I have this line about the article:

BioMedical Engineering OnLine 2007, 6:16 doi:10.1186/1475-925X-6-16

I think the volume is 6. Then what is 16?

How should you correctly cite the Bibliography in Tex?

My BibTeX

% Published abstract
    author = {Kudriavtsev V, Polyshchuk V and Roy D L},
    title = {Heart energy signature spectrogram for cardiovascular diagnosis},
    journal = {BioMedical Engineering OnLine},
    year = {2007},
    volume = {6:16}

I am suspicious about the author and the volume field.

  • 1
    It is volume 6, article number 16. Oct 20, 2013 at 6:55

3 Answers 3


As others have already said, it's an article number. You can verify on the publisher's website that papers in the same volume have indeed consecutive numbers.

As far as I can tell there is no bibtex field for an article number, so you'll have to work around it. Personally I'd go for volume=6, number=16, and no page field (it's not mandatory for an @article). The publisher's own bibtex file (go on "download reference" from the article page linked above) reads VOLUME = {6},NUMBER = {1},PAGES = {16} instead; that said, publishers' bibtex files are often quite bad, don't take this for an authoritative answer.

More importantly, the formatting of the author field is wrong. It should be Kudriavtsev, V. and Polyshchuk, V. and Roy, D. L., or even better (if you know their names) Kudriavtsev, Vladimir and Polyshchuk, Vladimir and Roy, Douglas L.. Note that the correct format is surname, name or surname, n., with "and" as the author separator. What you wrote would be parsed as two authors, one with given name Polyshchuk V and surname Kudriavtsev V, and one with surname only Roy D L. Abbreviations and sorting could go wrong with such a field.

For more information on formatting .bib files, ask on http://tex.stackexchange.com.

  • So the publisher uses the pages field for the article number. This is what I'd also recommend. Some citation styles don't even display the number field, since the issue is usually not important to know. But the article number is a crucial bibliographic information.
    – silvado
    Oct 21, 2013 at 11:58

From the title, it seems that the journal is an online only journal. Many such journals don't use page or issue numbers, since there is no need for these in an online journal. Instead, such journals number articles subsequently as they appear throughout the year. In conclusion, it seems that in your case, 6 is the volume number, and 16 is the article number.

For BibTeX entries, I usually use the pages field to enter such article numbers. The reasoning behind it is that, in classical journals, page numbers are used to refer to an individual article, while in online journals, it's the article number which takes this role. Also, there are several BibTeX styles which use a citation format with <volume>:<pages>. For these, using the pages field for the article number will be compatible and will turn out as you show in your citation:

BioMedical Engineering OnLine 2007, 6:16


That notation is standard for volume and issue no. For instance, the following is a ACM citation for one of my journal articles:

Jeremy Birnholtz, Shion Guha, Geri Gay, Y. Connie Yuan, and Caren Heller. 2013. Cross-campus collaboration: A scientometric and network case study of publication activity across two campuses of a single institution. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci. Technol. 64, 1 (January 2013), 162-172. DOI=10.1002/asi.22807 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/asi.22807

If you will notice, after the name of the journal (JASIST), there is the notation 64,1. It refers to volume 64, issue 1.

In your particular example, which I found here, on the top right hand corner, volume 6 is clearly mentioned. The structure of the citation leads me to believe that it is issue no. 16.

In BibTeX, issue no's are default. There is nothing particular that you have to do.

After perusing your author field, they also seem to be well aligned with the actual article. What are your suspicions?

  • My suspicions are that if I include too much unnecessary pieces of information. For instance, the issue number 16 in the volume field too, and all authors with letters to forenames in the Author field. Oct 20, 2013 at 5:07
  • 1
    I would wager that the issue no and the names of the authors as they are, in the BiBteX are not unnecessary pieces of information. Rather, they are necessary and should be an integral part of any citation system be it IEEE, ACM, APA, MLA etc.
    – Shion
    Oct 20, 2013 at 5:32
  • 1
    But you do have to include the "issue = {}," tag in your BibTeX file! Also note that many journals do not include issue numbers in citations.)
    – aeismail
    Oct 20, 2013 at 6:06
  • As per the bibtex documentation, the field type @article has four required fields: author, title, journal, year. All the rest is optional. Oct 20, 2013 at 18:37

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