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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for British Journal of Surgery. 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
Lewontin R. Evolution. Retrospective: in memory of John Maynard Smith (1920-2004). Science. 2004 May 14; 304: 979.
A journal article with 2 authors
Hager R, Johnstone RA. The genetic basis of family conflict resolution in mice. Nature. 2003 Jan 30; 421: 533–535.
A journal article with 3 authors
Liu S-M, Chen W, Wang J. Distinguishing between cancer cell differentiation and resistance induced by all-trans retinoic acid using transcriptional profiles and functional pathway analysis. Sci Rep. 2014 Jul 4; 4: 5577.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Park S-H, Yoon S-B, Kim H-K, Han JT, Park H-W, Han J, et al. Spine-like nanostructured carbon interconnected by graphene for high-performance supercapacitors. Sci Rep. 2014 Aug 19; 4: 6118.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Afoakwa EO. Chocolate Science and Technology. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2016.
An edited book
Kole C, editor. Fruits and Nuts. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2007.
A chapter in an edited book
Mishra RS, De PS, Kumar N. FSW of Aluminum Alloys. In: De PS, Kumar N, editors. Friction Stir Welding and Processing: Science and Engineering. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2014. p. 109–148.

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 Surgery.

Blog post
Andrew E. Chattering brain cells hold the key to the language of the mind [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2014 [cited 2018 Oct 30]. Available from:


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. Telecommunications: FCC’s Oversight Efforts to Control Cross-Subsidization. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1993 Feb. Report No.: RCED-93-34.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Wrobleski MM. The challenge of teen nutrition: An ecological view of socio-cognitive influences on urban, African-American adolescent diet quality [Doctoral dissertation]. [College Park, MD]: University of Maryland, College Park; 2010.

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
Chapman MM, Maynard M. Thousands Line Up at Ballpark For Farewell to Voice of Tigers. New York Times. 2010 May 7; B12.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in superscript:

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 Surgery
AbbreviationBr. J. Surg.
ISSN (print)0007-1323

Other styles