How to format your references using the BMJ Quality Improvement Reports citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for BMJ Quality Improvement 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
Hestmark G. Temptations of the tree. Nature 2000;408:911.
A journal article with 2 authors
Lively CM, Dybdahl MF. Parasite adaptation to locally common host genotypes. Nature 2000;405:679–81.
A journal article with 3 authors
Lee J, Gross SP, Lee J. Improved network community structure improves function prediction. Sci Rep 2013;3:2197.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Choudhury D, Suzuki T, Tokura Y, et al. Tuning structural instability toward enhanced magnetocaloric effect around room temperature in MnCo(1-x)Zn(x)Ge. Sci Rep 2014;4:7544.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Valizadeh P. Field Effect Transistors, A Comprehensive Overview. Hoboken, NJ: : John Wiley & Sons, Inc 2016.
An edited book
Huerta J, Schade S, Granell C, editors. Connecting a Digital Europe Through Location and Place. Cham: : Springer International Publishing 2014.
A chapter in an edited book
Gonçalves SI. Multimodality in Brain Imaging: Methodologic Aspects and Applications. In: Tavares JMRS, Jorge RMN, eds. Advances in Computational Vision and Medical Image Processing: Methods and Applications. Dordrecht: : Springer Netherlands 2009. 93–103.

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 Quality Improvement Reports.

Blog post
Andrew D. How To Make An Air Conditioner In Less Than 15 Minutes Out Of Common Household Items. 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
Government Accountability Office. Commercial Launch Vehicles: NASA Taking Measures to Manage Delays and Risks. Washington, DC: : U.S. Government Printing Office 2011.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Brown O. Business and IT leaders’ behavioral affects on alignment and project outcome: A comparative leadership study. 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
McKINLEY JC Jr. Running Unopposed, Yet Firmly on Defensive. New York Times. 2017;: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 Quality Improvement Reports
AbbreviationBMJ Qual. Improv. Rep.
ISSN (online)2050-1315

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