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
van de Walle A. Melting Mechanisms. Simulations provide a rare look at real melting. Science 2014; 346:704–5.
A journal article with 2 authors
Cerdán PD, Chory J. Regulation of flowering time by light quality. Nature 2003; 423:881–5.
A journal article with 3 authors
Braunschweig H, Radacki K, Schneider A. Oxoboryl complexes: boron-oxygen triple bonds stabilized in the coordination sphere of platinum. Science 2010; 328:345–7.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Ozsoy-Keskinbora C, Boothroyd CB, Dunin-Borkowski RE, van Aken PA, Koch CT. Hybridization approach to in-line and off-axis (electron) holography for superior resolution and phase sensitivity. Sci Rep 2014; 4:7020.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Willan AR, Briggs AH. Statistical Analysis of Cost-effectiveness Data. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2006.
An edited book
Hefnawy M, editor. Advances in Food Protection: Focus on Food Safety and Defense. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2011.
A chapter in an edited book
Joseph MS, M.a A, G.a R, Raju R, V.k. J. Navigation and Position Control of Underwater Vehicle ROSUB 6000. In: Vadakkepat P, Kim J-H, Jesse N, Mamun AA, Kiong TK, Baltes J, Anderson J, Verner I, Ahlgren D, editors. Trends in Intelligent Robotics: 13th FIRA Robot World Congress, FIRA 2010, Bangalore, India, September 15-17, 2010. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2010. page 25–32.

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
Andrew E. Genes Could Be Influencing Our Weight By Shaping Which Microbes Inhabit Our Gut [Internet]. IFLScience2014 [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. Biotechnology: Processing Delays Continue for Growing Backlog of Patent Applications. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1990.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Clarke PN. Program evaluation: A study to evaluate the effectiveness of an alternative education program in a rural county of a mid-Atlantic U.S. state. 2008;

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
Kelly K. Where Mu sic: Will Be Coming From. New York Times2002; :629.

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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