How to format your references using the BMJ Case Reports citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for BMJ Case Reports. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Hubler GK. Fluff balls of fire. Nature. 2000;403:487–8.
A journal article with 2 authors
Mohnen D, Tierney ML. Plant science. Plants get Hyp to O-glycosylation. Science. 2011;332:1393–4.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kaiser U, Schwarz A, Wiesendanger R. Magnetic exchange force microscopy with atomic resolution. Nature. 2007;446:522–5.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Hales TC, Abt DL, Humphreys ED, et al. A lithospheric instability origin for Columbia River flood basalts and Wallowa Mountains uplift in northeast Oregon. Nature. 2005;438:842–5.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Fisher HG, Forrest HS, Grossel SS, et al. Emergency Relief System Design Using DIERS Technology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1993.
An edited book
Ijioui R, Emmerich H, Ceyp M, editors. Strategies and Tactics in Supply Chain Event Management. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer 2008.
A chapter in an edited book
Baudry B, Gaston C, Ghosh S. Report on the 2nd Workshop on Model Development and Validation – MoDeVa. In: Bruel J-M, ed. Satellite Events at the MoDELS 2005 Conference: MoDELS 2005 International Workshops Doctoral Symposium, Educators Symposium Montego Bay, Jamaica, October 2-7, 2005 Revised Selected Papers. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer 2006:32–8.

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 BMJ Case Reports.

Blog post
Luntz S. Pressure Drop Unleashes Eruptions. IFLScience. 2015. (accessed 30 October 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
Government Accountability Office. Excluded Parties List System: Suspended and Debarred Businesses and Individuals Improperly Receive Federal Funds. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office 2009.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Saha P. Application hardware-software co-design for reconfigurable computing systems. 2008.

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
Baker AL, Mueller B. Suspect in Machete Killing Said Neighbors Spied on Him, Officials Say. New York Times. 2016;A21.

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 titleBMJ Case Reports
AbbreviationBMJ Case Rep.
ISSN (online)1757-790X

Other styles