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International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals: Sample References

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors offers guidance to authors in its publication Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (ICMJE Recommendations), which was formerly the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts. The recommended style for references is based on the National Information Standards Organization NISO Z39.29-2005 (R2010) Bibliographic References as adapted by the National Library of Medicine for its databases. Details are in Citing Medicine. (Note Appendix F which covers how citations in MEDLINE/PubMed differ from the advice in Citing Medicine.) Sample references typically used by authors of journal articles are provided below.

Articles in Journals (see also #36. Journal article on the Internet)

1. Standard journal article

List the first six authors followed by et al. (Note: NLM now lists all authors.)

Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002 Jul 25;347(4):284-7.

As an option, if a journal carries continuous pagination throughout a volume (as many medical journals do) the month and issue number may be omitted.

Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

More than six authors:

Rose ME, Huerbin MB, Melick J, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Regulation of interstitial excitatory amino acid concentrations after cortical contusion injury. Brain Res. 2002;935(1-2):40-6.

Optional addition of a database's unique identifier for the citation: [Edited 12 May 2009]

Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002 Jul 25;347(4):284-7. PubMed PMID: 12140307.

Forooghian F, Yeh S, Faia LJ, Nussenblatt RB. Uveitic foveal atrophy: clinical features and associations. Arch Ophthalmol. 2009 Feb;127(2):179-86. PubMed PMID: 19204236; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2653214.

Optional addition of a clinical trial registration number: [Added 12 May 2009]

Trachtenberg F, Maserejian NN, Soncini JA, Hayes C, Tavares M. Does fluoride in compomers prevent future caries in children? J Dent Res. 2009 Mar;88(3):276-9. PubMed PMID: 19329464. ClinicalTrials.gov registration number: NCT00065988.

2. Organization as author

Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. Hypertension, insulin, and proinsulin in participants with impaired glucose tolerance. Hypertension. 2002;40(5):679-86.

3. Both personal authors and organization as author (List all as they appear in the byline.) [Edited 12 May 2009]

Vallancien G, Emberton M, Harving N, van Moorselaar RJ; Alf-One Study Group. Sexual dysfunction in 1,274 European men suffering from lower urinary tract symptoms. J Urol. 2003;169(6):2257-61.

Margulies EH, Blanchette M; NISC Comparative Sequencing Program, Haussler D, Green ED. Identification and characterization of multi-species conserved sequences. Genome Res. 2003 Dec;13(12):2507-18.

4. No author given

21st century heart solution may have a sting in the tail. BMJ. 2002;325(7357):184.

5. Article not in English [Edited 12 May 2009]

Ellingsen AE, Wilhelmsen I. Sykdomsangst blant medisin- og jusstudenter. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2002;122(8):785-7. Norwegian.

Optional translation of article title (MEDLINE/PubMed practice):

Ellingsen AE, Wilhelmsen I. [Disease anxiety among medical students and law students]. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2002 Mar 20;122(8):785-7. Norwegian.

6. Volume with supplement

Geraud G, Spierings EL, Keywood C. Tolerability and safety of frovatriptan with short- and long-term use for treatment of migraine and in comparison with sumatriptan. Headache. 2002;42 Suppl 2:S93-9.

7. Issue with supplement

Glauser TA. Integrating clinical trial data into clinical practice. Neurology. 2002;58(12 Suppl 7):S6-12.

8. Volume with part

Abend SM, Kulish N. The psychoanalytic method from an epistemological viewpoint. Int J Psychoanal. 2002;83(Pt 2):491-5.

9. Issue with part

Ahrar K, Madoff DC, Gupta S, Wallace MJ, Price RE, Wright KC. Development of a large animal model for lung tumors. J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2002;13(9 Pt 1):923-8.

10. Issue with no volume

Banit DM, Kaufer H, Hartford JM. Intraoperative frozen section analysis in revision total joint arthroplasty. Clin Orthop. 2002;(401):230-8.

11. No volume or issue

Outreach: bringing HIV-positive individuals into care. HRSA Careaction. 2002 Jun:1-6.

12. Pagination in roman numerals

Chadwick R, Schuklenk U. The politics of ethical consensus finding. Bioethics. 2002;16(2):iii-v.

13. Type of article indicated as needed

Tor M, Turker H. International approaches to the prescription of long-term oxygen therapy [letter]. Eur Respir J. 2002;20(1):242.

Lofwall MR, Strain EC, Brooner RK, Kindbom KA, Bigelow GE. Characteristics of older methadone maintenance (MM) patients [abstract]. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2002;66 Suppl 1:S105.

14. Article containing retraction

Feifel D, Moutier CY, Perry W. Safety and tolerability of a rapidly escalating dose-loading regimen for risperidone. J Clin Psychiatry. 2002;63(2):169. Retraction of: Feifel D, Moutier CY, Perry W. J Clin Psychiatry. 2000;61(12):909-11.

Article containing a partial retraction: [Added 12 May 2009]

Starkman JS, Wolder CE, Gomelsky A, Scarpero HM, Dmochowski RR. Voiding dysfunction after removal of eroded slings. J Urol. 2006 Dec;176(6 Pt 1):2749. Partial retraction of: Starkman JS, Wolter C, Gomelsky A, Scarpero HM, Dmochowski RR. J Urol. 2006 Sep;176(3):1040-4.

15. Article retracted

Feifel D, Moutier CY, Perry W. Safety and tolerability of a rapidly escalating dose-loading regimen for risperidone. J Clin Psychiatry. 2000;61(12):909-11. Retraction in: Feifel D, Moutier CY, Perry W. J Clin Psychiatry. 2002;63(2):169.

Article partially retracted: [Added 12 May 2009]

Starkman JS, Wolter C, Gomelsky A, Scarpero HM, Dmochowski RR. Voiding dysfunction following removal of eroded synthetic mid urethral slings. J Urol. 2006 Sep;176(3):1040-4. Partial retraction in: Starkman JS, Wolder CE, Gomelsky A, Scarpero HM, Dmochowski RR. J Urol. 2006 Dec;176(6 Pt 1):2749.

16. Article republished with corrections

Mansharamani M, Chilton BS. The reproductive importance of P-type ATPases. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2002;188(1-2):22-5. Corrected and republished from: Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2001;183(1-2):123-6.

17. Article with published erratum

Malinowski JM, Bolesta S. Rosiglitazone in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a critical review. Clin Ther. 2000;22(10):1151-68; discussion 1149-50. Erratum in: Clin Ther. 2001;23(2):309.

18. Article published electronically ahead of the print version

Yu WM, Hawley TS, Hawley RG, Qu CK. Immortalization of yolk sac-derived precursor cells. Blood. 2002 Nov 15;100(10):3828-31. Epub 2002 Jul 5.

Books and Other Monographs

19. Personal author(s)

Murray PR, Rosenthal KS, Kobayashi GS, Pfaller MA. Medical microbiology. 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby; 2002.

20. Editor(s), compiler(s) as author

Gilstrap LC 3rd, Cunningham FG, VanDorsten JP, editors. Operative obstetrics. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2002.

21. Author(s) and editor(s)

Breedlove GK, Schorfheide AM. Adolescent pregnancy. 2nd ed. Wieczorek RR, editor. White Plains (NY): March of Dimes Education Services; 2001.

22. Organization(s) as author [Edited 12 May 2009]

Advanced Life Support Group. Acute medical emergencies: the practical approach. London: BMJ Books; 2001. 454 p.

American Occupational Therapy Association, Ad Hoc Committee on Occupational Therapy Manpower. Occupational therapy manpower: a plan for progress. Rockville (MD): The Association; 1985 Apr. 84 p.

National Lawyer's Guild AIDs Network (US); National Gay Rights Advocates (US). AIDS practice manual: a legal and educational guide. 2nd ed. San Francisco: The Network; 1988.

23. Chapter in a book

Meltzer PS, Kallioniemi A, Trent JM. Chromosome alterations in human solid tumors. In: Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, editors. The genetic basis of human cancer. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2002. p. 93-113.

24. Conference proceedings

Harnden P, Joffe JK, Jones WG, editors. Germ cell tumours V. Proceedings of the 5th Germ Cell Tumour Conference; 2001 Sep 13-15; Leeds, UK. New York: Springer; 2002.

25. Conference paper

Christensen S, Oppacher F. An analysis of Koza's computational effort statistic for genetic programming. In: Foster JA, Lutton E, Miller J, Ryan C, Tettamanzi AG, editors. Genetic programming. EuroGP 2002: Proceedings of the 5th European Conference on Genetic Programming; 2002 Apr 3-5; Kinsdale, Ireland. Berlin: Springer; 2002. p. 182-91.

26. Scientific or technical report

Issued by funding/sponsoring agency:

Yen GG (Oklahoma State University, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Stillwater, OK). Health monitoring on vibration signatures. Final report. Arlington (VA): Air Force Office of Scientific Research (US), Air Force Research Laboratory; 2002 Feb. Report No.: AFRLSRBLTR020123. Contract No.: F496209810049.

Issued by performing agency:

Russell ML, Goth-Goldstein R, Apte MG, Fisk WJ. Method for measuring the size distribution of airborne Rhinovirus. Berkeley (CA): Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Environmental Energy Technologies Division; 2002 Jan. Report No.: LBNL49574. Contract No.: DEAC0376SF00098. Sponsored by the Department of Energy.

27. Dissertation

Borkowski MM. Infant sleep and feeding: a telephone survey of Hispanic Americans [dissertation]. Mount Pleasant (MI): Central Michigan University; 2002.

28. Patent

Pagedas AC, inventor; Ancel Surgical R&D Inc., assignee. Flexible endoscopic grasping and cutting device and positioning tool assembly. United States patent US 20020103498. 2002 Aug 1.

Other Published Material

29. Newspaper article

Tynan T. Medical improvements lower homicide rate: study sees drop in assault rate. The Washington Post. 2002 Aug 12;Sect. A:2 (col. 4).

30. Audiovisual material

Chason KW, Sallustio S. Hospital preparedness for bioterrorism [videocassette]. Secaucus (NJ): Network for Continuing Medical Education; 2002.

31. Legal Material

Public law:
Veterans Hearing Loss Compensation Act of 2002, Pub. L. No. 107-9, 115 Stat. 11 (May 24, 2001).

Unenacted bill:
Healthy Children Learn Act, S. 1012, 107th Cong., 1st Sess. (2001).

Code of Federal Regulations:
Cardiopulmonary Bypass Intracardiac Suction Control, 21 C.F.R. Sect. 870.4430 (2002).

Hearing:
Arsenic in Drinking Water: An Update on the Science, Benefits and Cost: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Environment, Technology and Standards of the House Comm. on Science, 107th Cong., 1st Sess. (Oct. 4, 2001).

32. Map

Pratt B, Flick P, Vynne C, cartographers. Biodiversity hotspots [map]. Washington: Conservation International; 2000.

33. Dictionary and similar references

Dorland's illustrated medical dictionary. 29th ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders; 2000. Filamin; p. 675.

Unpublished Material

34. In press or Forthcoming [Edited 12 May 2009]

(Note: NLM prefers "Forthcoming" rather than "In press" because not all items will be printed.)

Tian D, Araki H, Stahl E, Bergelson J, Kreitman M. Signature of balancing selection in Arabidopsis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Forthcoming 2002.

Electronic Material

35. CD-ROM

Anderson SC, Poulsen KB. Anderson's electronic atlas of hematology [CD-ROM]. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2002.

36. Journal article on the Internet [Edited 12 May 2009]

Abood S. Quality improvement initiative in nursing homes: the ANA acts in an advisory role. Am J Nurs [Internet]. 2002 Jun [cited 2002 Aug 12];102(6):[about 1 p.]. Available from: http://www.nursingworld.org/AJN/2002/june/Wawatch.htmArticle

Optional presentation (omits bracketed phrase that qualifies the journal title abbreviation):

Abood S. Quality improvement initiative in nursing homes: the ANA acts in an advisory role. Am J Nurs. 2002 Jun [cited 2002 Aug 12];102(6):[about 1 p.]. Available from: http://www.nursingworld.org/AJN/2002/june/Wawatch.htmArticle

Article published on the Internet ahead of the print version:
See # 18.

Optional formats used by NLM in MEDLINE/PubMed:

Article with document number in place of traditional pagination:

Williams JS, Brown SM, Conlin PR. Videos in clinical medicine. Blood-pressure measurement. N Engl J Med. 2009 Jan 29;360(5):e6. PubMed PMID: 19179309.

Article with a Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Zhang M, Holman CD, Price SD, Sanfilippo FM, Preen DB, Bulsara MK. Comorbidity and repeat admission to hospital for adverse drug reactions in older adults: retrospective cohort study. BMJ. 2009 Jan 7;338:a2752. doi: 10.1136/bmj.a2752. PubMed PMID: 19129307; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2615549.

Article with unique publisher item identifier (pii) in place of traditional pagination or DOI:

Tegnell A, Dillner J, Andrae B. Introduction of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in Sweden. Euro Surveill. 2009 Feb 12;14(6). pii: 19119. PubMed PMID: 19215721.

37. Monograph on the Internet [Edited 12 May 2009]

Foley KM, Gelband H, editors. Improving palliative care for cancer [Internet]. Washington: National Academy Press; 2001 [cited 2002 Jul 9]. Available from: http://www.nap.edu/books/0309074029/html/.

38. Homepage/Web site [Edited 12 May 2009]

Cancer-Pain.org [Internet]. New York: Association of Cancer Online Resources, Inc.; c2000-01 [updated 2002 May 16; cited 2002 Jul 9]. Available from: http://www.cancer-pain.org/.

39. Part of a homepage/Web site [Edited 12 May 2009]

American Medical Association [Internet]. Chicago: The Association; c1995-2002 [updated 2001 Aug 23; cited 2002 Aug 12]. AMA Office of Group Practice Liaison; [about 2 screens]. Available from: http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/1736.html

40. Database on the Internet [Edited 12 May 2009]

Open database:
Who's Certified [Internet]. Evanston (IL): The American Board of Medical Specialists. c2000 -   [cited 2001 Mar 8]. Available from: http://www.abms.org/newsearch.asp

Closed database:
Jablonski S. Online Multiple Congenital Anomaly/Mental Retardation (MCA/MR) Syndromes [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); c1999 [updated 2001 Nov 20; cited 2002 Aug 12]. Available from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/archive//20061212/mesh/jablonski/syndrome_title.html

41. Part of a database on the Internet [Edited 12 May 2009]

MeSH Browser [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2002 -   . Meta-analysis [cited 2008 Jul 24]; [about 2 p.]. Available from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/cgi/mesh/2008/MB_cgi?mode=&index=16408&view=concept MeSH Unique ID: D017418.

42. Blogs [Added 12 May 2009]

Holt M. The Health Care Blog [Internet]. San Francisco: Matthew Holt. 2003 Oct -   [cited 2009 Feb 13]. Available from: http://www.thehealthcareblog.com/the_health_care_blog/.

KidneyNotes.com [Internet]. New York: KidneyNotes. c2006 -   [cited 2009 Feb 13]. Available from: http://www.kidneynotes.com/.

Wall Street Journal. HEALTH BLOG: WSJ's blog on health and the business of health [Internet]. Hensley S, editor. New York: Dow Jones & Company, Inc. c2007 -   [cited 2009 Feb 13]. Available from: http://blogs.wsj.com/health/.

Contribution to a blog:

Mantone J. Head trauma haunts many, researchers say. 2008 Jan 29 [cited 2009 Feb 13]. In: Wall Street Journal. HEALTH BLOG [Internet]. New York: Dow Jones & Company, Inc. c2008 -   . [about 1 screen]. Available from: http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/01/29/head-trauma-haunts-many-researchers-say/.

Campbell A. Diabetes and alcohol: do the two mix? (Part 2). 2008 Jan 28 [cited 2009 Feb 13]. In: Diabetes Self-Management Blog [Internet]. New York: Diabetes Self-Management. [2006 Aug 14] -   . 2 p. Available from: http://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/Amy_Campbell/Diabetes_and_Alcohol_Do_the_Two_Mix_Part_2

Reider J. Docnotes: Health, Technology, Family Medicine and other observations [Internet]. [place unknown]: Jacob Reider. 1999 -   . CRP again ...; 2004 Apr 2 [cited 2009 Feb 13]; [about 1 screen]. Available from: http://www.docnotes.com/2004/04/crp-again.html

International Committee of Medical Journal Editors site

Citing Medicine