Skip to Main Content

Vancouver referencing style

Vancouver - numbered referencing style

Difference between a reference list and a bibliography

Reference list:

  • A reference list contains details only of those works cited in the text of the document. (e.g. book, journal article, pamphlet, internet site, cassette tape or film).  These details must include sufficient detail so that others may locate and consult your references.
  • A reference list should appear at the end of your essay/report with the entries listed numerically and in the same order that they have been cited in the text.


  • A bibliography is a separate list from the reference list and should be arranged alphabetically by author or title (where no author is given) in the Vancouver style.
  • A bibliography lists sources not cited in the text but which are relevant to the subject and were used for background reading.

Spacing between references in a reference list or bibliography:

  • Double line spacing between each citation
  • EndNote only puts a single line space between each citation
  • Check with your school/lecturer what spacing they require
  • Journals using the Vancouver style may also have their own line spacing requirements



  • List all the authors names in the order they appear in the document, webpage or book.
  • Family name is followed by the initials of the authors' first names
  • Each other is separated by a comma
  • Omit degrees, titles and honors following a personal name
  • Place family designations of rank after the initials without punctuation
    • Convert roman numbers to arabic ordinals
    • eg. Vince T. DeVita, Jr becomes DeVita VT Jr
    • eg. John A. Adams III becomes Adams JA 3rd​

​Multiple authors

  • List all the authors in the order they appear
  • Alternatively list the first three authors and add  - et al. eg. Smith AB, Jones CD, McDonald EF, et al.
  • Endnote will list the first six authors and then add  - et al.
  • Always check with your lecturer or the journal's instructions to authors.

 In text citation  - when authors names used:

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

No author

  • do not use  - anonymous
  • use editors or translators if present
  • use title of the item if no authors, editors, translators or organisation can be found​

Corporation/Organisation as author

Enter the organisation name in full eg. World Health Organization

Publication date and Copyright date

The copyright date is identified by the symbol ©, the letter "c" or the word copyright before the date.

If no publication date can be found use the copyright date. Precede the copyright date with the letter "c" eg. c2017

​If a publication has a publication date and a copyright date:

  • use publication date 
  • if three or more years separate the publication date and copyright date - use both dates but begin with the publication date eg. 2017, c2007​


URL's should be entered as they appear on the website.

Do not put a full stop after a URL unless it ends on a forward slash - /,  or it is followed by the DOI number.

In EndNote add the full stop after the URL in the URL field only if it ends in a forward slash.

Place of publication

Place of Publication

  • Place is the city where the book was published
  • Follow US and Canadian cities with the two letter abbreviation for the state or province in brackets eg. Palm Springs (CA). See Appendix E of Citing medicine
  • Follow cities in other countries with the name of the country written out or using the two letter ISO country code in brackets eg. Cambridge (GB); Berlin (DE); Sydney (AU). See Appendix D in Citing medicine.

Multiple places of publication

If more than one place of publication is given, use the first one or the one set in the largest type or in bold.
Do not give multiple places.


Reference List:

Begin page numbers with a "p." followed by a space.

  •  p. 123 and p. 123-9

​Do not repeat page numbers unless followed by a letter. 

  • p. 131-139 should be p. 131-9
  • p. 131A-139A  is correct

Include a letter when it precedes a page number (S for Supplement or A for Appendix)

  • p. S10-8

Roman numerals

  • Keep roman numerals when they are used as page numbers
  • Given them in upper or lower case as they appear in the publication
    • p. XXI-XXII
    • p. xv

Example reference list

1.     Cheers B, Darracott R, Lonne B. Social care practice in rural communities. Sydney (AU): The Federation
        Press; 2007.

2.     Hofmeyr GJ, Neilson JP, Alfirevic Z, Crowther CA, Gulmezoglu AM, Hodnett ED et al. A Cochrane
        pocketbook: Pregnancy and childbirth. Chichester (GB): John Wiley & Sons; 2008

3.     Murtagh J. John Murtagh’s General practice. 4th ed. Sydney (Australia): McGraw‐Hill Australia; 2007.

4.     Darwin C. On the origin of species by means of natural selection or the preservation of favoured races
        in the struggle for life [Internet]. London (England): John Murray; 1859. Chapter 5, Laws of variation.
        [cited 2010 Apr 22]. Available from:

5.     Australian medicines handbook online [Internet]. Adelaide (AU): Australian Medicines 
        Handbook Pty Ltd;  2000. Paracetamol; [updated 2017 Jul; cited 2017 Nov 10];
        Available from: https://amhonline-amh-net-au/.

6.     MIMS online [Internet]. Crows Nest (AU): MIMS Australia; 2017. Betamin; [updated 2017 Nov; 
        cited 2017 Nov 10]. Available from:

7.     Bengtsson S, Solheim BG. Enforcement of data protection, privacy and security in medical
        informatics. In: Lun KC. Degoulet P. Piemme TE, Reinhoff O, editors. MEDINFO 92. Proceedings of
        the 7th World Congress on Medical Informatics. 1992 Sep 6‐10; Geneva, Switzerland. Amsterdam: North Holland;
        1992. p. 1561‐5. 

8.     Australia. Parliament. Senate. Select Committee on Climate Policy. Climate policy report.
        Canberra (AU): The Senate; 2009.

9.     Diabetes Australia. Gestational diabetes [Internet]. Canberra (AU): Diabetes Australia; 2015 [updated 
        2015; cited 2017 Nov 23]. Available from:

10.   The medical profession in the 1990’s [television broadcast]. The MacNeil/Lehrer news hour. 
        New York, Washington (DC): Public Broadcasting Service; 1993 Oct 11.