Journal and magazine articles

General principles for journal and magazine articles

Do not abbreviate journal or magazine names, but omit definite articles (eg the, a) at the start of the name.

Full journal names are listed on several websites (eg Web of Science, National Library of Medicine). However, it is best to use the name that is shown on the journal cover. For journals that use both the full title and an abbreviated form on the cover, include both:

JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association

PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America



If working with an author or publisher who requires journal names to be abbreviated, note that accepted abbreviations differ between lists of journals:

JAMA [National Library of Medicine]     JAMA-J Am Med Assoc [Web of Science]

Choose a system of abbreviations to use and use it consistently throughout the reference list. Do not use full stops in abbreviations.

Cite a journal or magazine name as it was published at the time. For example, the British Medical Journal officially changed its name to BMJ in 1985. Articles published before 1985 should be cited as British Medical Journal.

Reminder. Each journal has its own style for references. If writing or editing a paper for a journal, ensure that the journal’s reference style is followed; check both the notes available on the journal’s website and a recent copy of the journal.

The format for an articles is:

This is a diagram illustrating the format of the example reference shown below of a journal.

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Article, with volume and issue numbers

The issue number is only required if the journal or magazine paginates each issue within a volume separately. Since most journals and magazines paginate by volume, rather than by issue, the issue number is rarely needed. However, to avoid having to check the practice for every journal in the reference list, it is safer to include the issue number if you know it:

Smith CD (1995). Chemical analysis of paper. Journal of Chemistry 20(3):1175–1179.

Boyer A (2018). On-country fishing brings broader benefits. FISH 26(2):12–14.

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Article, no issue number

Jones AB (1990). Variance in analytical methods. Journal of Chemistry 20:1–5.

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Article, no volume number

Some magazines use an issue date or period instead of a volume number; abbreviate month names (see Dates), and use an en dash for a date range:

Brown HF (2000). Attracting birds to your backyard. Birdwatcher Summer:5–6.

Baker C (2017). Doggy dementia. Dogs Life Sep–Oct:20–21.

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Article in journal supplement

For an article that appears in a journal supplement, use the abbreviation Suppl and enclose it in parentheses:

Smith CD (2000). Chemical analysis of paper: red paper. Journal of Chemistry 35(Suppl):135–160.

Smith CD (2001). Chemical analysis of paper: green paper. Journal of Chemistry 36(Suppl 2):20–30.

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Article, foreign language

Present the article title in its original language, followed by the English translation in square brackets:

Leveque N, Brouchet L & Lepage B (2014). Analyse des délais de prise en charge des cancers thoraciques: étude prospective [An analysis of delays in the management of thoracic cancers: a prospective study]. Revue des Maladies Respiratoires 31:208–213.

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Printed article also online

Many printed journals are also online, where articles are provided as PDFs. After the page numbers of the article, add a comma and the DOI:

Carney MA & Krause KC (2019). Cultivating a network of citizen-scientists to track change in the Sonora-Arizona foodshed. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 8(4):23–24, doi:10.5304/jafscd.2019.084.021.

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Dyer AB, Mann BC & Ross CD (2008). Cognitive functions of centenarians [abstract]. Journal of the Mind 23:82.

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Paper 'in press' (accepted for publication but not yet published)

Jones AB, Brown KG & Smith DD (in press). Variance in analytical methods. Journal of Chemistry.

The text citation for these references should be (Name, in press). Do not include a year, because publications often take longer than anticipated to finally appear in print.

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Paper in progress, or submitted for publication but not yet accepted

Cite in the text only as a personal communication (see Unpublished references).

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