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
Seitz F. Decline of the generalist. Nature. 2000 Feb 3;403(6769):483.
A journal article with 2 authors
Rothenberg KH, Terry SF. Human genetics. Before it’s too late--addressing fear of genetic information. Science. 2002 Jul 12;297(5579):196–7.
A journal article with 3 authors
MacAlister CA, Ohashi-Ito K, Bergmann DC. Transcription factor control of asymmetric cell divisions that establish the stomatal lineage. Nature. 2007 Feb 1;445(7127):537–40.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Patil V, Capone A, Strauf S, Yang EH. Improved photoresponse with enhanced photoelectric contribution in fully suspended graphene photodetectors. Sci Rep. 2013 Sep 27;3:2791.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Zanotto ED. Crystals in Glass. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2013.
An edited book
Houlsby GT. Principles of Hyperplasticity: An Approach to Plasticity Theory Based on Thermodynamic Principles. Puzrin AM, editor. London: Springer; 2007. XXIV, 351 p. 68 illus.
A chapter in an edited book
Salati E, Dourojeanni M, Mundim A, Sampaio G, Lovejoy T. The Brazilian Amazon. In: Hilty JA, Chester CC, Cross MS, editors. Climate and Conservation: Landscape and Seascape Science, Planning, and Action. Washington, DC: Island Press/Center for Resource Economics; 2012. p. 45–55.

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
Andrew E. Scientists Reveal How Microbe “Eats” Electricity [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. Results Act: Observations on NASA’s May 1997 Draft Strategic Plan. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1997 Jul. Report No.: NSIAD-97-205R.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Goldner VR. Arizona nurses’ attitudes toward legislated minimum staffing ratios: Impact on the workplace [Doctoral dissertation]. [Phoenix, AZ]: University of Phoenix; 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
Seelye KQ, Blinder A, Bidgood J. Counterprotesters Surge Into Boston, Overshadowing a Planned Rally. New York Times. 2017 Aug 19;A13.

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