How to format your references using the British Journal of Cancer citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for British Journal of Cancer (BJC). 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Alexandrov LB (2015) Understanding the origins of human cancer. Science 350: 1175.
A journal article with 2 authors
Misra A, Ching WY (2013) Theoretical nonlinear response of complex single crystal under multi-axial tensile loading. Sci Rep 3: 1488.
A journal article with 3 authors
Reese C, Heise F, Mayer A (2005) Trans-SNARE pairing can precede a hemifusion intermediate in intracellular membrane fusion. Nature 436: 410–414.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Kurz T, Pintard L, Willis JH, Hamill DR, Gönczy P, Peter M, Bowerman B (2002) Cytoskeletal regulation by the Nedd8 ubiquitin-like protein modification pathway. Science 295: 1294–1298.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Haas TC (2013) Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Ecosystem Managers (Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd).
An edited book
Ebert A, Dix A, Gershon ND, Pohl M (2011) Human Aspects of Visualization: Second IFIP WG 13.7 Workshop on Human-Computer Interaction and Visualization, HCIV (INTERACT) 2009, Uppsala, Sweden, August 24, 2009, Revised Selected Papers (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer).
A chapter in an edited book
Hill LG (2010) Classical Theory of Thermal Criticality. In Shock Wave Science and Technology Reference Library, Vol. 5: Non-Shock Initiation of Explosives, B.W. Asay, ed. (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer), pp. 129–243.

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 British Journal of Cancer.

Blog post
Taub B (2016) Relatives Of Schizophrenics Share Some Of Their Brain Abnormalities – So Why Don’t They Suffer From The Condition? (IFLScience) (accessed: 30/10/2018).


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 (1993) High Speed Ground Transportation: Strategic Approach Needed for Introduction of HSGT (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Manuel DG (2019) Integrate or Innovate: Controlling Schedule Risk in Major Defense Acquisition Programs. Doctoral dissertation. George Washington University.

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
Vecsey G (2010) Yes, Luis Castillo Is Still With the Mets. New York Times B13.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Alexandrov, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Misra & Ching, 2013; Alexandrov, 2015).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Misra & Ching, 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (Kurz et al, 2002)

About the journal

Full journal titleBritish Journal of Cancer
AbbreviationBr. J. Cancer
ISSN (print)0007-0920
ISSN (online)1532-1827
ScopeCancer Research

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