How to format your references using the Postgraduate Medical Journal citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Postgraduate Medical Journal. 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
Palter J. Marine science: Storms bring ocean nutrients to light. Nature 2015;525:460–1.
A journal article with 2 authors
Broccoli AJ, Klein SA. Comment on ‘Observational and model evidence for positive low-level cloud feedback’. Science 2010;329:277; author reply 277.
A journal article with 3 authors
Mulch A, Graham SA, Chamberlain CP. Hydrogen isotopes in Eocene river gravels and paleoelevation of the Sierra Nevada. Science 2006;313:87–9.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Mizutani K-I, Yoon K, Dang L, et al. Differential Notch signalling distinguishes neural stem cells from intermediate progenitors. Nature 2007;449:351–5.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Thornicroft G, Semrau M, Alem A, et al. Community Mental Health. Chichester, UK: : John Wiley & Sons, Ltd 2011.
An edited book
Hölldobler S, Lutz C, Wansing H, editors. Logics in Artificial Intelligence: 11th European Conference, JELIA 2008, Dresden, Germany, September 28-October 1, 2008. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: : Springer 2008.
A chapter in an edited book
Sánchez J, Guinaldo M, Dormido S. Event-Triggered Anticipative Control over Packet-Based Networks. In: Guinaldo Losada M, Rodríguez Rubio F, Dormido Bencomo S, eds. Asynchronous Control for Networked Systems. Cham: : Springer International Publishing 2015. 79–110.

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 Postgraduate Medical Journal.

Blog post
Andrews R. No, Cat Poop Parasites Don’t Give You Mental Illnesses. IFLScience. 2017.


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. Social Security: State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies’ Reimbursement for the Disabled. Washington, DC: : U.S. Government Printing Office 1987.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Picchini AM. Neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus: Modulation of stem cell fate by experience. 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
Hubbard B, Searcey D, Casey N. As Exxon Head, Tillerson Put Company’s Needs Over U.S. Interests. New York Times. 2016;:A1.

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 titlePostgraduate Medical Journal
AbbreviationPostgrad. Med. J.
ISSN (print)0032-5473
ISSN (online)1469-0756
ScopeGeneral Medicine

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