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. Burgess D. Taking on that first faculty job. Nature. 2007;447:1142.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Paerl HW, Otten TG. Environmental science. Blooms bite the hand that feeds them. Science. 2013;342:433–4.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Kumar D, Barman S, Barman A. Magnetic vortex based transistor operations. Sci Rep. 2014;4:4108.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Gleyzes S, Kuhr S, Guerlin C, Bernu J, Deléglise S, Busk Hoff U, et al. Quantum jumps of light recording the birth and death of a photon in a cavity. Nature. 2007;446:297–300.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Dunne RA. A Statistical Approach to Neural Networks for Pattern Recognition. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2006.
An edited book
1. Rachůnková I. State-Dependent Impulses: Boundary Value Problems on Compact Interval. 1st ed. 2015. Paris: Atlantis Press; 2015.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Dunn DH, Johnson EM, Kemp K, Ganz R, Leon S, Banerji N. Robotic Assisted Operations for Gastroesophageal Reflux. In: Kim KC, editor. Robotics in General Surgery. New York, NY: Springer; 2014. p. 33–54.

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. Luntz S. Chelyabinsk Meteorite Was The Result of Asteroid Collision. IFLScience. 2014. 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 Technology: Departmental Leadership Crucial to Success of Investment Reforms at Interior. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2003.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Baruth LE. Joan Tower and the clarinet: An examination of her compositional style and a performer’s guide to “RAIN WAVES” (1997) and “A GIFT” (2007). Doctoral dissertation. University of Cincinnati; 2010.

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. Vecsey G. Walking Tentatively In Protesters’ Shoes. New York Times. 2010;:D1.

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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