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
McKee M. Sally Ride (1951-2012). Nature. 2012 Aug 23; 488: 460.
A journal article with 2 authors
Li D, Kaner RB. Materials science. Graphene-based materials. Science. 2008 May 30; 320: 1170–1171.
A journal article with 3 authors
Wörsdörfer B, Woycechowsky KJ, Hilvert D. Directed evolution of a protein container. Science. 2011 Feb 4; 331: 589–592.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Bosman M, Zhang L, Duan H, Tan SF, Nijhuis CA, Qiu C-W, et al. Encapsulated annealing: enhancing the plasmon quality factor in lithographically-defined nanostructures. Sci Rep. 2014 Jul 2; 4: 5537.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Rassool GH. Addiction for Nurses. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell; 2010.
An edited book
Elleithy K, Sobh T, editors. Innovations and Advances in Computer, Information, Systems Sciences, and Engineering. New York, NY: Springer; 2013.
A chapter in an edited book
Keeble AH, Maté MJ, Kleanthous C. HNH Endonucleases. In: Belfort M, Wood DW, Stoddard BL, Derbyshire V, editors. Homing Endonucleases and Inteins. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2005. p. 49–65.

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
Taub B. Scientists May Have Discovered The Neural Source Of Consciousness [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2016 [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. Student Loans: Improvements in the Direct Loan Consolidation Process. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1998 Nov. Report No.: HEHS-99-19R.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Gary JO. Women’s social networking: Steps that organize low-technology users with emergency needs [Doctoral dissertation]. [Malibu, CA]: Pepperdine University; 2011.

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
Sweeney-James KA. Remembering Nana. New York Times. 2017 Jul 31; A18.

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