I'm reformatting a manuscript from author-date referencing to Nature's (superscript) numbered referencing. How can I include citation signals such as 'e.g.,' or 'see'? For example, how should I reformat the following sentence?

It was demonstrated that pigs can't fly (e.g., Smith, 1901).

I can omit the citation signal completely:

It was demonstrated that pigs can't fly1.

but then important information about the non-exhaustiveness of the citation is lost.

Someone suggested this:

It was demonstrated that pigs can't fly (e.g., 1).

But it looks somewhat strange. Any idea?

  • 1
    What about "Smith^1 demonstrated that pigs can't fly", where the superscript 1 appears with "Smith"? (Comments apparently don't allow for either <sup>1</sup> or $^1$ formats, by the way.) Note this is also a more informative statement, since "It" is replaced by "Smith". Apr 12, 2016 at 14:10
  • Do you really need the 'eg', 'see' etc? Apr 12, 2016 at 19:17
  • @Fabio Dias, I find 'e.g.' necessary when I cite only few examples instead of the entire list of studies that substantiated a particular claim. You can't always cite everybody but it's important to convey that there are more studies out there. 'See' is more subtle. Apr 13, 2016 at 6:19

1 Answer 1


I dislike this citation style for just this reason.

You can, however, get around it by turning the parenthetical citation into a phrase:

A number of studies, including Smith1, have demonstrated that pigs can't fly.

More often, however, I see this being indicated implicitly by using more than one citation:

A number of studies1-3 have demonstrated that pigs can't fly.

  • I'll try the the 'Including Smith' phrase, it's a good idea. Do you feel that 'a number of studies' really conveys the message of the e.g. signal? Apr 13, 2016 at 6:25
  • @Tal I think it's not a good way of saying "e.g.", but I also think I see people doing it.
    – jakebeal
    Apr 13, 2016 at 9:36

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