“How Should I Cite This” Session 2: Electronic Articles from Online Journals

It’s time for the second part of our continuing series of blog posts on citations!  How Should I Cite This? Session 2: Electronic Articles from Online Journals

If you’ll recall in our first session,  we gave an overview of how to cite Government, Agency, or Organization reports and bulletins using the JAMA citation style, the official style of the American Medical Association (AMA). It’s back to the basics for this session, so we’ll go over a citation format you’ll likely find yourself using over and over again. Particularly because our library is 98% electronic and all of our journals can be accessed digitally, we think it’s appropriate to gain a good understanding of how to cite Electronic Articles from Online Journals. Here’s a link to the example document for this session: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/4/11/e006071.full

Elements used in Citing Journal Articles

According to the 10th edition of the AMA Manual of Style¹, references to electronic journal articles should usually include the following details:

  1. Authors’ last names and initials
  2. Title of article and subtitle (if any)
  3. Abbreviated name of journal
  4. Year
  5. Volume number
  6. Part or supplement number (if it would help to find the journal article again), and issue month or number
  7. Page numbers
  8. URL (electronic articles only)
  9. Accessed date (electronic articles only)
  10. DOI (electronic articles only)

Each element is followed by a period.

Using the example document for this session, we can find this information pretty easily on the webpage. The fields we need to fill can be addressed by examining the top portion of the article.

  1. The main author is Yue Leng, followed by a bunch of  colleagues
  2. The title of the document is Daytime napping, sleep duration and serum C reactive protein: a population-based cohort study.
  3. The journal title is BMJ Open
  4. This was published in 2014
  5.  This article was published in Volume 4
  6. The article can be found in Issue 11 of this journal
  7. The page numbers aren’t as obvious in this one, but can also be found at the top: e006071
  8.  The URL can be taken from the web address: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/4/11/e006071.full
  9.  The access date is whatever month, day, and year you accessed the document
  10.  The Article DOI (or Digital Object Identifier) is doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006071

 

The Finished Citation

When put together as an actual citation, our journal article will look like this:

Leng Y,  Ahmadi-Abhari S, Wainwright NWJ, et al. Daytime napping, sleep duration and serum C reactive protein: a population-based cohort study. BMJ Open. 2014; 4(11): e006071. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006071

It’s important to note in this particular instance some adjustments to our completed citation. First, in regards to the treatment of the authors, the AMA Manual of Style dictates that in cases of more than 6 authors, only the first three should be included by name, followed by “et al” ². Second, it looks as though we’ve neglected to abbreviate the journal title, BMJ Open, but this title is actually already in the correct format. If ever you want to confirm the proper abbreviation for a journal title, you can check out the PubMed Journal Database for a list of abbreviations. Finally, you’ll note we will not need to include the details for spot 8 or 9 in our citation; if the article provides you with a DOI, the URL and date accessed fields are not necessary (in fact, it’s preferable if you don’t use the URL if possible). If the article didn’t have a DOI provided, you could attempt to look one up, or format the citation to include the URL and date accessed like so:

Leng Y,  Ahmadi-Abhari S, Wainwright NWJ, et al. Daytime napping, sleep duration and serum C reactive protein: a population-based cohort study. BMJ Open. 2014; 4(11): e006071.  http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/4/11/e006071.full. Accessed November 13, 2014

 

You can learn more about citing electronic articles by visiting our JAMA Citation Library Guide and exploring the resources there, and also by accessing either the electronic copy of the AMA Manual of Style we have in our ebooks collection, or the two print copies available in our reference collection.  You can also stop by the library and ask one of our library staff for additional help Monday through Friday 8-5. Happy citing!

 

 

1. Iverson C. Online journals. In: AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2007. http://www.amamanualofstyle.com/view/10.1093/jama/9780195176339.001.0001/med-9780195176339-div2-81#. Accessed November 13, 2014

2. Iverson C. Authors. In: AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2007. http://www.amamanualofstyle.com/view/10.1093/jama/9780195176339.001.0001/med-9780195176339-div1-38. Accessed  November 13, 2014