How to format your references using the Maternal and Child Health Journal citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Maternal and Child Health Journal (Matern Child Health J). 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
Nordhaus, W. (2007). Economics. Critical assumptions in the Stern Review on climate change. Science (New York, N.Y.), 317(5835), 201–202.
A journal article with 2 authors
Walter, P., & Ron, D. (2011). The unfolded protein response: from stress pathway to homeostatic regulation. Science (New York, N.Y.), 334(6059), 1081–1086.
A journal article with 3 authors
Lee, A., Dennis, C., & Campbell, P. (2007). Nature’s guide for mentors. Nature, 447(7146), 791–797.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Benz, A., Krall, M., Schwarz, S., Dietze, D., Detz, H., Andrews, A. M., … Unterrainer, K. (2014). Resonant metamaterial detectors based on THz quantum-cascade structures. Scientific reports, 4, 4269.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Levin, M. A., & Kalal, T. T. (2005). Improving Product Reliability. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Sourisseau, J.-M. (Ed.). (2015). Family Farming and the Worlds to Come. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Zeng, X., Chauhan, C., & Hou, S. X. (2013). Stem Cells in the Drosophila Digestive System. In G. Hime & H. Abud (Eds.), Transcriptional and Translational Regulation of Stem Cells (pp. 63–78). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

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 Maternal and Child Health Journal.

Blog post
Hamilton, K. (2015, September 7). THC In Marijuana Delays Organ Transplant Rejection In Mice. IFLScience. IFLScience. Retrieved October 30, 2018, 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. (2003). Transportation Security: Federal Action Needed to Help Address Security Challenges (No. GAO-03-843). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Briseno, A. R. (2015). Improving school performance through family involvement: A grant project (Doctoral dissertation). California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
Johnson, G. (2016, January 26). In Every Breath, a Cancer Risk? New York Times, p. D2.

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 titleMaternal and Child Health Journal
AbbreviationMatern. Child Health J.
ISSN (print)1092-7875
ISSN (online)1573-6628
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Other styles