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 (Naturwissenschaften). 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
Ruddick B (2003) Oceans. Sounding out ocean fine structure. Science 301:772–773
A journal article with 2 authors
Panning M, Romanowicz B (2004) Inferences on flow at the base of Earth’s mantle based on seismic anisotropy. Science 303:351–353
A journal article with 3 authors
Lü L, Zhang Z-K, Zhou T (2013) Deviation of Zipf’s and Heaps’ Laws in human languages with limited dictionary sizes. Sci Rep 3:1082
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Dil H, Lobo-Checa J, Laskowski R, et al (2008) Surface trapping of atoms and molecules with dipole rings. Science 319:1824–1826

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lemberger P, Morel M (2012) Managing Complexity of Information Systems. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ USA
An edited book
Baas N, Friedlander EM, Jahren B, Østvær PA (eds) (2009) Algebraic Topology: The Abel Symposium 2007. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
Krack M, Scheidt LP, Wallaschek J (2014) A Framework for the Computational Dynamic Analysis of Coupled Structures Using Nonlinear Modes. In: Kerschen G (ed) Nonlinear Dynamics, Volume 2: Proceedings of the 32nd IMAC, A Conference and Exposition on Structural Dynamics, 2014. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 45–53

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 E (2015) Coming To A Field Near You? The ‘Body Farms’ Where Human Remains Decompose In The Name Of Science. 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) Operations of and Outlook for the Highway Trust Fund. 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
Bankapura S (2016) Packet adaptive routing in communication network. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach

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
Vecsey G (2010) Champion’s March to Greatness Appears Far From Done. New York Times B12

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (von Hippel 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Lupp 2009; Mora 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Panning and Romanowicz 2004)
  • Three or more authors: (Jiao et al. 2011)

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

Other styles