Citations and bibliographic format used by the National Library of Medicine

Developed by Gallaudet University Department of Biology

Citations and the Bibliography for Biology Lab Reports

If you use material from lectures, lab manuals, textbooks or outside sources including internet references, make sure to acknowledge the source with an in-text citation.

You do not necessarily need to litter your paper with citations, especially if they are all mainly to the same source. Use your judgment. For example, if you dedicate an entire paragraph to describing a method that is outlined in the lab manual, place only one citation at the end of the paragraph. The goal is to make it obvious to the reader where you are getting your material from.

However, if you are citing numerous sources within one paragraph, you may need to place one or more citations at the end of each sentence. If you reference several sources within one sentence, citations can even be placed in the middle of sentences.

Each work that is cited must also appear in the Bibliography at the end of the paper or lab report. Even if the work is cited several times, it should only appear once in the Bibliography.

NLM Format

The format that is used by the National Library of Medicine follows what has been agreed upon by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. The purpose of this committee was to provide some standardization in style and format across medical journals and to address some common ethical issues in medical research. A full description of this bibliographic format can be found online at


The citations follow the following format. When placing a citation at the end of a sentence, place the period after the citation:

For one Author: (Smith, pp. 419-20)

For more than one Author: (Smith et al., pp. 530-1)

Bibliography Format

Personal Author(s)

Murray PR, Rosenthal KS, Kobayashi GS, Pfaller MA. Medical microbiology. 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby; 2002.

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

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.

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).

Homepage/Web site [homepage on the Internet]. New York: Association of Cancer Online Resources, Inc.; c2000-01 [updated 2002 May 16; cited 2002 Jul 9]. Available from:

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.

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