Within the text of a publication, individual references are presented in an abbreviated format that refers back to the list. These abbreviated references within the text are called in-text references.
General guidelines for in-text citations:
Example (sentence with multiple citations):
Chocolate has many potential health benefits such as improved blood flow,1 mood,2 and brain function.3
Example (sentence citing two sources together):
Two studies3,4 have shown that chocolate can lead to improved brain function.
When citing 2 references at a given place in the manuscript, use a comma without a space to cite both references.
Example (sentence citing three sources together):
Multiple studies5-7 have shown that chocolate can lead to optimism.
When citing >3 references at a given place in the manuscript, use hyphens to join the first and last numbers of a closed series.
Example (sentence that cites a reference with one author):
According to Brennan,1 chocolate significantly improves blood flow.
When citing a reference that only has one author, then list one author's name.
Example (sentence that cites a reference with two authors):
According to Barbato and Guisto,2 chocolate significantly improves mood.
When citing a reference that has two authors, then list both authors' names.
Example (sentence that cites a reference with three or more authors):
According to Dupra et al,3 chocolate significantly improves brain function.
When citing a reference that has three or more authors, then list the first author’s surname and et al.