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
Gaherty JB. Seismic evidence for hotspot-induced buoyant flow beneath the Reykjanes Ridge. Science. 2001 Aug 31;293(5535):1645–7.
A journal article with 2 authors
Woolf CJ, Bloechlinger S. Neuroscience. It takes more than two to Nogo. Science. 2002 Aug 16;297(5584):1132–4.
A journal article with 3 authors
Adilakshmi T, Bellur DL, Woodson SA. Concurrent nucleation of 16S folding and induced fit in 30S ribosome assembly. Nature. 2008 Oct 30;455(7217):1268–72.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Han Y, Li S, Cao X, Yuan L, Wang Y, Yin Y, et al. Different inhibitory effect and mechanism of hydroxyapatite nanoparticles on normal cells and cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Sci Rep. 2014 Nov 20;4:7134.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Henderson GR. Six Sigma Quality Improvement with Minitab. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2011.
An edited book
Knox C. Public Policy, Philanthropy and Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland. Quirk P, editor. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK; 2016. XXIII, 285 p. 28 illus., 27 illus. in color.
A chapter in an edited book
Henmi K, Hattori M. Parallel Learning for Combined Knowledge Acquisition Model. In: Hirose A, Ozawa S, Doya K, Ikeda K, Lee M, Liu D, editors. Neural Information Processing: 23rd International Conference, ICONIP 2016, Kyoto, Japan, October 16–21, 2016, Proceedings, Part I. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016. p. 32–9. (Lecture Notes in Computer Science).

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
Fang J. How Mongoose Moms Protect Their Pups Before They’re Born. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2016.


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. Air Traffic Control: FAA Needs to Implement an Effective Testing Program. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1989 Sep. Report No.: IMTEC-89-62.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Russo CA. The potential harms of breast cancer screening: estimating the unnecessary surgical diagnosis of benign breast lesions and its impact on quality and cost among insured women younger than 65 years old [Doctoral dissertation]. [Washington, DC]: George Washington University; 2014.

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
Apuzzo M, Fink S, Risen J. U.S. Torture Leaves a Legacy of Detainees With Damaged Minds. New York Times. 2016 Oct 8;A1.

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