How to format your references using the Public Health citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Public Health. 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
Zapperi S. Physics. Looking at how things slip. Science. 2010 Oct 8;330(6001):184–5.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ford R, Spafford EH. Computer science. Happy birthday, dear viruses. Science. 2007 Jul 13;317(5835):210–1.
A journal article with 3 authors
Little AF, van Oppen MJH, Willis BL. Flexibility in algal endosymbioses shapes growth in reef corals. Science. 2004 Jun 4;304(5676):1492–4.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Refojo D, Schweizer M, Kuehne C, Ehrenberg S, Thoeringer C, Vogl AM, et al. Glutamatergic and dopaminergic neurons mediate anxiogenic and anxiolytic effects of CRHR1. Science. 2011 Sep 30;333(6051):1903–7.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bartlett K. The Experience of History. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2016.
An edited book
Cambria E. Sentic Computing: A Common-Sense-Based Framework for Concept-Level Sentiment Analysis. 1st ed. 2015. Hussain A, editor. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2015. XXII, 176 p. 54 illus., 40 illus. in color. (Socio-Affective Computing; vol. 1).
A chapter in an edited book
Mandal P, Verma N, Azad GK, Singh V, Golla U, Tomar RS. Epigenetics: Role of Histone Proteases in Cellular Functions and Diseases. In: Maulik N, Karagiannis T, editors. Molecular mechanisms and physiology of disease: Implications for Epigenetics and Health. New York, NY: Springer; 2014. p. 113–26.

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 Public Health.

Blog post
Davis J. Why You Should Stop Hugging Your Dog If You Really Love Them [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2016 [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
Government Accountability Office. Technology Assessment: Water in the Energy Sector: Reducing Freshwater Use in Hydraulic Fracturing and Thermoelectric Power Plant Cooling. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2015 Aug. Report No.: GAO-15-545.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Sevier J. A preventative and treatment substance use program for GLBT adolescents in Long Beach: A grant proposal [Doctoral dissertation]. [Long Beach, CA]: California State University, Long Beach; 2013.

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
Gorman J. Kangaroo Rats Outjump Rattlesnakes. New York Times. 2017 Oct 12;D3.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in superscript:

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 titlePublic Health
AbbreviationPublic Health
ISSN (print)0033-3506
ISSN (online)1476-5616
ScopeGeneral Medicine
Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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