How to format your references using the Population Health Metrics citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Population Health Metrics. 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
1. Harnett MM. Immunology. B cells spread and gather. Science. 2006;312:709–10.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Gilboa L, Lehmann R. Soma-germline interactions coordinate homeostasis and growth in the Drosophila gonad. Nature. 2006;443:97–100.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Wojtak R, Hansen SH, Hjorth J. Gravitational redshift of galaxies in clusters as predicted by general relativity. Nature. 2011;477:567–9.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Fairén AG, Davila AF, Gago-Duport L, Amils R, McKay CP. Stability against freezing of aqueous solutions on early Mars. Nature. 2009;459:401–4.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Rezzoug A, El-Hadi Zaïm M. Non-conventional Electrical Machines. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc; 2011.
An edited book
1. Barak M, Hacker M, editors. Fostering Human Development Through Engineering and Technology Education. Rotterdam: SensePublishers; 2011.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Takikawa Y, Kuroda H, Sawara K. The Brain and Liver. In: Ohira H, editor. The Liver in Systemic Diseases. Tokyo: Springer Japan; 2016. p. 51–75.

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 Population Health Metrics.

Blog post
1. Evans K. 8 Science-Backed Ways To Appear More Attractive. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2016.


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
1. Government Accountability Office. Commercial Space: Industry Developments and FAA Challenges. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2016 Jun. Report No.: GAO-16-765T.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Pham MM-X. Flymed Pharmacy, LLC, Home Delivery Services a Business Plan [Doctoral dissertation]. [Long Beach, CA]: California State University, Long Beach; 2017.

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
1. Crow K. Peace Breaks Out in Conflict Over Nobel Statue. New York Times. 2001 Jun 17;146.

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 titlePopulation Health Metrics
AbbreviationPopul. Health Metr.
ISSN (online)1478-7954
Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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