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
Wunsch C. Oceanography. What is the thermohaline circulation? Science. 2002;298:1179–81.
A journal article with 2 authors
Jung J, Bonini N. CREB-binding protein modulates repeat instability in a Drosophila model for polyQ disease. Science. 2007;315:1857–9.
A journal article with 3 authors
Chisari FV, Mason WS, Seeger C. Virology. Comment on ‘Specific and nonhepatotoxic degradation of nuclear hepatitis B virus cccDNA’. Science. 2014;344:1237.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Valladas H, Clottes J, Geneste JM, et al. Palaeolithic paintings. Evolution of prehistoric cave art. Nature. 2001;413:479.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Moritz FG. Electromechanical Motion Systems. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd 2013.
An edited book
Duque G, Kiel DP, editors. Osteoporosis in Older Persons. London: Springer 2009.
A chapter in an edited book
Sourtzinos P, Makris D, Remagnino P. Highly Accurate Estimation of Pedestrian Speed Profiles from Video Sequences. In: Remagnino P, Monekosso DN, Jain LC, eds. Innovations in Defence Support Systems – 3: Intelligent Paradigms in Security. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer 2011:71–81.

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
Davis J. Wild Boar In The Czech Republic Are Still Radioactive 30 Years After Chernobyl. IFLScience. 2017.


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. Exchange Programs: Observations on International Educational, Cultural, and Training Exchange Programs. 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
Moran JA. Investigating the circumstellar environments of young stars with the PROMPT polarimeter. 2009.

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
Chen DW. Remembering a SEALs Parachutist Who ‘Lived Life to the Fullest’. New York Times. 2017;A19.

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