How to format your references using the Student BMJ citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Student BMJ. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Rotblat J. ESSAYS ON SCIENCE AND SOCIETY: Taking Responsibility. Science 2000;289:729.
A journal article with 2 authors
Belkaid Y, Segre JA. Dialogue between skin microbiota and immunity. Science 2014;346:954–9.
A journal article with 3 authors
de Forges BR, Koslow JA, Poore GC. Diversity and endemism of the benthic seamount fauna in the southwest Pacific. Nature 2000;405:944–7.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Dymond JS, Richardson SM, Coombes CE, et al. Synthetic chromosome arms function in yeast and generate phenotypic diversity by design. Nature 2011;477:471–6.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Wind YJ, Hays CF. Beyond Advertising. Hoboken, NJ: : John Wiley & Sons, Inc 2015.
An edited book
Bernhaupt R, editor. Evaluating User Experience in Games: Concepts and Methods. London: : Springer 2010.
A chapter in an edited book
Liu D, Nilsson A, Tell E. PROGRAMMABLE BASEBAND PROCESSORS. In: Ismail M, González DRDEL, eds. Radio Design in Nanometer Technologies. Dordrecht: : Springer Netherlands 2006. 83–100.

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 Student BMJ.

Blog post
Andrew E. Every World In A Grain Of Sand: John Nash’s Astonishing Geometry. IFLScience. 2015. (accessed 30 Oct 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. Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellites: Information on Program Cost and Schedule Changes. Washington, DC: : U.S. Government Printing Office 2004.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Rozas KN. Searching for Reel Consequences: A Content Analysis of Risk Behaviors, Gender and Character Consequences in PG-13 Movie Trailers. 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
Hollander S. Bryan Twins End Run of Opening-Round Losses. New York Times. 2000;:D4.

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 titleStudent BMJ
ISSN (print)0966-6494

Other styles