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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for British Journal of Sports Medicine. 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
Abbott A. One for all--and all for one. Nature. 2000;405:728.
A journal article with 2 authors
Peacock E, Garshelis DL. Comment on ‘On the regulation of populations of mammals, birds, fish, and insects’ IV. Science. 2006;313:45; author reply 45.
A journal article with 3 authors
Wang J, Ewing RC, Becker U. Average structure and local configuration of excess oxygen in UO(2+x). Sci Rep. 2014;4:4216.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Matsuura M, Dwek E, Meixner M, et al. Herschel detects a massive dust reservoir in supernova 1987A. Science. 2011;333:1258–61.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Drago C. Implant Restorations. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd 2015.
An edited book
Hayashi N. Asymptotics for Dissipative Nonlinear Equations. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer 2006.
A chapter in an edited book
Flynn A, McCarthy J. Exploring the Student Learning Experience in a ‘Live’ International Corporate Finance Course Project. In: Daly P, Reid K, Buckley P, et al., eds. Innovative Business Education Design for 21st Century Learning. Cham: Springer International Publishing 2016:55–68.

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 Sports Medicine.

Blog post
Andrew D. These Are The 10 Unhealthiest States In The US. IFLScience. 2016. (accessed 30 October 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. Air Traffic Control System: Selected Stakeholders’ Perspectives on Operations, Modernization, and Structure. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office 2014.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Wilson WC. Life satisfaction of Air Force civilian male spouses. 2015.

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
Johnson G. Our Existentially Lucky Numbers. New York Times. 2015;D5.

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 titleBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
AbbreviationBr. J. Sports Med.
ISSN (print)0306-3674
ISSN (online)1473-0480
ScopeGeneral Medicine
Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Other styles