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. Ganz,T. (2002) Immunology. Versatile defensins. Science, 298, 977–979.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Turi,L. and Madarász,A. (2011) Comment on ‘Does the hydrated electron occupy a cavity?’ Science, 331, 1387; author reply 1387.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Ismail-Zadeh,A., Honda,S. and Tsepelev,I. (2013) Linking mantle upwelling with the lithosphere descent [corrected] and the Japan Sea evolution: a hypothesis. Sci. Rep., 3, 1137.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
1. Muller,D.A., Kourkoutis,L.F., Murfitt,M., Song,J.H., Hwang,H.Y., Silcox,J., Dellby,N. and Krivanek,O.L. (2008) Atomic-scale chemical imaging of composition and bonding by aberration-corrected microscopy. Science, 319, 1073–1076.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Schneider,K.A. (2011) Counseling About Cancer John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
1. Bernard,L., Friis-Christensen,A. and Pundt,H. eds. (2008) The European Information Society: Taking Geoinformation Science One Step Further Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Cardellini,V., Casalicchio,E., Grassi,V. and Lo Presti,F. (2012) On Guaranteeing Global Dependability Properties in Collaborative Business Process Management. In Ardagna,C.A., Damiani,E., Maciaszek,L.A., Missikoff,M., Parkin,M. (eds), Business System Management and Engineering: From Open Issues to Applications, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 48–70.

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. O`Callaghan,J. (2016) Elon Musk Says We Need A Universal Basic Income To Cope With Robots Taking Our Jobs. 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 (1989) Air Traffic Control: Computer Capacity Shortfalls May Impair Flight Safety 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. Belcher,J.T. (2009) Optimism, psychological well-being, and quality of life in females with Fibromyalgia Syndrome.

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. Walsh,M.W. (2015) Cracks Starting to Appear in Public Pensions’ Armor. 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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