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
Couzin-Frankel J. A lonely crusade. Science 2014;344:793–7.
A journal article with 2 authors
Leathers ML, Olson CR. Response to comment on ‘In monkeys making value-based decisions, LIP neurons encode cue salience and not action value’. Science 2013;340:430.
A journal article with 3 authors
Buckling A, Wills MA, Colegrave N. Adaptation limits diversification of experimental bacterial populations. Science 2003;302:2107–9.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Yasuda S, Oceguera-Yanez F, Kato T, et al. Cdc42 and mDia3 regulate microtubule attachment to kinetochores. Nature 2004;428:767–71.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Perez A. Voice Over LTE. Hoboken, NJ USA: : John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2013.
An edited book
Fioranelli M. Cardiologia dello Sport: Diagnostica e clinica cardiovascolare. Milano: : Springer 2011.
A chapter in an edited book
Ceelen WP, Morris S, Paraskeva P, et al. Surgical Trauma, Minimal Residual Disease and Locoregional Cancer Recurrence. In: Ceelen WP, ed. Peritoneal Carcinomatosis: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Boston, MA: : Springer US 2007. 51–69.

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
Andrew E. New Tyrannosaur Nicknamed ‘Pinocchio rex’ Discovered In China. IFLScience. 2014. (accessed 30 Oct 2018).


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. Key Controls NASA Employs to Guide Use and Management of Funded Space Act Agreements Are Generally Sufficient, but Some Could Be Strengthened and Clarified. Washington, DC: : U.S. Government Printing Office 2011.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Nguyen LL. Pacific Psychiatric Group: A Business Plan For a Direct Pay Outpatient Psychiatric Practice. 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
Shpigel B. Reviving World Cup Hopes Out of Thin Air. New York Times. 2017;:D6.

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

Other styles