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
Buckling A. Epidemiology. Keep it local. Science. 2007 Mar 2;315(5816):1227–8.
A journal article with 2 authors
Scully MO, Svidzinsky AA. Physics. The Lamb shift--yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Science. 2010 Jun 4;328(5983):1239–41.
A journal article with 3 authors
Savukov IM, Lee S-K, Romalis MV. Optical detection of liquid-state NMR. Nature. 2006 Aug 31;442(7106):1021–4.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Schmidt PO, Rosenband T, Langer C, Itano WM, Bergquist JC, Wineland DJ. Spectroscopy using quantum logic. Science. 2005 Jul 29;309(5735):749–52.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Parashar RK. Reaction Mechanisms in Organic Synthesis. West Sussex, United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2008.
An edited book
R. Sudhakaran P, editor. Perspectives in Cancer Prevention-Translational Cancer Research. New Delhi: Springer India; 2014. XII, 168 p. 51 illus., 22 illus. in color.
A chapter in an edited book
Domżał J, Wójcik R, Jajszczyk A. The Impact of Congestion Control Mechanisms on Network Performance after Failure in Flow-Aware Networks. In: Valadas R, Salvador P, editors. Traffic Management and Traffic Engineering for the Future Internet: First Euro-NF Workshop, FITraMEn 2008, Porto, Portugal, December 11-12, Revised Selected Papers. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2009. p. 53–67. (Lecture Notes in Computer Science).

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
Andrew E. Scientist At Work: Mathematician Collects Ocean And Glacier Data In The Field To Make Climate Models In The Lab [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2015 [cited 2018 Oct 30]. Available from:


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. Highway Infrastructure: Stakeholders’ Views on Time to Conduct Environmental Reviews of Highway Projects. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2003 May. Report No.: GAO-03-534.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Sharp K. The Epistolary Form: A Familiar Fiction [Doctoral dissertation]. [Washington, DC]: George Washington University; 2016.

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
Saslow L. Rebate Checks to Lose Their Punch This Year. New York Times. 2008 Oct 5;LI6.

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

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