References made from accepted but not yet published originals will be indicated with expressions such as “in press” or “next publication” (eg ref. 34); Authors must obtain written authorization and have proof that their publication is accepted. Information on manuscripts submitted to a journal but not accepted must be cited in the text as “unpublished observations”, with the prior written permission of the author.

Citing abstracts should be avoided, unless it is a very justified reason. Full documents will be consulted. Also, do not cite a “personal communication”, except when it provides essential information that is not available in publicly accessible sources, in these cases the name of the person and the date of the communication will be included in parentheses in the text. In scientific articles, authors citing a personal communication must obtain written authorization.

With regard to the number of citations to include in each work, journals usually recommend that original works include between 20-30 references; the short originals and clinical notes, between 10 and 20 references; Letters to the editor a maximum of 10. For other sections: Reviews, Editorials …, it is recommended to consult it in the Instructions for Authors or the Drafting Committee.

Regarding the number of signatories, which in the Spanish case there is an increasing trend, it is recommended that the original works do not exceed six, as well as in short originals or clinical notes. Letters to the editor will not exceed four, while other sections, reviews, special articles etc., it is recommended to consult it in the Instructions for Authors.

Journal titles should be abbreviated according to the style used by the National Library of Medicine (NLM). The PubMed Journals Database can be consulted. To check the abbreviations of Spanish journals, you can consult catalog C17 (Collective catalog of periodicals of the Spanish Health Sciences Libraries). In the event of not locating an abbreviation, the “International List of serial title Word abbreviations” can be consulted in accordance with the ISO 4 standard, or the “The List of Title Word Abbreviations” of the ISSN agency.

After completing the bibliography, you have to make sure that the citations in the text and the number assigned in the bibliography correspond.

Not all journals verify the accuracy of bibliographic references, which in many cases contain errors. To avoid such errors, the references should be checked against the original documents. PubMed, in the Single Citation Matcher, allows checking in a simple way the bibliographic data of the journals indexed in Medline.

Bobenrieth Astete MA. The original scientific article. Structure, style and critical reading. Granada: Juan de Andalucía, Andalusian School of Public Health; 1994.

Note: Document prepared by the Library of the “Juan Canalejo” University Hospital Complex in A Coruña. January 2006.

We are grateful for the review and contributions of: Uxía Gutierrez Couto Hospital Arquitecto Marcide de Ferrol; Marisa Alonso Virgen de la Salud Hospital in Toledo; Montaña Vivas Hospital San Pedro de Alcántara de Cáceres; Concha Muñoz Ramón y Cajal Hospital in Madrid; María Sobrido Juan Canalejo Hospital in La Coruña; Mercedes Rodríguez del Castillo Virgen de las Nieves Hospital in Granada Virgili Páez Servei de Documentació Biomèdica de les Illes Balears; Mª Francisca Abad Faculty of Medicine of the University of Valencia; Elena Primo National Library of Health Sciences; Fanny Ribes Cot Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla de Santander; Concepción Campos Asensio University Hospital of Getafe (Madrid).

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