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National Library of Medicine Citation Style: Introduction

This guide explains and shows examples of how to cite varied resources in the NLM style

Citing Resources

"How Do I Cite This?"

There are different citation styles depending on the discipline you are citing for.  

Discipline = Citation Style

  • Health Sciences
    National Library of Medicine (NLM)
  • Social Sciences
    American Psychological Association (APA)
  • Literary Arts and Humanities
    Modern Language Association (MLA)

In October 2015 the Life West Faculty Senate adopted the NLM style as the standard for Life Chiropractic College West.


The NLM style, also called Vancouver style, is the format required at Life West for citing references in coursework. 

Go to NLM Examples tab for examples of formatting a citation for the most common types of source material.  For greater detail, refer to: 

Patrias K. Citing medicine: the NLM style guide for authors, editors, and publishers [Internet]. 2nd ed. Wendling DL, technical editor. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2007 -    [updated 2015 Oct 2; cited 2015 Oct 20]. Available from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/citingmedicine.

 

Origins of NLM Style

History

Five medical editors and a representative from the National Library of Medical meet in Vancouver Canada. It was 1978 and they called themselves the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).  The reason for the meeting? A request from the University of Washington medical school secretary tired of re-typing references in different forms for different journals. From that meeting the ICMJE published the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (URM) in 1978 to standardize manuscript format and preparation. 

 

What Does a 1978 Meeting Have to Do with NLM Citations?

Remember, the meeting's topic was formatting references.  The members decided, "Use the form of references adopted by the United States National Library of Medicine and used in Index Medicus."1  Over the years since the meeting was held in Vancouver Canada this became known as the Vancouver Style.  Which is really the National Library of Medicine format. 

The ICMJE group still works to improve the quality of medical science reporting. It meets annual to refine their recommendations now known as  Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals.

 

1. Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. International Steering Committee of Medical Editors. Br Med J [Internet]. 1978 May 20 [Cited 2017 Mar 21];1(6123):1334-6. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1604723/1.

Recommended Resources

Examples
Web Links

Journals

Selective List of Journals Using the NLM Format
  • ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES IN HEALTH AND MEDICINE
  • CHIROPRACTIC JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIA
  • JOURNAL OF CHIROPRACTIC MEDICINE
  • JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY CHIROPRACTIC
  • JOURNAL OF THE CANADIAN CHIROPRACTIC ASSOCIATION
  • JOURNAL OF MANIPULATIVE AND PHYSIOLOGICAL THERAPEUTICS (JMPT)
More Journals