How to format your references using the The Science of Nature citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for The Science of Nature. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Schindel DE (2010) Biology without borders. Nature 467:779–781
A journal article with 2 authors
Nachev P, Husain M (2007) Comment on “Detecting awareness in the vegetative state.” Science 315:1221; author reply 1221
A journal article with 3 authors
Lu LY, Ou N, Lu Q-B (2013) Antioxidant induces DNA damage, cell death and mutagenicity in human lung and skin normal cells. Sci Rep 3:3169
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Chiara CJ, Carroll JJ, Carpenter MP, et al (2018) Isomer depletion as experimental evidence of nuclear excitation by electron capture. Nature 554:216–218

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Smith EM (2006) Advances in Thermal Design of Heat Exchangers. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK
An edited book
Yarden Y, Tarcic G (eds) (2013) Vesicle Trafficking in Cancer. Springer, New York, NY
A chapter in an edited book
Barker J, Bowden J (2013) Manycore Parallelism through OpenMP. In: Rendell AP, Chapman BM, Müller MS (eds) OpenMP in the Era of Low Power Devices and Accelerators: 9th International Workshop on OpenMP, IWOMP 2013, Canberra, ACT, Australia, September 16-18, 2013. Proceedings. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 45–57

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 The Science of Nature.

Blog post
Andrew D (2016) Second Detection Heralds The Era Of Gravitational Wave Astronomy. In: IFLScience. Accessed 30 Oct 2018


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 (1990) Space Data: Information on Data Storage Technologies. 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
Emerson JD (2001) The Jambalaya That is My Brain. Doctoral dissertation, University of Cincinnati

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
Poniewozik J (2016) Mom Started a Job, So Dad Is Nervous About All His New Responsibilities. New York Times C6

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Schindel 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Nachev and Husain 2007; Schindel 2010).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Nachev and Husain 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Chiara et al. 2018)

About the journal

Full journal titleThe Science of Nature
AbbreviationSci. Nat.
ISSN (print)0028-1042
ISSN (online)1432-1904
ScopeEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
General Medicine

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