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
Julian B. Plate tectonics. Seismological detection of slab metamorphism. Science 2002; 296:1625–6.
A journal article with 2 authors
Tam WY, Ma CHE. Bipolar/rod-shaped microglia are proliferating microglia with distinct M1/M2 phenotypes. Sci Rep 2014; 4:7279.
A journal article with 3 authors
Mitchell MW, Lundeen JS, Steinberg AM. Super-resolving phase measurements with a multiphoton entangled state. Nature 2004; 429:161–4.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Lloyd-Fox S, Papademetriou M, Darboe MK, Everdell NL, Wegmuller R, Prentice AM, Moore SE, Elwell CE. Functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to assess cognitive function in infants in rural Africa. Sci Rep 2014; 4:4740.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Maksoud MA. Quick Reference to Dental Implant Surgery. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2017.
An edited book
Tan DS, Nijholt A, editors. Brain-Computer Interfaces: Applying our Minds to Human-Computer Interaction. London: Springer; 2010.
A chapter in an edited book
Liu J, Johnston MR. Laboratory Models of Lung Cancer. In: Syrigos KN, Nutting CM, Roussos C, editors. Tumors of the Chest: Biology, Diagnosis and Management. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2006. page 43–56.

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
Hale T. AI Can Predict How Much Longer You Have Left To Live. IFLScience2017;


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. State of the Airline Industry: Strategies for Addressing Financial and Competition Problems. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1993.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Tasoff AJ. Quantifying the Genetic Capacity of California Grunion (Leuresthes tenuis) to Adapt to Ocean Acidification. 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
Poniewozik J. A Family Revolving Around a Disability. New York Times2016; :C1.

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

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