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
Heilbron JL (2013) History: The path to the quantum atom. Nature 498:27–30
A journal article with 2 authors
Venitt S, Phillips DH (2012) Philip D. Lawley (1927-2011). Nature 482:36
A journal article with 3 authors
Ross RJ, Weiner MM, Lin H (2014) PIWI proteins and PIWI-interacting RNAs in the soma. Nature 505:353–359
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Nie L, Mei D, Xiong H, et al (2017) Activation of surface lattice oxygen in single-atom Pt/CeO2 for low-temperature CO oxidation. Science 358:1419–1423

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Obayya S, Hameed MFO, Areed NFF (2016) Computational Liquid Crystal Photonics. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK
An edited book
Ralph C, Silberstein M, Thakre PR, Singh R (eds) (2016) Mechanics of Composite and Multi-functional Materials, Volume 7: Proceedings of the 2015 Annual Conference on Experimental and Applied Mechanics, 1st ed. 2016. Springer International Publishing, Cham
A chapter in an edited book
Moolman J, Marais E, Genade S, et al (2008) The Role of the Beta-Adrenergic Signal Transduction Pathway in Myocardial Protection. In: Srivastava AK, Anand-Srivastava MB (eds) Signal Transduction in the Cardiovascular System in Health and Disease. Springer US, Boston, MA, pp 67–87

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
Andrews R (2017) Pro-Education Genes Becoming Less Common Over Time, Study Finds. 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 (1986) ICBM Modernization: Status, Survivable Basing Issues, and Need To Reestablish a National Consensus. 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
Young W (2012) Diamagnetism of a supersonic rotating magnetized plasma. Doctoral dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park

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
Gladstone R, Specia M (2017) At the U.N., Pressure Builds on Myanmar Over a ‘Human Rights Nightmare.’ New York Times A4

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Heilbron 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Venitt and Phillips 2012; Heilbron 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Venitt and Phillips 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Nie et al. 2017)

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