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
Sibley CH. Infectious diseases. Understanding artemisinin resistance. Science 2015;347:373–4.
A journal article with 2 authors
Thurner S, Poledna S. DebtRank-transparency: controlling systemic risk in financial networks. Sci Rep 2013;3:1888.
A journal article with 3 authors
Naylor RL, Williams SL, Strong DR. Ecology. Aquaculture--a gateway for exotic species. Science 2001;294:1655–6.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Hundley HA, Walter W, Bairstow S, et al. Human Mpp11 J protein: ribosome-tethered molecular chaperones are ubiquitous. Science 2005;308:1032–4.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bender HF. Das Gefahrstoffbuch. Weinheim, FRG: : Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA 2002.
An edited book
Harris JR, editor. Protein Aggregation and Fibrillogenesis in Cerebral and Systemic Amyloid Disease. Dordrecht: : Springer Netherlands 2012.
A chapter in an edited book
Aula P, Heinonen J. Extended Culture. In: Heinonen J, ed. The Reputable Firm: How Digitalization of Communication Is Revolutionizing Reputation Management. Cham: : Springer International Publishing 2016. 99–119.

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
Taub B. New Stem Cell Treatment Leaves Scientists “Stunned” As Wheelchair-Bound Stroke Patient Walks Again. IFLScience. 2016.


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. Social Security Administration: Subcommittee Questions Concerning Information Technology Challenges Facing the Commissioner. Washington, DC: : U.S. Government Printing Office 1998.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Mack DL. The Cost of Credit: Protecting Consumers in a Regulated Fringe Credit Market. 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
Poniewozik J. A Brutal Season of Prison Siege. New York Times. 2017;:C1.

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