The information contained within these pages is intended as a general referencing guideline.
Please check with your supervisor to ensure that you are following the specific guidelines required by your school.
This guide provides you with examples of how to correctly cite references in the Vancouver style within the text of your assignments.
The Vancouver system does allow for some variations in style, but you must remain consistent throughout your document. The Vancouver system is most commonly used in medical and clinical sciences.
Citations you include in the main body of your writing should only provide a number that refers to the reference that you are citing. These citations will then link to a fully detailed reference, which will be included in your list of references / bibliography.
The way in which you refer to a source within the text of your work should always follow this format:
If the author’s name forms a natural part of your sentence, then the surname should be followed by the number indicating the order that it appears in the document (in brackets), eg.
Albanese refers to problem based learning as...(1)or
Albanese refers to problem based learning as...(1)
If you do not mention the author’s name within your text, you should place the number in brackets at the end of the sentence, eg.
There are six distinctive conditions, which need to be satisfied, in order for a whistle-blowing case to be justified. (2)
You can always cite within the sentence structure providing it does not interfere with the flow of the sentence, eg.
There have been efforts to replace mouse inoculation testing with in vitro tests, such as enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (23) or polymerase chain reaction (6), however these remain experimental.
Provide the numbers in brackets as they appear in the text after these sentence, eg.
Several drug trials proved that the antibody was released immediately. (2, 3, 9- 12)
Any quotations used should be relevant to the argument you are making. Short quotations (1-2 lines) can be set in quotation marks and included within the body of the text.
Your reference list links with your in-text citations, enabling readers to easily trace the sources cited within your work. It is a list of the documents from which any direct quotations or examples have been taken.
N.B. A bibliography (where you give credit to sources that were used for background reading, but were not quoted within the body of the text), is not usually required. You should however always check this first, with the person who will be assessing your work.
Your reference list (and bibliography if you choose to provide one) should be arranged numerically in the order that the citations appear in the text.
If you have up to six authors for a reference then you list all the authors in your reference list, If you have more than six than six, list the first six authors followed by the term 'et al,' .
Different types of publication require different amounts of information. The Vancouver system lays down standards for the amount of information required for each document type; these are detailed below.
2. Equality Act 2010, c.15 . [cited 2018 Dec 10]. Available from: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/pdfs/ukpga_20100015_en.pdf
1. Albanese MA. Problem-based learning. Edinburgh: ASME; 2007.
N.B. For a book with multiple authors provide details of all the first 6 authors in the Reference list, followed by et al.
2. Gilstrap LC 3rd, Cunningham FG, VanDorsten JP, editors. Operative obstetrics. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2002.
3. Meltzer PS, Kallioniemi A, Trent JM. Chromosome alterations in human solid tumors. In: Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, editors. The genetic basis of human cancer. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2002. p. 93-113.
4. Foley KM, Gelband H, editors. Improving palliative care for cancer [Internet]. Washington: National Academy Press; 2001 [cited 2002 Jul 9]. Available from: https://www.nap.edu/books/0309074029.html/
5. Endres M, Engelhardt B, Koistinaho J, Lindvall O, Meairs S, Mohr JP, et al. Improving outcome after stroke: Overcoming the translational roadblock. Cerebrovasc Dis. 2008, Feb, 22;25(3):268-78.
1. Fanta CH. Asthma. N Engl J Med. [Internet] 2009 [cited 2013 Jan 9]; 360(10):1002-14. Available from: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056.NEJMra0804579
2. Fanta CH. Asthma. N Engl J Med. [Internet] 2009 [cited 2013 Jan 9]; 360(10):1002-14. Available from: doi: 10.1056/NEJMra0804579
6. Tynan T. Medical improvements lower homicide rate: study sees drop in assault rate. The Washington Post. 2002 Aug 12;Sect. A:2 (col. 4).
It can often be difficult to identify the author of a web-page. If this is the case use the organisation (e.g. BBC) in place of the author. If a website has no discernible author or organisation you may want to strongly consider whether it is suitable for inclusion in a piece of academic writing! Again it is probably best to check with the person who will be assessing your work, if you find yourself in this situation.
Cancer-Pain.org [Internet]. New York: Association of Cancer Online Resources, Inc.; c2000-01 [updated 2002 May 16; cited 2002 Jul 9]. Available from: https://www.cancer-pain.org/.
Mantone J. Head trauma haunts many, researchers say. 2008 Jan 29 [cited 2009 Feb 13]. In: Wall Street Journal. HEALTH BLOG [Internet]. New York: Dow Jones & Company, Inc. c2008 -. [about 1 screen]. Available from: https://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/01/29/head-trauma-haunts-many-researchers-say/.
Department of Health. Choosing Health: making healthier choices easier, CM6374. London: Stationery Office; 2001.
Department of Health. Equity and excellence: liberating the NHS, CM7881. [Internet]. 2010 [cited 2013 Jan 9] .Available from: https://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_117353
General Medical Council. Good medical practice: working with doctors working for patients. Rev ed. [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2013 2018 Nov 19] .Available from: https://www.gmc-uk.org/-/media/documents/Good_medical_practice___English_1215.pdf_51527435.pdf
Nixon, H. Families, Parenting and Asthma. PhD Thesis. The University Of Manchester; 2011.
• Harnden P, Joffe JK, Jones WG, editors. Germ cell tumours V. Proceedings of the 5th Germ Cell Tumour Conference; 2001 Sep 13-15; Leeds, UK. New York: Springer; 2002.
The Shining.DVD.Stanley Kubrick. Warner Bros.1980.
Forneau E, Bovet D. Recherches sur l'action sympathicolytique d'un nouveau dérivé du dioxane. Arch Int Pharmacodyn. 1933;46:178-191. French.
The National Library of Medicine adds an English translation of the title enclosed in square brackets right after the title. The language is specified in full after the paginiation (page location), followed by a 'full stop'.