How to format your references using the Health Professions Education citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Health Professions Education. 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
Charlesworth D. Evolution. Competitive centromeres. Science. 2008;322(5907):1484-1485.
A journal article with 2 authors
Treguer P, Pondaven P. Global change. Silica control of carbon dioxide. Nature. 2000;406(6794):358-359.
A journal article with 3 authors
Walker JJ, Spear JR, Pace NR. Geobiology of a microbial endolithic community in the Yellowstone geothermal environment. Nature. 2005;434(7036):1011-1014.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Malek NP, Sundberg H, McGrew S, et al. A mouse knock-in model exposes sequential proteolytic pathways that regulate p27Kip1 in G1 and S phase. Nature. 2001;413(6853):323-327.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Billingsley J. Essentials of Mechatronics. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2006.
An edited book
Mamatas L, Matta I, Papadimitriou P, Koucheryavy Y, eds. Wired/Wireless Internet Communications: 14th IFIP WG 6.2 International Conference, WWIC 2016, Thessaloniki, Greece, May 25-27, 2016, Proceedings. Vol 9674. Springer International Publishing; 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
O’Connor MF, Roantree M. SCOOTER: A Compact and Scalable Dynamic Labeling Scheme for XML Updates. In: Liddle SW, Schewe KD, Tjoa AM, Zhou X, eds. Database and Expert Systems Applications: 23rd International Conference, DEXA 2012, Vienna, Austria, September 3-6, 2012. Proceedings, Part I. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer; 2012:26-40.

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 Health Professions Education.

Blog post
Andrew E. Discovery Of “Good Fat” Molecules Could Lead To New Diabetes Treatment. IFLScience.


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. Quality Assurance Independence. U.S. Government Printing Office; 1994.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Denz TA. Performance Evaluation of a Magnetically Enhanced Micro-Cathode Vacuum Arc Thruster. Doctoral dissertation. George Washington University; 2012.

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
Sorkin AR, de la MERCED MJ, Thomas K. As Amazon Looms, CVS Eyes Aetna For Big Buy. New York Times. October 27, 2017:B1.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in superscript:

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 titleHealth Professions Education
AbbreviationHealth Prof. Educ.
ISSN (print)2452-3011
ScopeGeneral Medicine
General Nursing

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