How to format your references using the BMC Family Practice citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for BMC Family Practice. 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. Smaglik P. Building the triangle: North Carolina. Nature. 2002;416:4–5.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Gui C, Wang J. Silicon-organic hybrid slot waveguide based three-input multicasted optical hexadecimal addition/subtraction. Sci Rep. 2014;4:7491.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Hahnloser RHR, Kozhevnikov AA, Fee MS. An ultra-sparse code underlies the generation of neural sequences in a songbird. Nature. 2002;419:65–70.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Thibert C, Teillet M-A, Lapointe F, Mazelin L, Le Douarin NM, Mehlen P. Inhibition of neuroepithelial patched-induced apoptosis by sonic hedgehog. Science. 2003;301:843–6.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Anaya-Lara O, Campos-Gaona D, Moreno-Goytia E, Adam G. Offshore Wind Energy Generation. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2014.
An edited book
1. Ghoshal D, editor. Current Perspectives in High Energy Physics: Lectures from SERC Schools. Gurgaon: Hindustan Book Agency; 2005.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Engell S, Paulen R, Reniers MA, Sonntag C, Thompson H. Core Research and Innovation Areas in Cyber-Physical Systems of Systems. In: Mousavi MR, Berger C, editors. Cyber Physical Systems. Design, Modeling, and Evaluation: 5th International Workshop, CyPhy 2015, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, October 8, 2015, Proceedings. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2015. p. 40–55.

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 Family Practice.

Blog post
1. Andrew D. How We Caught The First Glimpse Of Weather On a Faraway Gas Giant. IFLScience. 2016. 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. Intercity Passenger Rail: Prospects for Amtrak’s Financial Viability. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1998.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Hoang V. Software maintenance: A program slicer using cross referencer. Doctoral dissertation. California State University, Long Beach; 2009.

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. Markoff J. New Research Center to Explore Ethics of Artificial Intelligence. New York Times. 2016;:B2.

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 Family Practice
AbbreviationBMC Fam. Pract.
ISSN (online)1471-2296
ScopeFamily Practice

Other styles