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National Library of Medicine - Citing Medicine

Citing Medicine: The NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors, and Publishers

Citing Medicine (2007 - ) updates and supersedes versions of the original NLM Recommended Formats. You may view and download the publication free; the NLM does not make a printed copy available. NLM updates Citing Medicine periodically; join the CITINGMED LISTSERV for alerts to additions and changes.

Citing Medicine provides instructions and examples for formatting bibliographic citations for different types of published and unpublished materials. These materials range from traditional journal articles and books to electronic formats such as online journals, Web pages, and blog posts. Citing Medicine does not provide in-text citation styles.

Citing Medicine gives information for constructing citations at three levels. The levels are:

  1. Diagrammed Citation - You may simply want to know how to format a citation. The picture of the sample citation and the broad guidelines (the Introduction) may be enough.
  2. General Rules and Examples - You may need to view the General Rules and Examples sections for more information. We explain the structure of citations and include a variety of citations (Examples) for different circumstances.
  3. Specific Rules - You may need to review the Specific Rules to solve a specific problem, such as handling non-English citations.

If you only need a few citation examples, the NLM has a page with sample references you may find easier to use. This is the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals: Sample References. This page has over 50 examples for commonly cited types of materials.

Your comments and suggestions are welcome. Please submit them to us using the Contact NLM form. At some point, you might see your question used for an example or clarification in the publication.