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
Kleiner K. Civil aviation faces green challenge. Nature 2007;448:120–1.
A journal article with 2 authors
Willis KJ, Whittaker RJ. Ecology. Species diversity--scale matters. Science 2002;295:1245–8.
A journal article with 3 authors
Lind PA, Berg OG, Andersson DI. Mutational robustness of ribosomal protein genes. Science 2010;330:825–7.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Hurford TA, Helfenstein P, Hoppa GV, et al. Eruptions arising from tidally controlled periodic openings of rifts on Enceladus. Nature 2007;447:292–4.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Gage LJ. Hand-Rearing Wild and Domestic Mammals. Oxford, UK: : Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2008.
An edited book
White WB, editor. Blood Pressure Monitoring in Cardiovascular Medicine and Therapeutics. Second Edition. Totowa, NJ: : Humana Press 2007.
A chapter in an edited book
Kainen PC, Kůrková V, Sanguineti M. Approximating Multivariable Functions by Feedforward Neural Nets. In: Bianchini M, Maggini M, Jain LC, eds. Handbook on Neural Information Processing. Berlin, Heidelberg: : Springer 2013. 143–81.

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
Andrew E. NASA Successfully Tests New Flexible Airplane Wings. IFLScience. 2015. (accessed 30 Oct 2018).


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. Rail Safety: Preliminary Observations on Federal Rail Safety Oversight and Positive Train Control Implementation. Washington, DC: : U.S. Government Printing Office 2013.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Garcia DM. Cutting a thorn: The cleansing function of female genital cutting. 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
Brantley B. Poetry in Missed Connections. New York Times. 2017;:C1.

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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