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How To Format With NLM Citation Style

How To Format With NLM Citation Style

NLM Style

NLM Style refers to the citation style developed by the National Library of Medicine used primarily in the fields of medicine and kinesiology. Citation generators common to aggregated databases do not support NLM like other citation styles. NLM Style varies in the construction of in-text references and the References page.

How To Create A Reference Page Using NLM Style

The purpose of a References Page is to document your sources so that the reader can go back and assess your research. Ensure that all the information the reader needs to retrieve your sources is available to them in an understandable format. To create References Page in proper NLM Style, list your sources alphabetically, and title your page references.

How To Abbreviate Journal Titles

NLM Style requires one abbreviate all journal titles.

For example:

  • International Journal of Oncology- Int J Oncol
  • Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness – J Sports Med Phys Fitness
  • International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity – Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act

Here are two methods to help you determine proper abbreviation.

  1. Look up the words used in your journal’s title at Abbreviations for commonly used English words in Journal Titles.
  2. Look up your title in PubMed and examine the citation of any article published in that journal.

Typical abbreviations include:

  • American – Am
  • Annals – Ann
  • Association – Assoc
  • Athletics – Athle
  • Behavior – Behav
  • Exercise – Exerc
  • Health – Health
  • International – Int
  • Journal – J
  • Kinesiology – Kinesiol
  • Medical – Med

NLM Citation Examples


  • Van Norman, KA. Exercise and wellness for older adults: practical programming strategies. 2nd ed. Human Kinetics: Champaign (IL); c2010.176 p.
  • Hamilton N, Weimar W, Luttgens K. Kinesiology: scientific basis of human motion. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education; c2008. 656 p.
  • Garrett, WE Jr., Kirkendall D, editors. Exercise and sport science. Dohrmann M, illustrator. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; c2000. 980 p.


Dasgupta A. The science of drinking: how alcohol affects your body and mind. Lanham (MD): Rowman & Littlefield; 2011 [cited 2012 Dec 18].265 p. In: eBooks on EBSCOhost [Internet]. Available from:[email protected]gr111&vid=1


Abrams SE. Hope, ethics, and action for sustainable change. Public Health Nurs. 2010 Jan-Feb;27(1):1-12.

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