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Kinesiology Research Guide: NLM Style

A guide to help you find resources and information about and within the field of Kinesiology

National Library of Medicine

National Library of Medicine


One good source of NLM citation examples (for articles in journals) is PubMed Central.

"PMC is a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM)."

PubMed is also a good source for finding examples of abbreviated journal titles.

What is 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. Unlike APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, or AMA styles, NLM is almost never supported by citation generators common to aggregated databases. Consequently, the online guide - Citing Medicine: The NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors, and Publishers, 2nd edition - is extremly useful.

NLM Style can vary in the construction of in-text references and the References page. The preferred usage at Anderson University reflects that found in Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise, the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Create a References 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.

It is very important 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.

Abbreviating Journal Titles

NLM Style requires that all journal titles be abbreviated.

  • 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 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. (NOTE: You will need to click on Journal List and find title of journal. Click on title.)

Typical abbreviations:

  • American - Am
  • Annals - Ann
  • Association - Assoc
  • Athletics - Athle
  • Behavior - Behav
  • Exercise - Exerc
  • Health - Health
  • International - Int
  • Journal - J
  • Kinesiology - Kinesiol
  • Medical - Med
  • Medicine - Med
  • National - Natl
  • Nutrition - Nutr
  • Organization - Organ
  • Physical - Phys
  • Science - Sci
  • Society - Soc
  • Sport - Sport
  • Sports - Sports
  • Training - Train

What is a DOI?

Many citation styles have begun using Digital Object Identifiers at the end of the citation - when available.

DOIs are unique codes that identify an electronic document, much like a social security number identifies a person. Additionally, DOIs can be used to find the document on the internet - usually at the publisher's web site.

For more information on DOIs, check out our DOI page.

NLM Citation Tool