Lack of Disciplined Process Puts Effective Implementation of Treasury’s Governmentwide Financial Report System at Risk. 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
Chung EK (2003) The Sophisticated Genetic Diversities of Human Complement Component C4 and RCCX Modules in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. 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
Barron J (2016) Now Arriving on the New York Subway: Free E-Books, Timed for Your Commute. New York Times A15

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Mace 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Diao and Lowe 2004; Mace 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Diao and Lowe 2004)
  • Three or more authors: (Zürch et al. 2014)

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