Biographical article structure

Last revised by Jeremy Jones on 1 Apr 2023

Biographical articles about individuals have a unique structure and subheadings.


The introduction should take the following structure:

  • name of individual in bold

    • use their first name and last name e.g. Robert Smith

    • only use additional names in the introduction if they are familiarly known by that additional name e.g. Sebastian Gilbert Scott

    • otherwise any additional names should be included as initials in the introduction and expanded in the early life section

      • Wilhelm C Roentgen or C Thurstan Holland in the introduction

        • initials stand alone without a following full stop/period

        • initials are not separated by spaces when there is more than one e.g. AB Smith, not A B Smith

      • Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen or Charles Thurstan Holland in the Early Life section

    • if their familiar name differs from their formal name then provide the familiar form in quotes between the first and last names

      • e.g. Benjamin “Benny” Felson

  • years of birth +/- death

    • not precise dates

    • not emboldened

    • enclosed in opening and closing round brackets

      • e.g. Benjamin “Benny” Felson (1913-1988)

      • not "(21 October 1913 - 22 October 1988)"

      • precise dates may be provided in the main text of the article

      • we expect dates to be in style, e.g. 21 October 1913, see our style article on dates for more details

  • if precise year(s) of birth and/or death are not known, then the abbreviation "fl." can be employed

    • fl. stands for floruit, Latin for "flourished"

    • fl. is inserted before the year(s), of when there is irrefutable citable evidence, that they were alive e.g. John Smith (fl. 1903-1953)

    • fl. can also be used for people who are still alive, e.g. John Smith (fl. 2019) at the time of writing

  • summarize their main achievements in a few lines

It is intended that the remainder of the article be presented in chronological order (earliest to latest); this equally applies to lists within sections.

 Not limited to, but may include:

  • full name at birth

    • not emboldened

  • precise date and place of birth

  • education

    • undergraduate and medical school

    • radiology residency/training

    • fellowship

  • specialist and academic appointments

  • notable publications/books

  • appointments e.g. President of specialist societies, Colleges, editorships

  • describes in detail the background to their inventions, discoveries, developments, description of signs, etc.

  • e.g. for Godfrey Hounsfield, the development of CT

Not limited to, but may include:

  • awards, honorary degrees, named orations

  • specialist and academic appointments

  • notable publications/books

  • appointments e.g. President of specialist societies, Colleges, editorships

  • personal relationships – marriage/children

  • precise date and place of death

Sometimes, it is useful to have this subheading for those with lots of awards, prestigious appointments, honorary degrees, etc., with years of attainment in round brackets at the end of the bullet point.

A bulleted, chronologically-ordered list (earliest to latest) of what they are primarily remembered for

  • development of a modality, radiographic signs, founding of a journal or society

  • related articles that have not already been hyperlinked elsewhere in the article


  • please review our general guide to using references on

  • many pioneers in radiology and related fields have had peer-reviewed obituaries written about their life and legacy

  • try to avoid referencing, Wikipedia or similar websites, many of the articles are unreferenced

    • they can be good starting points if you want a brief overview of their life before one looks for primary sources


ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.