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Citation Guide: ICMJE

Citation format based on ICMJE Recommendations (formerly Uniform Requirements)


This guide is based on the book Citing Medicine: The NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors, and Publishers. NLM also provides a Samples of Formatted References for quick reference.

There are several ways to list references and citations, but this guide is intended to provide a standardized format for the ICMJE Recommendations.

General Guidelines:
  • List references at the end of sentences or phrases inside parentheses. Example (1, 4-6).
  • List author names with the author’s last name followed by initials (maximum of 2 initials) and separate author names from each other by a comma and a space. Example: Fanning D, Bickett SN.
  • List all authors regardless of number.
  • Retain the spelling, abbreviations, and style for numbers used in the original article title, book title, parts of book, or other material.
  • For journal article titles and chapter titles in books, capitalize only the first letter of the first word in a title and subtitle.
  • For journal titles and book titles, capitalize all main words.
  • Journal titles are abbreviated, but books are not.
  • Reference the most specific part when possible, such as the monograph within the online database.
  • Use English names for months and abbreviate them using the first three letters, such as Jan.