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
Pirandola S. Quantum discord as a resource for quantum cryptography. Sci Rep 2014;4:6956.
A journal article with 2 authors
Michalski JR, Bleacher JE. Supervolcanoes within an ancient volcanic province in Arabia Terra, Mars. Nature 2013;502:47–52.
A journal article with 3 authors
Reddien PW, Cameron S, Horvitz HR. Phagocytosis promotes programmed cell death in C. elegans. Nature 2001;412:198–202.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Segall P, Desmarais EK, Shelly D, et al. Earthquakes triggered by silent slip events on Kīlauea volcano, Hawaii. Nature 2006;442:71–4.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Crook T, Kemp PA. Transforming Private Landlords. Oxford, UK: : Wiley-Blackwell 2010.
An edited book
Whitacre DM, editor. Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Volume 227. Cham: : Springer International Publishing 2014.
A chapter in an edited book
De Haes S, Van Grembergen W. COBIT as a Framework for Enterprise Governance of IT. In: Van Grembergen W, ed. Enterprise Governance of Information Technology: Achieving Alignment and Value, Featuring COBIT 5. Cham: : Springer International Publishing 2015. 103–28.

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
Hale T. Pornhub Reveal What Porn The World Was Watching In 2016. 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
Government Accountability Office. [Comments on DOD Data Center Consolidation Plan]. Washington, DC: : U.S. Government Printing Office 1994.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Bouyer J. Temporary Leadership in Athletics: The Experiences of Interim NCAA Directors of Athletics. 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
Pilon M. Code of Honor, Not a Referee, Governs Curlers. New York Times. 2014;:B10.

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