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
Tyagi S (2010) Genomics. E. coli, what a noisy bug. Science 329:518–519
A journal article with 2 authors
Trenberth KE, Otto-Bliesner BL (2003) Paleoclimate. Toward integrated reconstruction of past climates. Science 300:589–590
A journal article with 3 authors
Poot-Salazar A, Hernández-Flores Á, Ardisson P-L (2014) Use of the SLW index to calculate growth function in the sea cucumber Isostichopus badionotus. Sci Rep 4:5151
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Santhanam G, Ryu SI, Yu BM, et al (2006) A high-performance brain-computer interface. Nature 442:195–198

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Parker D (2016) International Valuation Standards. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK
An edited book
Eskes C, Whelan M (eds) (2016) Validation of Alternative Methods for Toxicity Testing. Springer International Publishing, Cham
A chapter in an edited book
McComas WF (2014) Alphabet Soup Science Curriculum Projects. In: McComas WF (ed) The Language of Science Education: An Expanded Glossary of Key Terms and Concepts in Science Teaching and Learning. SensePublishers, Rotterdam, pp 5–5

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) Want More Innovation? Try Connecting The Dots Between Engineering And Humanities. 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 (1987) Data Processing: USDA Needs To Better Manage Field-Office Computer Purchases. 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
Gifford SC (2013) (Re)making men, representing the Caribbean nation: Authorial individuation in works by Fred D’aguiar, Robert Antoni, and Marlon James. Doctoral dissertation, Florida Atlantic 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
Kelly C (2010) Long-Separated Portraits, on a Wall Together at Last. New York Times F29

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Tyagi 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Trenberth and Otto-Bliesner 2003; Tyagi 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Trenberth and Otto-Bliesner 2003)
  • Three or more authors: (Santhanam et al. 2006)

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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