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
Segal HP. Back to the future from 1888. Nature. 2001 Feb 1;409(6820):563.
A journal article with 2 authors
Losos JB, Ricklefs RE. Adaptation and diversification on islands. Nature. 2009 Feb 12;457(7231):830–6.
A journal article with 3 authors
Jia S, Noma K-I, Grewal SIS. RNAi-independent heterochromatin nucleation by the stress-activated ATF/CREB family proteins. Science. 2004 Jun 25;304(5679):1971–6.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Ligoxygakis P, Pelte N, Hoffmann JA, Reichhart J-M. Activation of Drosophila Toll during fungal infection by a blood serine protease. Science. 2002 Jul 5;297(5578):114–6.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Cortada JW. The Essential Manager. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc; 2014.
An edited book
GmbH G, editor. Cooperation Management for Practitioners: Managing Social Change with Capacity WORKS. Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden; 2015. IX, 281 p. 46 illus. in color.
A chapter in an edited book
Whatmore R. Characterisation of Pyroelectric Materials. In: Cain MG, editor. Characterisation of Ferroelectric Bulk Materials and Thin Films. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2014. p. 65–86. (Springer Series in Measurement Science and Technology).

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
Andrew E. Our Cars Are Killing Us – So How Do We Wean Ourselves Off Them? [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. FAA Financial Management: Further Actions Needed to Achieve Asset Accountability. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1999 Jul. Report No.: AIMD-99-212.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Desam JR. Effective Nodal Placement in Overlay Networks Using Complexity Theory [Doctoral dissertation]. [Long Beach, CA]: California State University, Long Beach; 2017.

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
Kovaleski SF, Alter A. Intrigue Grows Over New Book by Harper Lee. New York Times. 2015 Jul 2;A1.

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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