How to format your references using the Journal of the Medical Library Association citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Journal of the Medical Library Association. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Glass L. Obituary: Arthur T. Winfree (1942-2002). Nature. 2003 Jan 2;421(6918):34.
A journal article with 2 authors
Rice WR, Friberg U. Genetics. Functionally degenerate--Y not so? Science. 2008 Jan 4;319(5859):42–3.
A journal article with 3 authors
Juanes-Marcos JC, Althorpe SC, Wrede E. Theoretical study of geometric phase effects in the hydrogen-exchange reaction. Science. 2005 Aug 19;309(5738):1227–30.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Reissmann S, Hochleitner E, Wang H, Paschos A, Lottspeich F, Glass RS, Böck A. Taming of a poison: biosynthesis of the NiFe-hydrogenase cyanide ligands. Science. 2003 Feb 14;299(5609):1067–70.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bain BJ, Wild BJ, Stephens AD, Phelan LA. Variant Haemoglobins. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell; 2010.
An edited book
Wen K, Zhu E, editors. Report on Development of Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei Province (2013): Measurement of Carrying Capacity and Countermeasures. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2015. VIII, 289 p. 59 illus., 23 illus. in color. (Current Chinese Economic Report Series).
A chapter in an edited book
Shen B, Stephansson O, Rinne M. Iteration Process in FRACOD. In: Stephansson O, Rinne M, editors. Modelling Rock Fracturing Processes: A Fracture Mechanics Approach Using FRACOD. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2014. p. 33–7.

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 Journal of the Medical Library Association.

Blog post
Luntz S. Ebola Survivors Should Use Condoms Indefinitely. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2015.


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. School Meal Programs: Revenue and Expense Information from Selected States. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2003 May. Report No.: GAO-03-569.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Cetin B. Leaching of metals from high carbon fly ash mixed soils [Doctoral dissertation]. [College Park, MD]: University of Maryland, College Park; 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
Greenhouse L. Justices to Hear Case on Use of Union Fees. New York Times. 2006 Sep 27;A21.

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 titleJournal of the Medical Library Association
AbbreviationJ. Med. Libr. Assoc.
ISSN (print)1536-5050
ISSN (online)1558-9439
ScopeHealth Informatics
Library and Information Sciences

Other styles