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Writing & Citing with NLM

Help for citing and bibliography pages

NLM Writing Style


Knowledge for Practice, Professional Communication, Scientific Literacy, and Communication Skills are all important competencies for medical practice. Learn more about the Physician Competency Reference Set (PCRS) here.  Conforming to the required academic writing form and style for various journals is a means of demonstrating competency in these domains.

The official writing style for KansasCOM is the National Library of Medicine (NLM) citation format. This format was selected because it is the most-used citation format for professional journals in the field of medicine, and is the selected format for MEDLINE/PubMed citations. Faculty, students, practitioners, and administrators must use common citation formats. Failure to adhere to required citation styles interferes in understanding for the reader and conveys a general lack of professionalism that may interfere with how the writers message is received. Failure to adhere to required citation styles may result in major funding opportunities being lost, particularly with large federal grants in medicine and science.

Many students have learned other styles, often APA or MLA during their undergraduate studies. The principles with NLM style are similar, and the stylistic conventions may be easily acquired with repetition, using good online citation resources, and following the NLM Style Guide (available at no charge).