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
Sarewitz D (2011) The dubious benefits of broader impact. Nature 475:141
A journal article with 2 authors
Giessen H, Lippitz M (2010) Physics. Directing light emission from quantum dots. Science 329:910–911
A journal article with 3 authors
Manabe M, Barrett PM, Isaji S (2000) Palaeontology. A refugium for relics? Nature 404:953
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Clucas GV, Dunn MJ, Dyke G, et al (2014) A reversal of fortunes: climate change “winners” and “losers” in Antarctic Peninsula penguins. Sci Rep 4:5024

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Fernandes R (2014) Local and Regional Flaps in Head & Neck Reconstruction. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Zhang L, Chan M (eds) (2016) Tunneling Field Effect Transistor Technology. Springer International Publishing, Cham
A chapter in an edited book
Chen LM, Friedman R, Roe AW (2010) Somatosensory: Imaging Tactile Perception. In: Roe AW (ed) Imaging the Brain with Optical Methods. Springer, New York, NY, pp 65–92

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
Hale T (2016) Lots Of Awesome Purple Deep-Sea Creatures Have Been Discovered This Year. 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 (1976) Rotation Policies and Practices Have Been Changed for the Better--But Room for Improvement Remains. 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
Gaines M (2017) Perceptions of knowledge sharing within hybrid learning environments: As iron sharpens iron among graduate students. Doctoral dissertation, Pepperdine University

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
Pilon M (2012) Texas Association Criticized for Ruling on Jewish Team. New York Times B16

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Sarewitz 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Giessen and Lippitz 2010; Sarewitz 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Giessen and Lippitz 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Clucas et al. 2014)

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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