How to format your references using the BMC Cancer citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for BMC Cancer. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
1. Thorne PW. Arctic tropospheric warming amplification? Nature. 2008;455:E1-2; discussion E4-5.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Bucher G, Sander W. Physical chemistry. Clarifying the structure of carbonic acid. Science. 2014;346:544–5.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Choudhury S, Morgan D, Uberuaga BP. Massive interfacial reconstruction at misfit dislocations in metal/oxide interfaces. Sci Rep. 2014;4:6533.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Konhauser KO, Lalonde SV, Amskold L, Holland HD. Was there really an Archean phosphate crisis? Science. 2007;315:1234.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Karr R. Lead, Sell, or Get Out of the Way. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2009.
An edited book
1. White WB, editor. The Caves of Burnsville Cove, Virginia: Fifty Years of Exploration and Science. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2015.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Iacucci I, Saba L, Anzidei M. Plaque Imaging. In: Catalano C, Anzidei M, Napoli A, editors. Cardiovascular CT and MR Imaging: From Technique to Clinical Interpretation. Milano: Springer; 2013. p. 55–70.

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 BMC Cancer.

Blog post
1. Andrews R. According To NASA, There’s A 99.9% Probability Of A Significant Earthquake Hitting Los Angeles By 2018. IFLScience. 2015. 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
1. Government Accountability Office. Contracts To Provide Support for the Food Service Inspection Program. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1977.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
1. Igbojekwe SC. Development of Environmental Friendly Cement for Oil and Gas Well Application. Doctoral dissertation. University of Louisiana; 2014.

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
1. Card J. A River With Too Many Fish. New York Times. 2017;:TR10.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1, 2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titleBMC Cancer
AbbreviationBMC Cancer
ISSN (online)1471-2407
ScopeCancer Research

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