How to format your references using the Rare Diseases citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Rare Diseases. 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
McKnight SL. On getting there from here. Science 2010; 330:1338–9.
A journal article with 2 authors
Chin L, Gray JW. Translating insights from the cancer genome into clinical practice. Nature 2008; 452:553–63.
A journal article with 3 authors
Conroy C, van Dokkum PG, Choi J. Ubiquitous time variability of integrated stellar populations. Nature 2015; 527:488–91.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Snow DR, Gahegan M, Giles CL, Hirth KG, Milner GR, Mitra P, Wang JZ. Information science. Cybertools and archaeology. Science 2006; 311:958–9.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kim DM. Introductory Quantum Mechanics for Applied Nanotechnology. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA; 2015.
An edited book
Liu J. Autonomy Oriented Computing: From Problem Solving to Complex Systems Modeling. Boston, MA: Springer US; 2005.
A chapter in an edited book
Amdam SH. The Dangers of having Fun – Doing Production Work in School. In: Erstad O, Kumpulainen K, Mäkitalo Å, Schrøder KC, Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt P, Jóhannsdóttir T, editors. Learning across Contexts in the Knowledge Society. Rotterdam: SensePublishers; 2016. page 85–108.

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 Rare Diseases.

Blog post
Fang J. Woman Receives 3D Printed Titanium Skull Implant [Internet]. IFLScience2015 [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. College Tuition and Fees: Changes in the 1995-96 to 1999-2000 Period Compared With Median Household Income. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2000.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Harvey J. Predicting Cost-Inflicting Mate Retention Tactic Use in Women with Borderline Personality Features: Examining the Roles of Maladaptive Schemas and Reactive Aggression. 2017;

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
Koblin J. Hall Quits ‘Today’ and NBC With Kelly Waiting Offstage. New York Times2017; :B4.

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 titleRare Diseases
AbbreviationRare Dis.
ISSN (online)2167-5511
ScopeGeneral Medicine

Other styles