How to format your references using the BMC Nursing citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for BMC Nursing. 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. Urnov FD. Biological techniques: Edit the genome to understand it. Nature. 2014;513:40–1.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. García-Bellido DC, Collins DH. Moulting arthropod caught in the act. Nature. 2004;429:40.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Fenn KM, Nusbaum HC, Margoliash D. Consolidation during sleep of perceptual learning of spoken language. Nature. 2003;425:614–6.
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. Center for Chemical Process Safety, American Industrial Hygiene Association. Continuous Monitoring for Hazardous Material Releases. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2009.
An edited book
1. Wang J, editor. Stereoselective Alkene Synthesis. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2012.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Collins MJ. Supporting Discussions. In: Hassell J, Anglin S, Beckner M, Buckingham E, Cornell G, Gennick J, et al., editors. Pro Project Management with SharePoint 2010. Berkeley, CA: Apress; 2010. p. 59–80.

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 Nursing.

Blog post
1. Taub B. Scientists Once Gave LSD To Dolphins In The Hope Of Learning To Communicate With Them. IFLScience. 2017. 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. Pipeline Safety: Preliminary Information on the Office of Pipeline Safety’s Efforts to Strengthen Its Enforcement Activities. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2004.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Daczo Z. Wage inequality and the gender wage gap: Are American women swimming upstream? Doctoral dissertation. University of Maryland, College Park; 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. Brantley B. The Fine Art of Using Love as a Weapon. New York Times. 2016;:C1.

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 Nursing
AbbreviationBMC Nurs.
ISSN (online)1472-6955
ScopeGeneral Nursing

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