How to format your references using the British Medical Bulletin citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for British Medical Bulletin. 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
Norenzayan A. Behavior. Explaining human behavioral diversity. Science. 2011 May 27;332(6033):1041–2.
A journal article with 2 authors
Michalakis Y, Roze D. Evolution. Epistasis in RNA viruses. Science. 2004 Nov 26;306(5701):1492–3.
A journal article with 3 authors
Zhang L, Lu C, Tieu K. Atomistic simulation of tensile deformation behavior of ∑5 tilt grain boundaries in copper bicrystal. Sci Rep. 2014 Aug 1;4:5919.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Krause J, Dear PH, Pollack JL, Slatkin M, Spriggs H, Barnes I, et al. Multiplex amplification of the mammoth mitochondrial genome and the evolution of Elephantidae. Nature. 2006 Feb 9;439(7077):724–7.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chase CW. Next Generation Demand Management. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2016.
An edited book
James DA. Sensors and Wearable Technologies in Sport: Technologies, Trends and Approaches for Implementation. Petrone N, editor. Singapore: Springer; 2016. VII, 49 p. 7 illus., 1 illus. in color. (SpringerBriefs in Applied Sciences and Technology).
A chapter in an edited book
Madea B, Noeker M, Franke I. Child abuse — some aspects for neurosurgeons. In: Pickard JD, Akalan N, Benes V, Rocco CD, Dolenc VV, Antunes JL, et al., editors. Advances and Technical Standards in Neurosurgery. Vienna: Springer; 2011. p. 79–135. (Advances and Technical Standards in Neurosurgery).

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 Medical Bulletin.

Blog post
O`Callaghan J. There’s A Problem With NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope [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. Major Federal Research and Development Agencies Are Implementing the Patent and Trademark Amendments of 1980. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1984 Feb. Report No.: RCED-84-26.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Ladendorff MZ. The effect of North American Electric Reliability Corporation critical infrastructure protection standards on bulk electric system reliability [Doctoral dissertation]. [Minneapolis, MN]: Capella University; 2014.

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
Saslow L. Oyster Bay Villages Create 2 Emergency Centers. New York Times. 2007 Feb 25;LI2.

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 Medical Bulletin
AbbreviationBr. Med. Bull.
ISSN (print)0007-1420
ISSN (online)1471-8391
ScopeGeneral Medicine

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