Last revised by Arlene Campos on 30 May 2024

References are essential to the pursuit of the high academic standards of Radiopaedia. 

Any recommendations for patient care must be based on science, evidence, and clinical reasoning while avoiding advocating for or promoting, practices that are not, or not yet, adequately based on science, evidence, and clinical reasoning or that have been shown to have risks that outweigh their benefits. 

Generally, any new and/or evolving topics for which there is little or absent published evidence base should be avoided. If there is a good reason to include these, then they should be identified as clear references included. 

  • each article should have at least 3 references

    • cases may also often have references, and when used the style should follow as for articles, including assigning ascending numbers to each additional reference (1., 2., etc.)

  • all references should be cited in the reference section

  • each reference should be assigned to its own reference box

  • references should be sought in the following descending order of preference

    1. online journals with complete text available without subscription (e.g. AJR and RadioGraphics)

    2. online journals with complete text available but requiring a subscription (e.g. Radiology, British Journal of Radiology)

    3. textbooks

      • if textbooks are to be used, it is better to use those that have in-text references

  • do not reference Radiopaedia articles or cases

  • referencing websites is generally discouraged except under certain specific instances, and only after discussion with a member of the editorial board: content may not have been peer-reviewed, may change dynamically, hyperlinks may become stale and a user login may be required to view content

    • in particular, we ask that and are not used

  • please try to avoid using two-tiered references e.g. directly citing a reference X obtained from Y's article, when you have only read the article by Y, and never actually reviewed reference X yourself - there is a risk because 'Y' may have incorrectly cited or misunderstood the article by 'X'

It is important that the relevance and accuracy of references be able to be checked both by our readers and as part of our editorial review process. As such generally only English-language references should be used.

Occasionally exceptions can be made if the reference is of historical relevance, for example in the History and etymology section of an articel e.g. "First described by X in 1924.". If you are uncertain please reach out to the editorial board through Radiopaedia Chat.

When citing the reference from the text:

  • use a superscript reference 1

  • add a space between the text and the reference 

  • if it is at the end of a sentence, it should be before the full-stop (period), which itself should not be superscripted 1.

  • if it precedes a list, it should be before the colon 1:

  • if there are multiple references, they should be separated by a comma, but without a space 1,2

  • if there are more than two consecutive reference numbers use the first and last numbers connected by a dash 1-3

    • note that if only two consecutive numbers then only separate by a comma 1,2

  • if a combination of multiple references with some, but not all, numbers consecutive 1,2,4-6

  • superscripts must never be placed after section headings

  • each new citation added to the reference section should be preceded by a number followed by a full stop/period, starting from '1.', even if there is only one citation

    • each additional citation is assigned a number one higher than the highest pre-existing citation

Citations are formatted for Radiopaedia, but draw heavily on the National Library of Medicine (used in PubMed) and use the ANSI/NISO Z39.29-2005 (R2010) Bibliographic References standard (see External links).

  • authors (surname, first name initial) separated by commas

  • if 6 or fewer all are listed

  • if 7 or more, 3 et al. are listed

  • abbreviated journal title

1. Ferguson E, Krishnamurthy R, Oldham S. Classic Imaging Signs of Congenital Cardiovascular Abnormalities. Radiographics. 2007;27(5):1323-34. <a href="">doi:10.1148/rg.275065148</a>

The best way to simply do this is by using

Simply plug in any of the following into the reference box and click "search":

  • URL of the article/PDF

  • PubMed ID (PMID)

  • PubMed Central ID (PMCID): sometimes PMCID without PMID

  • DOI

  • ISBN

  • Google Books ID

  • PII (publisher item identifier)

  • URI (uniform resource identifier) will work in the vast majority of cases and constant work is done to make the system better, so as references that fail are found, fixes for these are attempted.

If any of these links are broken or for other problems and questions, please contact [email protected].

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