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
Wajant H. The Fas signaling pathway: more than a paradigm. Science. 2002 May 31;296(5573):1635–6.
A journal article with 2 authors
Santos ME, Salzburger W. Evolution. How cichlids diversify. Science. 2012 Nov 2;338(6107):619–21.
A journal article with 3 authors
Prasanth SG, Prasanth KV, Stillman B. Orc6 involved in DNA replication, chromosome segregation, and cytokinesis. Science. 2002 Aug 9;297(5583):1026–31.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Schoonveld WA, Wildeman J, Fichou D, Bobbert PA, van Wees BJ, Klapwijk TM. Coulomb-blockade transport in single-crystal organic thin-film transistors. Nature. 2000 Apr 27;404(6781):977–80.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Williamson T. Identity and Discrimination. The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8SQ, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2013.
An edited book
Crowe AR, Cuenca A, editors. Rethinking Social Studies Teacher Education in the Twenty-First Century. 1st ed. 2016. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016. XXXI, 431 p. 36 illus., 29 illus. in color.
A chapter in an edited book
Wang Y, Vitanovski D, Georgescu B, Ionasec R, Voigt I, Datta S, et al. Automatic Detection and Quantification of Mitral Regurgitation on TTE with Application to Assist Mitral Clip Planning and Evaluation. In: Drechsler K, Erdt M, Linguraru MG, Oyarzun Laura C, Sharma K, Shekhar R, et al., editors. Clinical Image-Based Procedures From Planning to Intervention: International Workshop, CLIP 2012, Held in Conjunction with MICCAI 2012, Nice, France, October 5, 2012, Revised Selected Papers. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2013. p. 33–41. (Hutchison D, Kanade T, Kittler J, Kleinberg JM, Mattern F, Mitchell JC, et al., editors. Lecture Notes in Computer Science).

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. Diverse Species Of World’s Largest Lake Threatened By Mongolian Dam And Pipeline [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. EPA: New Motor Vehicles and New Motor Vehicle Engines Air Pollution Control--Voluntary Standards for Light-Duty Vehicles. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1997 Jun. Report No.: OGC-97-45.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Kang H. Essays on Methodologies in Contingent Valuation and the Sustainable Management of Common Pool Resources [Doctoral dissertation]. [Columbus, OH]: Ohio State University; 2006.

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
Harwood J. Why Trumpism May Not Endure. New York Times. 2017 Jan 21;A27.

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