How to format your references using the Progress in Natural Science citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Progress in Natural Science. 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
Wendell S. Scientists and societies. Protecting the public investment. Nature. 2004 Feb 19;427(6976):762.
A journal article with 2 authors
Wardil L, Hauert C. Origin and structure of dynamic cooperative networks. Sci Rep. 2014 Jul 17;4:5725.
A journal article with 3 authors
Okuwaki R, Yagi Y, Hirano S. Relationship between high-frequency radiation and asperity ruptures, revealed by hybrid back-projection with a non-planar fault model. Sci Rep. 2014 Nov 19;4:7120.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Arai S, Lee SC, Zhai D, Suzuki M, Chang YT. A molecular fluorescent probe for targeted visualization of temperature at the endoplasmic reticulum. Sci Rep. 2014 Oct 21;4:6701.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Cooper JD. Soil Water Measurement. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2016.
An edited book
Gómez Fernández JF. Maintenance Management in Network Utilities: Framework and Practical Implementation. Crespo Márquez A, editor. London: Springer; 2012. XXII, 406 p. (Springer Series in Reliability Engineering).
A chapter in an edited book
Milojković-Opsenica D, Andrić F. High Performance Thin-Layer Chromatography. In: Inamuddin, Mohammad A, editors. Green Chromatographic Techniques: Separation and Purification of Organic and Inorganic Analytes. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2014. p. 81–101.

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 Progress in Natural Science.

Blog post
Davis J. Belgian Neanderthals Were Butchering Their Dead [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2016 [cited 2018 Oct 30]. Available from:


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. Space Station: Status of Efforts to Determine Commercial Potential. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1999 Jun. Report No.: NSIAD-99-153R.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Sandoval V. Preventing chronic truancy among Latino high school students: A grant proposal [Doctoral dissertation]. [Long Beach, CA]: California State University, Long Beach; 2013.

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
Kelly C. County Gears Up for Its First Empire Games. New York Times. 2007 Jul 22;WE12.

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 titleProgress in Natural Science
ISSN (print)1002-0071

Other styles