Samples of Formatted References for Authors of Journal Articles
The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) 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, including fuller citations and explanations, are in Citing Medicine. (Note Appendix F which covers how citations in MEDLINE/PubMed differ from the advice in Citing Medicine.) For datasets (Item 43 below) and software on the Internet (Item 44 below), simplified formats are also shown.
- Articles in Journals
- Books and Other Monographs
- Other Published Material
- Unpublished Material
- Electronic Material
1. Standard journal article
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002 Jul 25;347(4):284-7.
List the first six authors, followed by et al. If there are more than six authors, list the first six authors, followed by et al. (Note: NLM now lists all 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: If a journal carries continuous pagination throughout a volume (as many medical journals do), omit the month and issue number.
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
Optional: Addition of a database's unique identifiers, such as the PubMed PMID, for the citation:
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:
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.)
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.
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
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:
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
Borkowski MM. Infant sleep and feeding: a telephone survey of Hispanic Americans [dissertation]. Mount Pleasant (MI): Central Michigan University; 2002.
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.
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
Veterans Hearing Loss Compensation Act of 2002, Pub. L. No. 107-9, 115 Stat. 11 (May 24, 2001).
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).
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).
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.
34. Forthcoming and Preprints
(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.
Alvarez R. Near optimal neural network estimator for spectral x-ray photon counting data with pileup. arXiv:1702.01006v1 [Preprint]. 2017 [cited 2017 Feb 9]: [11 p.]. Available from: https://arxiv.org/abs/1702.01006
Bar DZ, Atkatsh K, Tavarez U, Erdos MR, Gruenbaum Y, Collins FS. Biotinylation by antibody recognition- A novel method for proximity labeling. BioRxiv 069187 [Preprint]. 2016 [cited 2017 Jan 12]. Available from: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/069187v1
Kording KP, Mensh B. Ten simple rules for structuring papers. BioRxiv [Preprint]. 2016 bioRxiv 088278 [posted 2016 Nov 28; revised 2016 Dec 14; revised 2016 Dec 15; cited 2017 Feb 9]: [12 p.]. Available from: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/088278v5 doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/088278
Rupprecht C. Ready for more-than-human? Urban residents’ willingness to coexist with animals and plants. Version: 1. SocArXiv [Preprint]. [posted 2016 Jul 13; revised 2016 Dec 07; cited 2017 Feb 15]: [22 p.]. Available from: https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/hbcmz/.
Anderson SC, Poulsen KB. Anderson's electronic atlas of hematology [CD-ROM]. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2002.
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: https://journals.lww.com/ajnonline/Fulltext/2002/06000/Quality_Improvement_Initiative_in_Nursing_Homes.31.aspx Subscription required.
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: https://journals.lww.com/ajnonline/Fulltext/2002/06000/Quality_Improvement_Initiative_in_Nursing_Homes.31.aspx Subscription required.
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
Foley KM, Gelband H, editors. Improving palliative care for cancer [Internet]. Washington: National Academy Press; 2001 [cited 2002 Jul 9]. Available from: https://www.nap.edu/catalog/10149/improving-palliative-care-for-cancer.
38. Homepage/Web site
eatright.org [Internet]. Chicago: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; c2016 [cited 2016 Dec 27]. Available from: https://www.eatright.org/.
39. Part of a homepage/Web site
American Medical Association [Internet]. Chicago: The Association; c1995-2016 [cited 2016 Dec 27]. Office of International Medicine; [about 2 screens]. Available from: https://www.ama-assn.org/about/office-international-medicine
40. Database on the Internet
Who's Certified [Internet]. Evanston (IL): The American Board of Medical Specialists. c2000 - [cited 2001 Mar 8]. Available from: https://www.abms.org/verify-certification/
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: //www.nlm.nih.gov/archive//20061212/mesh/jablonski/syndrome_title.html
41. Part of a database on the Internet
MeSH Browser [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. National Library of Medicine; 2002 - . Meta-analysis; [cited 2017 Dec 1]; [about 1 p.]. Available from: https://meshb.nlm.nih.gov/record/ui?ui=D017418 MeSH Unique ID: D017418.
Holt M. The Health Care Blog [Internet]. San Francisco: Matthew Holt. 2003 Oct - [cited 2009 Feb 13]. Available from: http://thehealthcareblog.com/blog/category/matthew-holt/.
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: https://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: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/Amy_Campbell/Diabetes_and_Alcohol_Do_the_Two_Mix_Part_2
Dataset description article:
Kraemer MU, Sinka ME, Duda KA, Mylne A, Shearer FM, Brady OJ, Messina JP, Barker CM, Moore CG, Carvalho RG, Coelho GE, Van Bortel W, Hendrickx G, Schaffner F, Wint GR, Elyazar IR, Teng HJ, Hay SI. The global compendium of Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus occurrence. Sci Data. 2015 Jul 7 [cited 2015 Oct 23];2:150035. Available from: http://www.nature.com/articles/sdata201535 doi: 10.1038/sdata.2015.35 eCollection 2015. PubMed PMID: 26175912; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4493829.
Dataset deposit record: Citing Medicine format
Kraemer MUG, Sinka ME, Duda KA, Mylne A, Shearer FM, Brady OJ, Messina JP, Barker CM, Moore CG, Carvalho RG, Coelho GE, Van Bortel W, Hendrickx G, Schaffner F, Wint GRW, Elyazar IRF, Teng H, Hay SI. The global compendium of Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus occurrence [dataset]. 2015 Jun 30 [cited 2015 Oct 23]. In: Dryad Digital Repository [Internet]. Durham (NC): Dryad. 2008 Jan - . 3 files: 3.406 MB; 1.549 MB; 1.815 MB. Available from: https://datadryad.org/stash/dataset/doi:10.5061/dryad.47v3c Referenced in doi: 10.7554/eLife.08347
Dataset deposit record: Simplified format
Kraemer MUG, Sinka ME, Duda KA, Mylne A, Shearer FM, Brady OJ, Messina JP, Barker CM, Moore CG, Carvalho RG, Coelho GE, Van Bortel W, Hendrickx G, Schaffner F, Wint GRW, Elyazar IRF, Teng H, Hay SI. The global compendium of Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus occurrence [dataset]. 2015 Jun 30 [cited 2015 Oct 23]. Dryad Digital Repository. Available from: https://datadryad.org/stash/dataset/doi:10.5061/dryad.47v3c Referenced in doi: 10.7554/eLife.08347
Dataset repository: Citing Medicine format
Dryad Digital Repository [Internet]. Durham (NC): Dryad. 2008 Jan - [cited 2014 Oct 3]. Available from: https://datadryad.org/stash/.
Dataset repository: Simplified format
Dryad Digital Repository. Durham (NC): Dryad. [cited 2014 Oct 3]. Available from: https://datadryad.org/stash/.
Dataset: Citing Medicine format
RxNorm [dataset on the Internet]. April 4, 2016 Full Monthly Release. Bethesda (MD): U.S. National Library of Medicine; 2016 Apr 4 [cited 2016 Apr 18]. Available from: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/research/umls/rxnorm/docs/rxnormfiles.html
Dataset: Simplified format
RxNorm [dataset]. April 4, 2016 Full Monthly Release. 2016 Apr 4 [cited 2016 Apr 18]. Available from: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/research/umls/rxnorm/docs/rxnormfiles.html
44. Software on the Internet
A full citation for software on the Internet can follow the general guidelines in Item #43 for datasets or in Citing Medicine, Chapter 24 for databases and retrieval systems. Software in other media such as CD-ROM is detailed in Citing Medicine, Chapter 21.
Software: Simplified format
Publisher is optional and place of publication is not needed. Strive to include an Available from: note with a URL or a doi: xxxxxxx note. Other helpful notes can be added at the end such as a System Requirements note.
Hayes B, Tesar B, Zurow K. OTSoft: Optimality Theory Software. Version 2.3.2 [software]. 2013 Jan 14 [cited 2015 Feb 14]. Available from: https://linguistics.ucla.edu/people/hayes/otsoft/.
Golda TG, Hough PD, Gay G. APPSPACK (Asynchronous Parallel Pattern Search). Version 5.0.1 [software]. Sandia National Laboratories. 2007 Feb 16 [cited 2016 Apr 4; downloaded 2010 Jan 5]. Available from: https://dakota.sandia.gov/packages/hopspack
Last Reviewed: April 14, 2023