Re: A healthy constitution: Editor responds

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 55, No. 4, May 2013, Pages 184-185 Letters

Thank you for your letter; clearly you are passionate about medicine and about editorial independence, as are we. Editorials are the opinion of the writer, which is why they are signed with the writer’s initials. The Journal is divided into three sections, as you can see on the contents page: articles, opinions, and departments. Editorials, which are not reviewed by the Editorial Board prior to publication, fall under the heading “opinion.” Part of the mandate of the BCMJ is to be an open forum for debate; we do not necessarily agree with all the opinions published in the Journal, but if those opinions are expressed respectfully and meant sincerely, we welcome them. In response to your letter we have revised our website to clarify that Dr Day is not only a director, but also one of 49 shareholders of the Cambie Surgery Centre and Specialist Referral Clinic ( —Ed

. Re: A healthy constitution: Editor responds. BCMJ, Vol. 55, No. 4, May, 2013, Page(s) 184-185 - Letters.

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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