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. Marshall,S. (2014) Climate change. Glacier retreat crosses a line. Science, 345, 872.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Bienz,M. and He,X. (2012) Biochemistry. A lipid linchpin for Wnt-Fz docking. Science, 337, 44–45.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Han,C., Ding,H. and Lv,F. (2014) Demonstration of a refractometric sensor based on an optical micro-fiber three-beam interferometer. Sci. Rep., 4, 7504.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
1. Gannoun,A., Burton,K.W., Thomas,L.E., Parkinson,I.J., Van Calsteren,P. and Schiano,P. (2004) Osmium isotope heterogeneity in the constituent phases of mid-ocean ridge basalts. Science, 303, 70–72.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Barquinha,P., Martins,R., Pereira,L. and Fortunato,E. (2012) Transparent Oxide Electronics John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
1. Mahlich,J. and Pascha,W. eds. (2012) Korean Science and Technology in an International Perspective Physica-Verlag HD, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Zhang,Y. and Guo,D. (2015) System of Time-Varying Linear Equations. In Guo,D. (ed), Zhang Functions and Various Models. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 49–60.

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. Hale,T. (2017) Climate Change Is Screwing With The Diet Of Yellowstone’s Grizzly Bears. 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 (1991) ADP Procurement: DOD’s Approach to Providing Logistics Data on Compact Disk Is Justified 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. Quintero,M.C. (2017) Constructing a Clinical Research Data Management System.

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. Poniewozik,J. (2016) A Vanished Woman’s Strange Return. 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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