How to format your references using the BMC Surgery citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for BMC Surgery. 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. Church G. Let us go forth and safely multiply. Nature. 2005;438:423.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Skubi KL, Yoon TP. Organic chemistry: Shape control in reactions with light. Nature. 2014;515:45–6.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Woodroffe R, Hedges S, Durant SM. Ecology. To fence or not to fence. Science. 2014;344:46–8.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Manzoni S, Jackson RB, Trofymow JA, Porporato A. The global stoichiometry of litter nitrogen mineralization. Science. 2008;321:684–6.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Pasher E, Ronen T. The Complete Guide to Knowledge Management. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2011.
An edited book
1. Lasek W. Interleukin 12: Antitumor Activity and Immunotherapeutic Potential in Oncology. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Ben T, Qiu S. Carbon Dioxide Capture in Porous Aromatic Frameworks. In: Lu A-H, Dai S, editors. Porous Materials for Carbon Dioxide Capture. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2014. p. 115–42.

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 Surgery.

Blog post
1. Andrew E. How Does The Lexus Hoverboard Actually Work? A Scientist Explains. 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. Mission Support Project: User Perceptions on Computer Use and Network Operations. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1992.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Boyle CN. Support program for transition age youth: A grant proposal. Doctoral dissertation. California State University, Long Beach; 2013.

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. Kelly R. Desire Under the Waves. New York Times. 1993;:714.

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 Surgery
AbbreviationBMC Surg.
ISSN (online)1471-2482
ScopeGeneral Medicine

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