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
Mervis J. SCIENCE EDUCATION: Ehlers Bill Wins Bipartisan Backing. Science. 2000 Aug 4; 289: 713a.
A journal article with 2 authors
Welsh RM, Selin LK. Attrition of memory CD8 T cells. Nature. 2009 Jun 4; 459: E3-4; discussion E4.
A journal article with 3 authors
Guiteras R, Levinsohn J, Mobarak AM. Sanitation subsidies. Encouraging sanitation investment in the developing world: a cluster-randomized trial. Science. 2015 May 22; 348: 903–906.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Clantin B, Delattre A-S, Rucktooa P, Saint N, Méli AC, Locht C, et al. Structure of the membrane protein FhaC: a member of the Omp85-TpsB transporter superfamily. Science. 2007 Aug 17; 317: 957–961.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chu PP. FPGA Prototyping by Verilog Examples. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2008.
An edited book
Sheridan SM. Conjoint Behavioral Consultation: Promoting Family–School Connections and Interventions. Kratochwill TR, editor. Boston, MA: Springer US; 2007.
A chapter in an edited book
Dodd M, Mathias J, Nolan SJ. Teaching Mathematics to Adults: Integrating New and Old Knowledge. In: Marshall CA, Nolan SJ, Newton DP, editors. Widening Participation, Higher Education and Non-Traditional Students: Supporting Transitions through Foundation Programmes. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK; 2016. p. 57–72.

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. Prey’s Eye View of Eagle Flight [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2013 [cited 2018 Oct 30]. Available from:’s-eye-view-eagle-flight/


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. Comments on the Office of Personnel Management’s February 20, 2008 Report to Congress Regarding the Retirement Systems Modernization. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2008 Mar. Report No.: GAO-08-576R.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Ademiluyi CA. Felony disenfranchisement and how it contributes to the Black electorate [Doctoral dissertation]. [Long Beach, CA]: California State University, Long Beach; 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
Rothenberg B. Wimbledon’s Qualifying Tournament Is Both 3½ Miles and a World Away. New York Times. 2017 Jun 30; B10.

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