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
Wang K (2014) Measurement biases explain discrepancies between the observed and simulated decadal variability of surface incident solar radiation. Sci Rep 4: 6144.
A journal article with 2 authors
Basler M, Mekalanos JJ (2012) Type 6 secretion dynamics within and between bacterial cells. Science 337: 815.
A journal article with 3 authors
Rignot E, Rivera A, Casassa G (2003) Contribution of the Patagonia Icefields of South America to sea level rise. Science 302: 434–437.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Subramani A, Alsidawi S, Jagannathan S, Sumita K, Sasaki AT, Aronow B, Warnick RE, Lawler S, Driscoll JJ (2013) The brain microenvironment negatively regulates miRNA-768-3p to promote K-ras expression and lung cancer metastasis. Sci Rep 3: 2392.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Minoli D (2004) A Networking Approach to Grid Computing (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.).
An edited book
Egger R, Matrasulov D, Rakhimov K (2013) Low-Dimensional Functional Materials (Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands).
A chapter in an edited book
Wu Z, Hashimoto M, Guo B, Takahashi K (2012) A Path Prediction Method for Human-Accompanying Mobile Robot Based on Neural Network. In Intelligent Science and Intelligent Data Engineering: Second Sino-Foreign-Interchange Workshop, IScIDE 2011, Xi’an, China, October 23-25, 2011, Revised Selected Papers, Y. Zhang, Z.-H. Zhou, C. Zhang, and Y. Li, eds. (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer), pp. 35–42.

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
Andrew E (2015) Once Again, Scientists Conclude That There’s No Evidence That Homeopathy Works (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 (1983) Classification and Qualification Standards for the GS-1410 Library-Information Service Series (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
Pee G-Y (2008) Sonochemical Remediation of Freshwater Sediments Contaminated with Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. Doctoral dissertation. Ohio State 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
Wagner J (2016) Dodgers’ Late-Inning Gamble Backfires in Cubs’ Timely Grand Slam. New York Times SP2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Wang, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Basler & Mekalanos, 2012; Wang, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Basler & Mekalanos, 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Subramani et al, 2013)

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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