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
Schlamminger S. Fundamental constants: a cool way to measure big G. Nature. 2014;510:478–80.
A journal article with 2 authors
Gui C, Wang J. Silicon-organic hybrid slot waveguide based three-input multicasted optical hexadecimal addition/subtraction. Sci Rep. 2014;4:7491.
A journal article with 3 authors
Achlioptas D, Naor A, Peres Y. Rigorous location of phase transitions in hard optimization problems. Nature. 2005;435:759–64.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Liu J, Daily GC, Ehrlich PR, et al. Effects of household dynamics on resource consumption and biodiversity. Nature. 2003;421:530–3.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Zheng F, Kaiser T. Digital Signal Processing for RFID. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd 2016.
An edited book
Hanna G, de Villiers M, editors. Proof and Proving in Mathematics Education: The 19th ICMI Study. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands 2012.
A chapter in an edited book
Fuller A, Unwin L. Applying an Apprenticeship Approach to HRD: Why the Concepts of Occupation, Identity and the Organisation of Workplace Learning Still Matter. In: Shipton H, Budhwar P, Sparrow P, et al., eds. Human Resource Management, Innovation and Performance. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK 2016:66–79.

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
Evans K. 13 Foods That Aren’t What You think They Are. IFLScience. 2016. (accessed 30 October 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. FCC: The Local Multipoint Distribution Service. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office 1997.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Chan JA. An in-home visitation program for Meals-on-Wheels recipients: A grant proposal. 2014.

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
Tackett M. As Well-Educated Leave, Iowa’s Shift to G.O.P. Is a Matter of Degree. New York Times. 2017;A12.

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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