Accessing our most readable journal

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 64, No. 9, November 2022, Page 400 College Library

Cover of American Family Physician journalAmerican Family Physician is a very popular journal due to its readability. Written with the busy practising clinician in mind, it often uses tables to concisely impart large amounts of clinical knowledge.

Sometimes referred to as the AAFP journal, American Family Physician is available to College registrants with library access. To access this journal, go to the College Library’s books and journals web page: Click on the teal “Search online journals” box. When the publication finder loads, search for the words “American family.” American Family Physician will be the first result. From the full-text-access options displayed below the name of the journal, click on “ClinicalKey Subject Collection – Family Medicine.” At this point, there will be a prompt to log in. After you log in, it may take a moment for the page to load. Click on “Current Issue” to read the latest information, or choose a volume, then an issue, to read content from previous months.

This method can be used to access other journals in the Library’s eJournal subscriptions as well. Enter a few words of a journal’s title into the publication finder. From the results, look at the links under the full-text-access options and choose the one with the year range that best suits your needs.

If a search in the publication finder returns no results, contact the Library by email ( or web form ( to find out what options are available for accessing the journal.
—Niki Baumann


This article is the opinion of the Library of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC and has not been peer reviewed by the BCMJ Editorial Board.

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Niki Baumann. Accessing our most readable journal. BCMJ, Vol. 64, No. 9, November, 2022, Page(s) 400 - College Library.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.

For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

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