How to format your references using the Canadian Family Physician citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Canadian Family Physician. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Cannatella DC. Comment on “Habitat split and the global decline of amphibians.” Science. 2008 May 16;320(5878):874; author reply 874.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ben-Jacob E, Levine H. The artistry of nature. Nature. 2001 Feb 22;409(6823):985–6.
A journal article with 3 authors
Rogers RR, Krause DW, Curry Rogers K. Cannibalism in the Madagascan dinosaur Majungatholus atopus. Nature. 2003 Apr 3;422(6931):515–8.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Gong Y, Cao P, Yu H-J, Jiang T. Crystal structure of the neurotrophin-3 and p75NTR symmetrical complex. Nature. 2008 Aug 7;454(7205):789–93.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Gauthier M, Andreff N, Dombre E. Intracorporeal Robotics. Hoboken, USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2014.
An edited book
Amerio L, Segre B, editors. Sistemi dinamici e teoremi ergodici. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2011. 172 pagg. (C.I.M.E. Summer Schools; vol. 21).
A chapter in an edited book
Oughton DH. Societal and Ethical Aspects of Radiation Risk Perception. In: Shigemura J, Chhem RK, editors. Mental Health and Social Issues Following a Nuclear Accident: The Case of Fukushima. Tokyo: Springer Japan; 2016. p. 45–54.

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 Canadian Family Physician.

Blog post
Fang J. Sharks Won’t Hunt As Well in Acidifying Oceans [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2014 [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. Telecommunications: Information on Participation in the E-rate Program (GAO-09-254SP, March 2009), an e-supplement to GAO-09-253. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2009 Apr. Report No.: GAO-09-254SP.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Kingston SE. Genome-wide analysis of divergence and introgression in towhee hybrid zones [Doctoral dissertation]. [College Park, MD]: University of Maryland, College Park; 2012.

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. Elections Could Shift Power in Nassau. New York Times. 2007 Nov 4;14LI2.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in parentheses:

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 titleCanadian Family Physician
ISSN (print)0008-350X
ISSN (online)1715-5258

Other styles