How to format your references using the BMC Genetics citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for BMC Genetics. 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. Novembre J. Human evolution: ancient DNA steps into the language debate. Nature. 2015;522:164–5.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Weiss RA, Stoye JP. Virology. Our viral inheritance. Science. 2013;340:820–1.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Charnoz S, Salmon J, Crida A. The recent formation of Saturn’s moonlets from viscous spreading of the main rings. Nature. 2010;465:752–4.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Han J-H, Khoo E, Bai P, Bazant MZ. Over-limiting current and control of dendritic growth by surface conduction in nanopores. Sci Rep. 2014;4:7056.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Morton A, Mengersen K, Whitby M, Playford G. Statistical Methods for Hospital Monitoring with R. Oxford, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd; 2013.
An edited book
1. Scharrer I, Schramm W, editors. 36th Hemophilia Symposium Hamburg 2005. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2007.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Stolfi A, Brown FD. Tunicata. In: Wanninger A, editor. Evolutionary Developmental Biology of Invertebrates 6: Deuterostomia. Vienna: Springer; 2015. p. 135–204.

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 Genetics.

Blog post
1. Hamilton K. Why You Should Date Your Best Friend. IFLScience. 2017. 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. Aviation Security: 9/11 Anniversary Observations on TSA’s Progress and Challenges in Strengthening Aviation Security. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2012.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Humphreys BP. The Role of Developmental Screening Practices in Early Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Analysis of All-Payer Claims Data in New Hampshire. Doctoral dissertation. University of North Carolina; 2013.

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. Eligon J. Ferguson Voters Return a White Mayor to Office. New York Times. 2017;:A11.

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 Genetics
AbbreviationBMC Genet.
ISSN (online)1471-2156

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