How to format your references using the BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care. 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
Daszak P. Epidemiology. Bats, in black and white. Science 2010;329:634–5.
A journal article with 2 authors
Wilga CD, Lauder GV. Biomechanics: hydrodynamic function of the shark’s tail. Nature 2004;430:850.
A journal article with 3 authors
Bosmans F, Martin-Eauclaire M-F, Swartz KJ. Deconstructing voltage sensor function and pharmacology in sodium channels. Nature 2008;456:202–8.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Dupeux G, Bourrianne P, Magdelaine Q, et al. Propulsion on a superhydrophobic ratchet. Sci Rep 2014;4:5280.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Teague KA, Gallicchio N. The Evolution of Meteorology. Chichester, UK: : John Wiley & Sons, Ltd 2017.
An edited book
Jones A. Visual C# 2005 Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach. Berkeley, CA: : Apress 2006.
A chapter in an edited book
Crowston K, Shamshurin I. Core-Periphery Communication and the Success of Free/Libre Open Source Software Projects. In: Crowston K, Hammouda I, Lundell B, et al., eds. Open Source Systems: Integrating Communities: 12th IFIP WG 2.13 International Conference, OSS 2016, Gothenburg, Sweden, May 30 - June 2, 2016, Proceedings. Cham: : Springer International Publishing 2016. 45–56.

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 Supportive & Palliative Care.

Blog post
Hamilton K. Why So Many People Regain Weight After Dieting. IFLScience. 2016. (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. No Child Left Behind Act: Education Actions Needed to Improve Implementation and Evaluation of Supplemental Educational Services. Washington, DC: : U.S. Government Printing Office 2006.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Reyes J. Connections: A grant proposal for mothers struggling with substance abuse in the child welfare system. 2009.

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
Rothenberg B. ‘Biggest Fight’ Behind Her, Kvitova Returns Ahead of Schedule. New York Times. 2017;:D6.

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 Supportive & Palliative Care
AbbreviationBMJ Support. Palliat. Care
ISSN (print)2045-435X
ISSN (online)2045-4368
ScopeGeneral Medicine
Medicine (miscellaneous)

Other styles