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
Schofield AJ. Physics. Two for the price of one. Science 2007;315:945–6.
A journal article with 2 authors
Behar SM, Sassetti CM. Immunology: Fixing the odds against tuberculosis. Nature 2014;511:39–40.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ammon CJ, Kanamori H, Lay T. A great earthquake doublet and seismic stress transfer cycle in the central Kuril islands. Nature 2008;451:561–5.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Okada A, Charron F, Morin S, et al. Boc is a receptor for sonic hedgehog in the guidance of commissural axons. Nature 2006;444:369–73.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chappell D. Parris’s Standard Form of Building Contract. Oxford, UK: : Blackwell Science Ltd 2008.
An edited book
Talaba D, Amditis A, editors. Product Engineering: Tools and Methods Based on Virtual Reality. Dordrecht: : Springer Netherlands 2008.
A chapter in an edited book
Li W-J, Chen Y-S. Politeness and Effectiveness of English Email Requests: Taiwanese Professors’ Perspectives. In: Chen Y-S, Rau D-HV, Rau G, eds. Email Discourse Among Chinese Using English as a Lingua Franca. Singapore: : Springer 2016. 91–111.

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
Luntz S. Go West Young Tree – Climate Change Moves Forests In Unexpected Direction. IFLScience. 2017. (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. Income Security Issue Area: Active Assignments. Washington, DC: : U.S. Government Printing Office 1995.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Fernandes JM. Physical and chemical properties of Jupiter’s north and south polar vortex revealed through mid-infrared imaging. 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
Kelly K. From Wall Street to National Mall. New York Times. 2017;:B1.

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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