How to format your references using the BMC Medical Ethics citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for BMC Medical Ethics. 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. Clement CM. Astronomy. Of clusters and galaxies. Science. 2002;297:532–3.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Sakaguchi S, Powrie F. Emerging challenges in regulatory T cell function and biology. Science. 2007;317:627–9.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Loudet JC, Barois P, Poulin P. Colloidal ordering from phase separation in a liquid-crystalline continuous phase. Nature. 2000;407:611–3.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Barker J, Atxitia U, Ostler TA, Hovorka O, Chubykalo-Fesenko O, Chantrell RW. Two-magnon bound state causes ultrafast thermally induced magnetisation switching. Sci Rep. 2013;3:3262.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Studer Q. Results that Last. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2007.
An edited book
1. Kim S-K, editor. Springer Handbook of Marine Biotechnology. 1st edition. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2015.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Raz AE, Schicktanz S. Making Responsible Life Plans: Cultural Differences in Lay Attitudes in Germany and Israel Towards Predictive Genetic Testing for Late-Onset Diseases. In: Schicktanz S, editor. Comparative Empirical Bioethics: Dilemmas of Genetic Testing and Euthanasia in Israel and Germany. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016. p. 55–66.

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 Medical Ethics.

Blog post
1. Carpineti A. Ultrafast Camera Caught Light Doing A “Sonic Boom.” IFLScience. 2017.

Reports

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. Telecommunications: Projects and Policies Related to Deploying Broadband in Unserved and Underserved Areas. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2014.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Stott NM. Beta cell compensatory factors in nicotinic acid-induced insulin resistance. Doctoral dissertation. California State University, Long Beach; 2012.

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. Oestreich JR. An Operatic Love Big Enough for a Vast Hall. New York Times. 2016;:C5.

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 Medical Ethics
AbbreviationBMC Med. Ethics
ISSN (online)1472-6939
ScopeHealth Policy
Issues, ethics and legal aspects
Health(social science)

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