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Medical Laboratory Science

Citing Sources - contributed by Professor Frank Scarano

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Department of Medical Laboratory Science
Format for Citations and References


Each discipline uses a system to acknowledge previously published information. This document defines the acceptable format for citations and references when submitting papers in the Department of Medical Laboratory Science. The format uses the citation-sequence system, is patterned after the style used in Clinical Laboratory Science (the official journal of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science), and is based on the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). For more details please refer to the Clinical Laboratory Science instructions to authors and the ICMJE uniform requirements at the links listed below.

ASCLS: Instructions for Authors & Reviewers

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

Citation Format

A citation is a notation in the text that refers to previously published work. It is a superscript numeral that is located close to the word or phrase to which it is relevant. The number refers to the number assigned to the reference (located at the end of the paper). A reference is listed in the order in which it was cited and is given a number the first time it is cited. Every time that reference is cited, the same number is used. When more than one reference is cited at a given location, separate discontinuous reference numbers by commas with no spaces. For more than two numbers in a continuous sequence, connect the first and last with a hyphen. If there are only two consecutive numbers separate them by a comma, no spaces.

Examples: …RNA polymerase 2,13
…structure of the T cell receptor 1-4
…the sequence previously determined 18,19
…have been shown 1,2,5,7,11-15


Please refer to the following pages for examples for reference formats. These are excerpts from ICJME uniform requirements document.


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.

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.


         If there are more than six authors, list the first six authors followed by et al. (Note: The National Library of Medicine (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 addition of a database's unique identifier for the citation:


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.


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. Book with 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. Book with Organization(s) as author


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.


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.


33. Dictionary and similar references


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

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


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


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: http://www.nap.edu/books/0309074029/html/.


38. Homepage/Web site


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/.

42. Blogs


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/.


09/12 FJS
Approved by the Department of Medical Laboratory Science 09/20/12