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
Check E. Biologists wary that cash up front could mean cuts later. Nature. 2003 Feb 13;421(6924):677.
A journal article with 2 authors
Dudin YO, Kuzmich A. Strongly interacting Rydberg excitations of a cold atomic gas. Science. 2012 May 18;336(6083):887–9.
A journal article with 3 authors
Julsgaard B, Kozhekin A, Polzik ES. Experimental long-lived entanglement of two macroscopic objects. Nature. 2001 Sep 27;413(6854):400–3.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Bo S, Siegert MJ, Mudd SM, Sugden D, Fujita S, Xiangbin C, Yunyun J, Xueyuan T, Yuansheng L. The Gamburtsev mountains and the origin and early evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Nature. 2009 Jun 4;459(7247):690–3.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kriegel J. Unfairly Labeled. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc; 2016.
An edited book
Ferrari C, editor. Dinamica dei gas rarefatti. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2011. IV, 425 pagg. 54 figg. (C.I.M.E. Summer Schools; vol. 33).
A chapter in an edited book
Alvarez JA, Tangpricha V. Vitamin D and Bone Health. In: Yen EH, Leonard AR, editors. Nutrition in Cystic Fibrosis: A Guide for Clinicians. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2015. p. 49–65.

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
Andrews R. King Penguins Adversely Affected By Climate Extremes. 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. K-12 Education: Characteristics of the Investing in Innovation Fund. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2014 Feb. Report No.: GAO-14-211R.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Hernandez L. A culturally sensitive mentorship program for foster youth: A grant proposal [Doctoral dissertation]. [Long Beach, CA]: California State University, Long Beach; 2009.

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
Kanter J. With Dutch Vote, E.U. Free-Trade Deal With Ukraine Nears Final Approval. New York Times. 2017 May 30;A11.

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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