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. Melcher D. Persistence of visual memory for scenes. Nature. 2001;412:401.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Thorogood R, Davies NB. Cuckoos combat socially transmitted defenses of reed warbler hosts with a plumage polymorphism. Science. 2012;337:578–80.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Legramandi MA, Schepens B, Cavagna GA. Running humans attain optimal elastic bounce in their teens. Sci Rep. 2013;3:1310.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Hoffman JE, Hudson EW, Lang KM, Madhavan V, Eisaki H, Uchida S, et al. A four unit cell periodic pattern of quasi-particle states surrounding vortex cores in Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+delta. Science. 2002;295:466–9.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Vinod HD, Reagle DP. Preparing for the Worst: Incorporating Downside Risk in Stock Market Investments. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2004.
An edited book
1. Laconte J. Micromachined Thin-Film Sensors for SOI-CMOS Co-Integration. Flandre D, Raskin J-P, editors. Boston, MA: Springer US; 2006.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Senkerik R, Pluhacek M, Zelinka I, Oplatkova ZK, Vala R, Jasek R. Performance of Chaos Driven Differential Evolution on Shifted Benchmark Functions Set. In: Herrero Á, Baruque B, Klett F, Abraham A, Snášel V, Carvalho ACPLF de, et al., editors. International Joint Conference SOCO’13-CISIS’13-ICEUTE’13: Salamanca, Spain, September 11th-13th, 2013 Proceedings. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2014. p. 41–50.

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. Andrew D. Pollution In The Arctic Is So Bad, Polar Bear Cubs Are Feeding On Contaminated Mothers’ Milk [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2017 [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
1. Government Accountability Office. Investing in the Very Young. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1988 Jan. Report No.: 137163.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Holland JH. Investigating the relationship between the policy implementation process and the utilization of information technology in a constitutional republic: The case of I-269 NEPA process [Doctoral dissertation]. [Mississippi State, MS]: Mississippi State University; 2010.

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. Williams J. From a Young Life of Crime to Comedy. New York Times. 2017 Aug 20;C2.

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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