Skip to Main Content

Citation guides

General guidance

In the biomedical sciences and allied health fields, two citation styles prevail: APA Style (American Psychological Association) and Vancouver Style (also known as the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals).

Life sciences citation style guide

Special formats in the health sciences - Vancouver style

In addition, the health sciences includes many types of publications that might not be covered in either style guide. In these instances, we suggest following the closest approximation possible and including all relevant information in the reference. Suggestions of specific citation formats are offered below.

Citing a review from ACP Journal Club

As ACP Journal Club is a journal, cite a review as you would a journal article.

Bogaisky M, Leipzig RM. Vitamin D3, calcium, or both did not prevent secondary fractures in elderly people.
ACP J Club [online]. 2005;143:74.

Citing a Clinical Practice Guideline

If the CPG appears in a journal, it is cited as a journal article. If it published independently, follow the format of a book, using the organization as author if no author is specified.

Diabetes Coalition of California, California Diabetes Prevention and Control Program. Basic guidelines for diabetes care. Sacramento (CA): California Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, Department of Health Services; 2003. 26 p.

Citing a review from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

[Authors]. [Title] (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library, Issue [number], [year]. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Linde K, Jobst K, Panton J. Acupuncture for chronic asthma (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library, Issue 4, 2001. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Citing a POEM from InfoPOEMs

Topical NSAIDs of small benefit for corneal abrasion (POEM). In: InfoPOEMs: The Clinical Awareness System, 2004. Wiley Interscience.

Citing an UpToDate topic review

Cite the UpToDate topic review as a chapter in a book titled UpToDate, edited by Burton D. Rose, published by UpToDate in Wellesley, MA. As an online service, there are no page numbers to cite. Since UpToDate is released every four months, each topic review will appear (i.e., be published) in each released issue, so the publication year for any topic review should be the current year.

Marion, DW. Diaphragmatic pacing. In: UpToDate, Rose, BD (Ed), UpToDate, Wellesley, MA, 2005.

Vancouver style

is the preferred citation style guide in the field of Medicine.


To find the MEDLINE abbreviated journal title, search the full title in


APA style

is the preferred citation style guide in the fields of Nursing, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Communication Sciences.


Council of Science Editors (CSE), formerly called Council of Biology Editors (CBE), is the preferred citation style guide in the field of Biology.

McGill LibraryQuestions? Ask us!
Privacy notice