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
Herculano-Houzel S. Neuroscience. Sleep it out. Science. 2013 Oct 18; 342: 316–317.
A journal article with 2 authors
Dawson RJP, Locher KP. Structure of a bacterial multidrug ABC transporter. Nature. 2006 Sep 14; 443: 180–185.
A journal article with 3 authors
Cram DS, Song B, Trounson AO. Genotyping of Rhesus SCNT pluripotent stem cell lines. Nature. 2007 Nov 22; 450: E12-4.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Ahuja G, Bozorg Nia S, Zapilko V, Shiriagin V, Kowatschew D, Oka Y, et al. Kappe neurons, a novel population of olfactory sensory neurons. Sci Rep. 2014 Feb 10; 4: 4037.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Johnson DW, Woodward JL. Release. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2010.
An edited book
Korelc J. Automation of Finite Element Methods. Wriggers P, editor. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
Scheidler A, Merkle D, Middendorf M. Congestion Control in Ant Like Moving Agent Systems. In: Hinchey M, Pagnoni A, Rammig FJ, Schmeck H, editors. Biologically-Inspired Collaborative Computing: IFIP 20th World Computer Congress, Second IFIP TC 10 International Conference on Biologically-Inspired Collaborative Computing, September 8–9, 2008, Milano, Italy. Boston, MA: Springer US; 2008. p. 33–43.

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. Countries In The Middle East Will Be Hardest Hit By Water Shortages [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2015 [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. Free Legal Services for the Poor: Increased Coordination, Community Legal Education, and Outreach Needed. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1978 Nov. Report No.: HRD-78-164.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
White BD. Implementation of Positive Behavior Intervention and Support at the High School Level [Doctoral dissertation]. [ St. Charles, MO]: Lindenwood University; 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
Billard M. Putting It Together, Piece by Piece. New York Times. 2010 Sep 30; E6.

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