Guidelines – References


Readers should be provided with direct references to original research sources whenever possible.

References to papers accepted but not yet published should be designated as “in press” or “forthcoming”; authors should obtain written permission to cite such papers as well as verification that they have been accepted for publication.

Authors should verify references against the original documents. Authors are responsible for checking that none of the references cite retracted articles except in the context of referring to the retraction.

Reference Style and Format:

References should be listed consecutively in the order that they appear in the manuscript.

References used throughout the manuscript should be identified by superscript Arabic numerals. For example: “The student wrote a paper about diseases1 and cited all of his references correctly. These citations were formatted according to the AMA style.2

Please format references according to the AMA style; journal names should be abbreviated according to PubMed, but journals not listed with PubMed should be spelled out in full.

References with six or fewer authors/editors: list all names.
References with more than six authors: list first three authors/editors followed by “et al.”

Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) should be included if available for citations. These are permanent links to articles. The DOI should be added at the end of the reference with a full link “” followed by the numbers specific to the article. If DOIs are not available for a cited article, then the “” part of the reference should not be included. All articles published with MSRJ will include DOIs as part their publication beginning in 2014, and retrospective when available.

Citation Management Software

For EndNote users, please use the “JAMA” style.

Those without EndNote can sign up for EndNote Web, a free version of the bibliography program if your educational institution subscribes to ISI databases such as Web of Science. ( Both EndNote and EndNote Web work with Microsoft Word to enable easy reference utilization.

We suggest the use of EndNote because of ease of use and familiarity, but other options for citation manager programs may include Zotero (, Papers (, RefWorks (, or Mendeley (

Using the bibliography function built into Microsoft Word may be difficult to create an AMA style as the journal requires, seen by these how-to guides on Microsoft’s website ( and
This is not an all-inclusive list of programs and MSRJ does not endorse any reference or citation product;these are only listed as helpful suggestions for authors.

Journal Articles:

1.      Author(s). Title of journal article. Journal Name. Month Year; Volume(Issue): Inclusive page numbers.

2.      Takagi J, Petre BM, Walz T, Springer TA. Global conformational rearrangements in integrin extracellular domains in outside-in and inside-out signaling. Cell. Sep 2002;110(5):599-611.

3.      Weinreb PH, Li S, Gao SX, et al. Dynamic Structural Changes Are Observed Upon Collagen and Metal Ion Binding to the Integrin alpha1 I Domain. J Biol. Chem. 2012;E Pub Ahead of Print.

4.      Craig DH, Gayer CP, Schaubert KL, et al. Increased extracellular pressure enhances cancer cell integrin-binding affinity through phosphorylation of beta(1)-integrin at threonine 788/789. American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology. Jan 2009;296(1):C193-C204.

Complete Book:

Author(s). Book Title. Edition. Location published: Publisher; Year published.

5.      Brown JM, Lee JK, Wilson BJ, Martin AM. The Unification of Thought. Detroit: Blithe Books; 2010.

Book Section/Chapter:

Author(s). Chapter title. Book Title. Edition. Location published: Publisher; Year published:Inclusive pages.

6.      Wilson JL, Martin HA, Campbell JT. The Early Years. The War. 3 ed. New York, NY: Blithe Books; 1998:200-263.

Abstracts (citing information only from abstract of article):

Author(s), Name of article [abstract]. Journal name. Year;Volume(Issue):Inclusive pages.

7.         Benedict NJ. Sitaxsentan in the management of pulmonary arterial hypertension [abstract]. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2007;64(4):363-368.

Blog Posts

Author(s). Post Title. Blog Title. Date of Publication; Available from: url. Accessed Date Month, Year.

8. Coyne J. Are meta analyses conducted by professional organizations more trustworthy? PLoS Blogs. Apr 15, 2014. Available from: Accessed 21 Apr, 2014.

Include as many elements as possible (there may not always be an author).
Author(s). Website page title. Website Title. Date Month, Year created (or last updated); Available from: url. Accessed Date Month, Year.

8.       Evidence Based Medicine Guide. Mar 18, 2014; Available from: Accessed April 21, 2014.

9. KCP. Become A Reviewer. Medical Student Research Journal. December 13, 2013; Available from: Accessed April 21, 2014.

Commercial Software: (Name and location of manufacturer to be included in manuscript)

MATLAB (The MathWorks, Natick, MA).

Unpublished Data / Personal Communication

Personal communications should be cited, however, they should not include a citation number. It should appear in the text without placement in the references section. The date of the communication should be given, as well as mentioning whether the communication was written or oral. Letters of consent from the quoted person would be appreciated.

Place personal communication citation in the text with no citation number, e.g., “In a conversation with A.B. Smith, MD (March 2003)….” Or “According to a letter from A.B. Smith, MD (March 2003)….” Or “According to the manufacturer (A.B. Smith, PhD, oral communication, March 2003), the drug was approved in the US in March 2003.”

Scientific Meeting Abstract/Poster/Presentation

1.      Author(s). Title of Abstract/Poster/Presentation. Conference Name. Date of Meeting. City, State.

2.      Takagi J, Petre BM, Walz T, Springer TA. Global conformational rearrangements in integrin extracellular domains in outside-in and inside-out signaling. American College of Physicians Annual Scientific Meeting. Sep 12, 2002. San Jose, CA.


1. Author(s). Title of Article. Newspaper. Month Date, Year; inclusive page numbers.

2. Steinmetz G. Kafka is a symbol of Prague today; also, he’s a T-shirt. The Wall Street Journal. October 10, 1996:A1, A6.

Twitter Post
Author or Username on Twitter. Full Tweet. URL of the post (expand and click details). Posted Month Date, Year.

@MSRJCHM. Update: the next MSRJ issue will be published this week. Final polishing touches. Stay tuned for more info!. Posted April 21, 2014.

1. Author. Title of Image. Month Date, Year Published/Created; Available from: url. Accessed Month Date, Year]. License.

2. Euchiasmus. Capsule Endoscope. 2006; Available from: Accessed March 25, 2014. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Note, images must have specific Creative Commons licenses that allow for publishing with attribution. (CC BY, CC BY-SA, CC BY-ND, CCBY-NC, CC BY-NC-SA, CC BY-NC-ND). However, depending on the license, edits/tweaks/remixes must adhere to the specific license. If an image is published in another article or journal, or other publication, specific permissions must be requested from the author and publisher and copies of permissions must be submitted to MSRJ at the time of manuscript submission; this is the responsibility of the authors.

 Please refer back to the General Guidelines for more information.

Any questions regarding citations and references are welcome. Questions can be directed to Contact-Us.

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Last Updated: KCP 4-21-14