How to format your references using the BMC Medical Research Methodology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for BMC Medical Research Methodology. 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. Brown JKM. Evolution. Little else but parasites. Science. 2003;299:1680–1.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Dixon AR, Sato H. High speed and adaptable error correction for megabit/s rate quantum key distribution. Sci Rep. 2014;4:7275.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Wible B, Mervis J, Wigginton NS. The global supply chain. Rethinking the global supply chain. Introduction. Science. 2014;344:1100–3.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Schall D, Otto M, Neumaier D, Kurz H. Integrated Ring Oscillators based on high-performance Graphene Inverters. Sci Rep. 2013;3:2592.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Minelli M, Chambers M, Dhiraj A. Big Data, Big Analytics. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2013.
An edited book
1. Ember M, Ember CR, Skoggard I, editors. Encyclopedia of Diasporas: Immigrant and Refugee Cultures Around the World. Boston, MA: Springer US; 2005.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Levine M. Elementary Algebraic Geometry. In: Dundas BI, Levine M, Østvær PA, Röndigs O, Voevodsky V, editors. Motivic Homotopy Theory: Lectures at a Summer School in Nordfjordeid, Norway, August 2002. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2007. p. 71–113.

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 Research Methodology.

Blog post
1. Davis J. NASA To Invest In Eco-Friendly Commercial Supersonic Jets. 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. Information Management: Issues Important to Farmers Home Administration Systems Modernization. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1989.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Lemay M. Understanding the mechanism of panel attrition. Doctoral dissertation. University of Maryland, College Park; 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. Kishkovsky S. The Bolshoi Tries Partnering With a Friend From America. New York Times. 2007;:AR10.

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 Research Methodology
AbbreviationBMC Med. Res. Methodol.
ISSN (online)1471-2288
Health Informatics

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