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. Paytan A. Global change. Iron uncertainty. Nature. 2000;406:468–9.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Liu SQ, Cull-Candy SG. Synaptic activity at calcium-permeable AMPA receptors induces a switch in receptor subtype. Nature. 2000;405:454–8.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Wang Y, Yun W, Jacobsen C. Achromatic Fresnel optics for wideband extreme-ultraviolet and X-ray imaging. Nature. 2003;424:50–3.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Zwart SFP, Baumgardt H, Hut P, Makino J, McMillan SLW. Formation of massive black holes through runaway collisions in dense young star clusters. Nature. 2004;428:724–6.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Yakir B. Extremes in Random Fields: A Theory and its Applications. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2013.
An edited book
1. Berglund J, Shanneik Y, Bocking B, editors. Religious Education in a Global-Local World. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Smith RC. Novel Biomarkers for Cholangiocarcinoma. In: Herman JM, Pawlik TM, Thomas CR Jr, editors. Biliary Tract and Gallbladder Cancer: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2014. p. 67–82.

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. Fang J. New Dinosaur Was Largest Known Terrestrial Predator Of The Jurassic. 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. Aviation Weather: FAA Needs to Resolve Questions Involving the Use of New Radars. 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. Medlej M. Assessing the Probability of Prototyping Success in Systems Acquisitions (APOPS). Doctoral dissertation. George Washington University; 2017.

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. Dinardo K. For Dianne Whelan, No Trail Is Too Long or Hard. New York Times. 2017;:TR2.

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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