Reply to: Formatting References for Scientific Manuscripts

  • B. V. MurlimanjuEmail author
  • Latha V. Prabhu
  • Mangala M. Pai
Letter to Editor

Dear Editor,

We read with interest, the editorial titled ‘Formatting References for Scientific Manuscripts’, which is being authored by Kambhampati and Maini [1]. There are editorials available in several journals, but an editorial about ‘referencing’ has been rarely published. The referencing and listing of it with the correct journal style are very important in the scientific publication. We endorse your opinion that the difference in reference style of journals is unlikely to be made into a single universal format. In this context, the suggestion of referring to the ICMJE guidelines [2], PubMed and eBook [3], by Kambhampati and Maini [1] is admirable. We are sure that this suggestion will be of help to the fellow authors, particularly who are new to the scientific writing.

Each journal has its own referencing style, few recommend ‘Vancouver style’ and others ‘Harvard’. It is also common to see some journals using mixture of these styles. The referencing is given in numbers, but still they have to be listed according to the alphabets. We agree with Kambhampati and Maini [1] that the submitted manuscripts carry the most formatting errors in the reference section. This is commonly observed when we perform the review as a peer reviewer for the journal. Though we published several articles, we are not using the reference managers (RMs); however, now, we feel that these can be used. We are aware of Mendeley, but not used this RMs completely. The RMs will be of great help, when an article is rejected by a journal and we want to submit it to some other journal. This requires changing of the reference style as per the new journal format. We agree with the authors Kambhampati and Maini [1] that manual typing and styling of references are time consuming and involve typos.

We are happy to know that the citation style language (CSL) of Indian Journal of Orthopaedics (IJO) is available in GitHub repository [5] and Zotero styles repository [6]. We thank the authors, Kambhampati and Maini [1] for this very important publication. Thank you for letting us know about GitHub [5] and Zotero’s [6] repositories. We also congratulate the editor of ‘IJO’ for this scientific publication.



  1. 1.
    Kambhampati, S. B., & Maini, L. (2019). Formatting references for scientific manuscripts. Indian Journal of Orthopaedics,53, 381–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals; 2018. Accessed 2019 June 11.
  3. 3.
    Patrias, K., Wendling, D. (2007). Citing medicine. 2nd ed. The NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors, and Publishers; 2007. Accessed 11 June 2019.
  4. 4.
    Mendeley. Accessed 11 June 2019.
  5. 5.
  6. 6.
    Zotero Styles Repository. Accessed 11 June 2019.

Copyright information

© Indian Orthopaedics Association 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. V. Murlimanju
    • 1
    Email author
  • Latha V. Prabhu
    • 1
  • Mangala M. Pai
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyKasturba Medical College, A Unit of Manipal Academy of Higher Education, ManipalMangaloreIndia

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