How to format your references using the Nucleic Acids Research citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Nucleic Acids Research. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
1. Biba,E. (2014) Protection: the sunscreen pill. Nature, 515, S124-5.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Cafaro,J. and Rieke,F. (2010) Noise correlations improve response fidelity and stimulus encoding. Nature, 468, 964–967.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Willis,K.J., Gillson,L. and Brncic,T.M. (2004) Ecology. How ‘virgin’ is virgin rainforest? Science, 304, 402–403.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
1. Tomaru,Y., Toyoda,K., Suzuki,H., Nagumo,T., Kimura,K. and Takao,Y. (2013) New single-stranded DNA virus with a unique genomic structure that infects marine diatom Chaetoceros setoensis. Sci. Rep., 3, 3337.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Davies,G. (2005) Designing and Developing Scalable IP Networks John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
1. Kim,K.J., Wattanapongsakorn,N. and Joukov,N. eds. (2016) Mobile and Wireless Technologies 2016 Springer, Singapore.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Cortiana,F. (2013) Le informazioni e l’equilibrio dinamico dell’ecosistema. In Laszlo,E., Biava,P.M. (eds), Il senso ritrovato. Springer, Milano, pp. 63–88.

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 Nucleic Acids Research.

Blog post
1. Andrew,E. (2014) After Rosetta, Japanese Mission Aims For An Asteroid In Search of Origins of Earth’s Water. IFLScience.


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
1. Government Accountability Office (2005) DOD Schools: Limitations in DOD-Sponsored Study on Transfer Alternatives Underscore Need for Additional Assessment 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
1. Russo,R.A. (2009) Using a socio -cultural framework to evaluate farmland preservation policy success in Maryland.

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
1. (nyt),S.K. (2003) World Briefing | Europe: Russia: Opposition Fails To Topple Premier. New York Times.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (1).
This sentence cites two references (1, 2).
This sentence cites four references (1–4).

About the journal

Full journal titleNucleic Acids Research
AbbreviationNucleic Acids Res.
ISSN (print)0305-1048
ISSN (online)1362-4962

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