Vancouver Style Reference Guide

Vancouver Style Reference Guide

The Vancouver System is usually utilized in clinical and scientific subjects. References are numbered in the content, either in accordance with the content inside brackets (1) or utilizing superscript¹, as per the pattern in which they show up. A reference that is cited more than once is given a similar number. The references are then recorded toward the end of the content in numerical order.

The Vancouver Style is officially known as Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (ICMJE Recommendations). The style was created in Vancouver in 1978 by editors of clinical journals and more than one thousand clinical journals (e.g., ICMJE individuals BMJ, CMAJ, JAMA, and NEJM) utilize this style.

In this guide, you will get bits of knowledge into citing references in Vancouver Style, both inside the content of a paper and in a reference list, and examples of generally utilized kinds of references.

What is Vancouver Referencing Style?

The Vancouver reference style is a numeric reference framework utilized in biomedical, health, and some scientific publications. It utilizes numbers inside the content that allude to numbered sections in the reference list.

Many scientific journals use an author number system, which basically follows a similar rationale (numbered references highlighting numbered list passages), yet are diverse in minor details, such as punctuation, packaging of titles, and italic.

The Vancouver style is currently published in Citing Medicine: The NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors, and Publishers (NLM), and is chiefly focused on reference style and bibliographic style.

Why Do I Have to Cite in Vancouver?

Today, we have broad scientific information belonging to the achievement of numerous researchers over time. To place your own contribution in the setting, it is essential to cite the work of the researchers with whom you have used their work.

Cited sources can give key background data, backing or opposing your proposition, or offer significant definitions and information. Citing likewise shows that you have actually perused the work.

In addition to crediting the thoughts of others that you used to build your own contention, you need to give documentation to all facts and figures that are not common knowledge.

Common knowledge is information that is known by everyone, or almost everyone, and can fundamentally concern any subject. An example of common knowledge would be “There are four weeks in a month”.

What Do I Have to Cite in Vancouver?

The quantity of sources you refer to in your work relies upon the plan of the paper. By and large, you should refer to representative sources for each key point.

Nonetheless, if you are dealing with a survey article, the point is to present to the readers all that has been composed on a theme, so you should incorporate a more thorough list of references.

How do I write citations using the Vancouver style?

Here are the main conventions when using the Vancouver style for your paper:

  • Numeric references are utilized in the content, generally numbers in brackets, for example (1)
  • A similar reference number is utilized at whatever point a similar source is cited to in the content
  • These in-text numbers are coordinated to full numbered references for every publication in the reference list
  • The reference list is arranged according to the pattern in which the references showed up in the content, not one after another in order
  • Almost no punctuation is utilized
  • Abbreviations that are already well-established are used for journal titles
  • In the event that you have composed a part of your content with a few references, you can demonstrate that by posting each source isolated by a comma
  • Authors should be cited by the last name, at that point initials (for example Levoy G.), with no comma between last name and initials, nor full stop after the initials or spaces between the initials. Indicate the end of the author’s name with a full stop.
  • In case there are more than 6 authors, refer to the initial six followed by et. al. or then again ‘and others’

Vancouver Style Citation Generator

Citing and referencing effectively can be challenging and tedious. The Vancouver reference style is intricate, as it includes various varieties inside the style, which requires a thorough familiarization with it.

Notwithstanding, fortunately, you can get a Vancouver reference generator freely on professional academic sites. The reference generator helps understudies and researchers focus on their content as opposed to agonizing over how to complete their reference list accurately.

Vancouver Style In-Text-Citation

Vancouver utilizes numeric references in the content, either number in sections (1) or superscript.1 these in‐text numbers are matched to full numbered references for each publication in a reference list. The reference list is arranged in an orderly manner – the publications are recorded as per the pattern in which they showed up in the content and not in order by author or editor name.

How to Use Numbers in Text

If you are citing at least two sources at once, compose a number for each isolated by a comma for example (1, 2) or (6, 12)

When citing multiple sources that are numbered continuously, utilize a hyphen rather than a comma for example (3-5)

If you need to cite a specific work more than once, you can utilize a similar reference number for every citation

Numbers should be in brackets and placed after punctuation marks such as full stops or commas and before colons and semi-colons

Page numbers: It is suggested that page numbers should be included for in-text references where this is important to show a particular piece of the content, for instance with an immediate statement or rework, e.g. (2, p. 20) or (2, p. 20)

How to Write a Reference List in Vancouver Style

The reference list should just incorporate sources you have cited in your content. List any sources you read, yet didn’t refer to in your work, in a different bibliography.

A reference gives the full details of the concise reference you have alluded to in content and is appears toward the end of your paper. A reference will incorporate authors, titles, versions, publisher details, and journal details.

Key things to note about references:

While referring to journals the title should be abbreviated. For a list of journal abbreviations please observe the NCBI NLM index.

Numerous science publications are the consequence of collective work, bringing about various authors who require a reference. In the event that the work has six authors or less, list every one of them. If there are more than six authors, list the initial six creators followed by et al.

Example of references list

Martin EA, editor. Concise clinical dictionary. 8th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2010

Parkinson J. An exposition on the shaking paralysis. London: Whittingham and Rowland; 1817

Mayo R, Stern P, Williams TW. An estimate of the prevalence of dementia in idio‐ pathic Parkinson’s infection. Curve Neurol 1988; 45: 260‐263

Brown RG, Robinson PJ. The level of depression in Parkinson’s disease. Am J Psychiatry 1987; 149: 122‐129

Meakin CJ, King DA, White J, Scott JM, Handley H, Griffiths A, et al. Screening for depression in the medically ill. J Nerv Ment Dis 1991; 12: 45‐53

Referencing books

Here is how you can reference books.

Author/editor. Title (capitalize just the first letter of the principal word and any proper nouns, places or things), Edition (only incorporate the edition number if it isn’t the main version). Place of publication: Publisher; Year of publication, Series and volume number (where important).

One to six authors (list every one of them)

Fellow J. The view across the stream: Harriette Colenso and the Zulu battle against the government. Charlottesville, Virginia: University Press of Virginia; 2001.

More than six authors (list the initial six followed by et al.)

Meakin CJ, King DA, White J, Scott JM, Handley H, Griffiths A, et al. Screening for sadness in the therapeutically sick. J Nerv Ment Dis 1991; 12: 45‐53

Edited book

Al-Sabbagh M, editor. Complexities in implant dentistry. Philadelphia, Pennsyl‐ Vania: Elsevier; 2015. Dental Clinics of North America series, v. 59, no. 1.

Chapter in a book

Sparkes V. Function of the spine. In Everett T, Kell C, editors. Human development: an introductory text. 6th  ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingston Elsevier; 2010. p. 191‐ 209.


Wear A. Knowledge and practice in English medication [internet]. Cambridge: Cam‐ connect University Press; 2000 [cited 2015 June 17]. Accessible from:


Journal (Print)

Author(s), Title of article, Title of diary (capitalize every single starting letter and use journal abbreviation), Date of publication as year month day, [cited year month day]; Volume (issue): Page numbers (not preceded by p.).

Knapik JJ, Cosio-Lima LM, Reynolds KL. Viability of utilitarian development screening for foreseeing wounds in coast monitor cadets. J Strength Cond Res 2015; 29 (5): 1157‐1162.

Journal (Electronic)

Remember to add [internet], date cited, and URL or DOI (digital object identifier).

Knapik JJ, Cosio-Lima LM, Reynolds KL. Adequacy of practical development screening for predicting injuries in coast watch cadets. J Strength Cond Res [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2015 June 23]; 29(5): 1157‐1162. Accessible from:


The bibliography is a separate list of works you consulted but did not reference. It should also be located at the end of your work.

Sample Bibliography

Crime Commission. Prosecution appeals (Law Com No 567, Cm 8906). London: The Stationery Office; 2012.

Jameson A. ‘International queries’, British business schools librarians group discussion list (2014 Mar 13). Available email:

Jones D. ‘Developing big business’, Large firms policy and research conference (University of Birmingham, 1999 Dec 18-19). Leeds: Institute for Large Businesses; 1999.

Lucas G. The marvels of the Universe. seconded. Jones F, Smith J, Bradley, T, editors. London: Smiths; 2004.

Instructions on In-Text Citations

Here are the tips to help you with your in-text citations.

Placement of citations: In-text reference numbers should be set after the important piece of a sentence. The first Vancouver Style documents don’t mention the placement of the in-text citation in regard to punctuation, so it is satisfactory to put it previously or after the period. Be steady.

References are numbered successively in the order they are first cited. Place each reference number in enclosures all through the content, tables, and legends. If a similar reference is utilized once more, re-utilize the first number.

Tables are numbered sequentially. Supply a concise title for each table and give every segment a short heading. Be certain that the table is referenced in the content. If the information is taken from another source, include the source in the list of references at the end of the paper. Place explanatory matter in a note, not in the heading.

Individual correspondence utilized as a kind of perspective should be dodged, except if it gives fundamental data not accessible from a public source. These can be messages, individual meetings, phone discussions, class notes, class gifts that are not posted, and so forth. Try not to include them in the reference list as they are not recoverable by others; rather refer to the name of the individual and date of correspondence in brackets in the content.

Web sources may, as expected, be erased, changed, or moved, so it is a smart idea to save a printed version for your records. Additionally, take care to fundamentally assess the reliability of the data.

Steps to Referencing

Here are the steps to referencing

Step #1: Record

At the time of perusing a report, record the entirety of the data (elucidating components) important to make a reference. The information you record ought to incorporate the page numbers for direct citations and for journal articles or book sections.

Be cautious with copied articles from journals or parts from books. You should track the diary where the article was published or the book where you found the section.

Kindly note: you should not utilize these components for each reference.

Entire book

Author’s last name and initials or given name

Title of distribution

Title of series, if appropriate

Volume number or number of volumes, if relevant

Version, if not the first

Editor, reviser, compiler, or interpreter, if other than the author


Place of publication (first named)

Year of publication

Page number(s), if the material

Portions of books (Chapters, areas, meeting papers, and so on)

Notwithstanding the subtleties for the Whole Book (see above) record the accompanying data explicit to the part:

Author’s surname and initials or given name (of the part)

Title of the part

Inclusive page numbers of the part

Journal articles

Author’s last name and initials or given name

Title of the article

Title of the journal

Volume and issue number

Year of publication

Inclusive page numbers

Electronic documents

Examples of electronic records are web pages, journal articles published on the web, or journal articles retrieved from a full-text database.

Some documents are published in both paper and electronic formats, for instance, government reports and journal articles. Please cite according to the format you have accessed.

For electronic journal articles, record the descriptive components specified above for journal articles. What’s more, record important information from the following list.

The following is a list of basic elucidating components you may have to record for reference of an electronic report. This rundown is thorough. The components you record will rely on the sort of electronic archive you are depicting.

Author’s family name and initials or given name if present

Title of the record

Title of the page

Database name

Page or section numbers if given

Format (online or cdrom or electronic if you are not sure)

Year of publication or latest update date

Internet address

Email address

Date of access date (the date you looked at the document)

Kindly note: Not all electronic records have an author or title, so you will now and then have to utilize your own judgment to decide these details. Know that pagination may not be available or proper for some electronic publications.

Step #2: Organize

Record or store information and the source documents if you have them in a way and arrangement that can be retrieved at a later date. You may wish to compose all details on the print duplicate of an article you are utilizing, or you may wish to keep a system of filing cards for each reference thing you use. On the other hand, you may choose to keep an expert reference list on your PC, which you add, details to as required. There are various programming solutions now accessible. One example is Mendeley, which you can use to deal with your references. These projects can be utilized to create reference or works cited to records in a predetermined style.

Step #3: Cite

Develop your citations inside the content of your exposition, utilizing the formatting rules for the style of citation you are utilizing.

Step #3: List

Make either a reference or works cited list at the end of your paper or thesis. The utilization of capitals and punctuation should be consistent and will change as per the reference style being utilized.

The usual arrangement for a reference list in the Vancouver style is a single sequence in numerical order.


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