How to format your references using the BMC Microbiology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for BMC Microbiology. 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. Reichhardt T. NASA ponders termination of gamma-ray observatory. Nature. 2000;403:232.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Ashlin A, Ladle RJ. Science communication. Environmental science adrift in the blogosphere. Science. 2006;312:201.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Trillo S, Gongora JST, Fratalocchi A. Wave instabilities in the presence of non vanishing background in nonlinear Schrödinger systems. Sci Rep. 2014;4:7285.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Lai CW, Zoch J, Gossard AC, Chemla DS. Phase diagram of degenerate exciton systems. Science. 2004;303:503–6.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Liu E, Noppe-Brandon S. Imagination First. San Francisco, CA, USA: Jossey-Bass; 2011.
An edited book
1. Azimova SS, Saidkhodzhaev AI, editors. Natural Compounds: Natural Sesquiterpene Esters. Part 1 and Part 2. New York, NY: Springer; 2013.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Lubaszewski M, Balen T, Schuler E, Carro L, Huertas JL. Effects of Radiation on Analog and Mixed-Signal Circuits. In: Velazco R, Fouillat P, Reis R, editors. Radiation Effects on Embedded Systems. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2007. p. 89–119.

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 Microbiology.

Blog post
1. Hamilton K. “Supermoon” Will Be Visible Tonight. 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. [Recommendation to Congress To Relieve FAA Employee of Liability for Erroneous Payment]. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1987.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Larson EB. Bahamian Quaternary geology and the global carbon budget. Doctoral dissertation. Mississippi State University; 2014.

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. Chapman MM, Saulny S. A Tragedy in Detroit, With a Reality TV Crew in Tow. New York Times. 2010;:A8.

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 Microbiology
AbbreviationBMC Microbiol.
ISSN (online)1471-2180
Microbiology (medical)

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