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National Library of Medicine (NLM) Citation Style

NLM Style

Citing Medicine is the National Library of Medicine (NLM) style guide for authors, editors, and publishers. Citing Medicine provides assistance to authors in compiling lists of references for their publications, to editors in revising such lists, to publishers in setting reference standards for their authors and editors, and to librarians and others in formatting bibliographic citations.

Why, When and Where to Cite

Why cite? Citing information serves three purposes:

  • Acknowledgment: To give credit to authors/creators for their work and ideas.
  • Documentation: To prove that you have done a proper literature review.
  • Linking to information: Complete and accurate citations facilitate access to the cited material.

When to cite? Citations need to be provided under the following circumstances:

  • When exact wording is taken from any source (quoted)
  • When work is summarized (paraphrased)
  • Indebtedness to another person for an idea

Where to cite? Anytime you quote or paraphrase someone else's work, you must cite it in two places:

  • In-text citation: Include an in-text citation within the paragraph/PPT slide where you are quoting or paraphrasing. 
  • References section: Include a references page at the end of your paper/PPT that includes all of the works you cited.