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Citation Styles Playbook

The purpose of this playbook is to help you cite the sources used in your academic research.

What is the ASM style?

The ASM citation style is a set of rules created by the American Society for Microbiology. ASM style is the required citation style for articles published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

ASM style is intended for scientific papers offered for publication in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology and other ASM scholarly journals. ASM style provides guidelines for citing many types of resources including books, journal articles, and other publications. Websites and unpublished papers, reports, or data are cited differently from published materials like books and articles, and are not included in the References List at the end of your paper.



The examples on this guide come primarily from the Journal of Clinical Microbiology's formatting guidelines.

American Society for Microbiology

American Society for Microbiology


When using ASM style, follow these formatting guidelines:

  • References should be listed in the order in which they appear in your paper, NOT in alphabetical order.
  • Your References list will include citations for books, journal articles, patents, theses and dissertations, published conference proceedings, and company publications.
  • Your References list will NOT include unpublished data, reports, and presentations, personal communications, computer software, and Web sites. When using ASM style, these types of resources should be cited through in-text citations only. See the tab on "References cited in the text only" for more information and examples.
  • Do not use the "et al." abbreviation in your citations.
  • Abbreviate journal names according to the PubMed Journals Database (see:
    • Example: Journal of Clinical Microbiology is abbreviated as "J Clin Microbiol")
  • In your citation, the title of an article should include any italics and/or special characters used by the original author.
  • Unlike APA and MLA, ASM style does not use hanging indents in the References list.