How to format your references using the Evidence-Based Medicine citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Evidence-Based Medicine. 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
Schoeninger MJ. Palaeoanthropology: the ancestral dinner table. Nature 2012;487:42–3.
A journal article with 2 authors
Martin SG, Berthelot-Grosjean M. Polar gradients of the DYRK-family kinase Pom1 couple cell length with the cell cycle. Nature 2009;459:852–6.
A journal article with 3 authors
Zeng C, Liu X, Wang G. Electrically tunable graphene plasmonic quasicrystal metasurfaces for transformation optics. Sci Rep 2014;4:5763.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Dickinson MG, Orme CDL, Suttle KB, et al. Separating sensitivity from exposure in assessing extinction risk from climate change. Sci Rep 2014;4:6898.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Caferro W. Contesting the Renaissance. Oxford, UK: : Wiley-Blackwell 2010.
An edited book
Pitha PM, editor. Interferon: The 50th Anniversary. Berlin, Heidelberg: : Springer 2007.
A chapter in an edited book
Annetta LA, Lamb R, Stone M. Assessing Serious Educational Games. In: Annetta L, Bronack SC, eds. Serious Educational Game Assessment: Practical Methods and Models for Educational Games, Simulations and Virtual Worlds. Rotterdam: : SensePublishers 2011. 75–93.

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 Evidence-Based Medicine.

Blog post
Davis J. Vaccine Breakthrough Of 1962 Has Saved 10 Million Lives Globally. IFLScience. 2017.


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. Airport Infrastructure: Unresolved Issues Make It Difficult to Determine the Cost to Serve New Large Aircraft. Washington, DC: : U.S. Government Printing Office 2002.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Patel VM. Sparse and redundant representations for inverse problems and recognition. 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
Crow K. Coffee, Two Eggs Over Easy And a Sketch of a Landmark. New York Times. 2001;:146.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

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 titleEvidence-Based Medicine
AbbreviationEvid. Based. Med.
ISSN (print)1356-5524
ISSN (online)1473-6810
ScopeGeneral Medicine

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