How to format your references using the The Pan African Medical Journal citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for The Pan African Medical Journal (PAMJ). 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
Rausher MD. Comment on ‘Evolutionary paths underlying flower color variation in Antirrhinum’. Science. 2007;315(5811):461; author reply 461.
A journal article with 2 authors
Henney A, Superti-Furga G. A network solution. Nature. 2008;455(7214):730–731.
A journal article with 3 authors
Tao C, Cullen WG, Williams ED. Visualizing the electron scattering force in nanostructures. Science. 2010;328(5979):736–740.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Zhang Y, Pan Q, Chai G, Liang M, Dong G, Zhang Q, et al. Synthesis and luminescence mechanism of multicolor-emitting g-C3N4 nanopowders by low temperature thermal condensation of melamine. Sci Rep. 2013;3:1943.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ndjountche T. Digital Electronics 3. 2016. Hoboken, NJ. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Itterheim S. Learn cocos2D 2. 2012. Berkeley, CA. Apress.
A chapter in an edited book
Stival C, Puga Molina L del C, Paudel B, Buffone MG, Visconti PE, Krapf D. Sperm Capacitation and Acrosome Reaction in Mammalian Sperm. In: Buffone MG, editor. Sperm Acrosome Biogenesis and Function During Fertilization. 2016. Cham. Springer International Publishing: 93–106.

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 The Pan African Medical Journal.

Blog post
Taub B. Snails Can Make Decisions Using Just Two Brain Cells. IFLScience. 2016. Accessed 30 October 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. Airport Improvement Program: Reliever Airport Set-Aside Funds Could Be Redirected. 1994. Washington, DC. U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Buquiran ES. Factors affecting members’ retention in Toastmasters International. 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
Mulcahy S. A College That Paid Bills by Selling Its Art. New York Times. 2016;C1.

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 titleThe Pan African Medical Journal
AbbreviationPan Afr. Med. J.
ISSN (online)1937-8688
ScopeGeneral Medicine

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