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
Murphy CJ. Materials science. Nanocubes and nanoboxes. Science 2002;298:2139–41.
A journal article with 2 authors
Dutton A, Lambeck K. Ice volume and sea level during the last interglacial. Science 2012;337:216–9.
A journal article with 3 authors
Marangon DG, Vallone G, Villoresi P. Random bits, true and unbiased, from atmospheric turbulence. Sci Rep 2014;4:5490.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Ding J, Tian T, Meng Q, et al. Smart multifunctional fluids for lithium ion batteries: enhanced rate performance and intrinsic mechanical protection. Sci Rep 2013;3:2485.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Loriaux DL. A Biographical History of Endocrinology. Chichester, UK: : John Wiley & Sons, Ltd 2016.
An edited book
Jarman H, Luna-Reyes LF, editors. Private Data and Public Value: Governance, Green Consumption, and Sustainable Supply Chains. 1st ed. 2016. Cham: : Springer International Publishing 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
Zhang W, Cai Y. Basis of Anisotropic Damage Mechanics. In: Cai Y, ed. Continuum Damage Mechanics and Numerical Applications. Berlin, Heidelberg: : Springer 2010. 217–355.

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. The Next Generation Of Antibiotics Might Be Right Under Our Feet. IFLScience. 2015.


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. Telecommunications and Information Technology: Federal Programs That Can Be Used to Fund Technology for Schools and Libraries. Washington, DC: : U.S. Government Printing Office 1998.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Bannister RM. To What Extent Are the Grade Configurations of Middle/High Schools and High Schools Related to Student Engagement? 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
Wilson M. Trump Returns Home After 3 Months Away To Stay for 4 Hours. New York Times. 2017;:A22.

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