How to format your references using the BMC Physiology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for BMC Physiology. 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. Kitano H. Computational systems biology. Nature. 2002;420:206–10.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Itoh S, Yurimoto H. Contemporaneous formation of chondrules and refractory inclusions in the early Solar System. Nature. 2003;423:728–31.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Halpern BS, Cottenie K, Broitman BR. Strong top-down control in southern California kelp forest ecosystems. Science. 2006;312:1230–2.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Brennecke F, Ritter S, Donner T, Esslinger T. Cavity optomechanics with a Bose-Einstein condensate. Science. 2008;322:235–8.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Scot L. The Simplified Guide to Not-for-Profit Accounting, Formation, and Reporting. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2010.
An edited book
1. Singh AD, Murphree AL, Damato BE, editors. Clinical Ophthalmic Oncology: Retinoblastoma. 2nd ed. 2015. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2015.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Palli SR. Recent Advances in the Mode of Action of Juvenile Hormones and Their Analogs. In: Ishaaya I, Horowitz AR, editors. Biorational Control of Arthropod Pests: Application and Resistance Management. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2009. p. 111–29.

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 Physiology.

Blog post
1. Fang J. To Avoid Fights, Male Elephant Seals Remember The Calls Of Their Rivals. 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. Financial Literacy: Overlap of Programs Suggests There May Be Opportunities for Consolidation. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2012.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Wallace DR. A Comparative Analysis of a Conventional Versus a Computer-assisted Technique for Identification of Mechanical Power Press Hazards. Doctoral dissertation. Ohio State University; 2006.

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. Williams J. Podcast Therapy. New York Times. 2017;:BR4.

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 Physiology
AbbreviationBMC Physiol.
ISSN (online)1472-6793
General Medicine
Physiology (medical)

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