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Vancouver referencing style

Vancouver - numbered referencing style

In-text citations

  • A citation is an acknowledgement in your text of references that support your work.  It is in the form of a number that correlates with a source in your reference list.
  • In the Vancouver Style, citations within the text of the essay/paper are identified by Arabic numbers in round brackets or Arabic numbers in superscript with no brackets.  This applies to references in text, tables and figures.
  • The identification of references within the text of the essay/paper may vary according to the preferred style of the journal or the preferred style of the department or lecturer.  For example superscript may be preferred when referencing. eg. Example2;
  • The Vancouver sequential number system assigns a number to each reference as it is cited.  A number must be used even if the author(s) is named in the sentence/text. e.g. Smith10 has argued that...
  • A number is allocated to a source in the order in which it is first cited in the text. If the source is referred to again, the same reference number is reused. For example, if a reference by Moir is the first one to be referred to in the text, then Moir's reference number is number 1 in the list. If you refer to this work by Moir again later in the text, you reuse number 1. You can add a page number to your reference number to indicate the exact location in the original source. 
  • For citing and/or reproducing/adapting charts, tables, figures, maps and other illustrative materials from a source, please refer to this guide's Tables/Figures/Images/Appendices section.
  • When multiple references are cited at a given place in the text, use a hyphen to join the first and last numbers that are inclusive. Use commas (without spaces) to separate non‐inclusive numbers in a multiple citation e.g. (2,3,4,5,7,10) is abbreviated to (2‐5,7,10).
  • Do not use a hyphen if there are no citation numbers in between that support your statement e.g. (1‐2). Use instead (1,2)
  • The placement of citation numbers within text should be carefully considered.  A particular reference may be relevant to only part of a sentence.  As a general rule reference numbers:
    • should be placed outside full stops and commas
    • should be placed inside colons and semicolons
    • the citation number can be place next to the author name where emphasis is placed on the author eg. Smith2
    • check with your faculty/school or journal publisher to determine their requirements

Examples without page numbers:

  • There have been efforts to replace mouse inoculation testing with invitro tests, such as enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (57,60) or polymerase chain reaction.
  • Numerous studies20‐22 have.....
  • Moir and Jessel maintain “that the sexes are interchangeable”.(1)
  • Moir and Jessel maintain “that the sexes are interchangeable”.1

Examples with page numbers:

  • Patients showed no signs of diabetes.1(p23),9
  • Smithers2(pp3,6) reported no sign of... (more than one page cited)
  • Jones (10 pp23‐27) states that...

Examples with authors names in the text of the document

  • Smith's research .......21
  • Smith and Jones22 research .....
  • Up to 3 authors eg. Smith, Jones and McDonald reported that .........23
  • More than 3 authors eg. Smith et al24 reports..