Vancouver style referencing

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Vancouver is a numbered referencing style commonly used in medicine and science, and consists of:

  • Citations to someone else’s work in the text, indicated by the use of a number.
  • A sequentially numbered reference list at the end of the document providing full details of the corresponding in-text reference.

Note:

In-text citations general rules:

  • A number is allocated to a source in the order in which it is cited in the text. If the source is referred to again, the same number is used.
  • Use Arabic numerals [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9] in square brackets.
  • Reference numbers should be inserted to the left or inside of colons and semi-colons.
  • Reference numbers are generally placed outside or after full stops and commas.
  • Whatever format is chosen, it is important that the punctuation is consistently applied to the whole document.

Multiple works by the same author:

Each individual work by the same author, even if it is published in the same year, has its own reference number.

Citing secondary sources:

  • A secondary source, or indirect citation, occurs when the ideas on one author are published in another author’s work, and you have not accessed or read the original piece of work. Cite the author of the work you have read and also include this source in your reference list. e.g. as one author has put it “the darkest days were still ahead”.[1]
  • OR the author’s name can also be integrated into the text e.g. Scholtz[1] has argued that…

Including page numbers with in-text citations:

  • Page numbers are not usually included with the citation number. However, should you wish to specify the page number of the source the page/s should be included in the following format:
    …as one author has put it “the darkest days were still ahead”.1[p23]
    …as one author has put it “the darkest days were still ahead”.[1 p23]
    Scholtz [1 p16-18] has argued that…

Citing more than one reference at a time:
The preferred method is to list each reference number separated by a comma, or by a dash for a sequence of consecutive numbers. There should be no spaces between commas or dashes For example: [1,5,6-8]

Reference List

  • References are listed in numerical order, and in the same order in which they are cited in text. The reference list appears at the end of the paper.
  • Begin your reference list on a new page and title it ‘References.’
  • The reference list should include all and only those references you have cited in the text. (However, do not include unpublished items such as correspondence).
  • Use Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9).
  • Check the reference details against the actual source – you are indicating that you have read a source when you cite it.
  • Be consistent with your referencing style across the document.

Scholarly journal articles

Follow these examples closely for all layout, punctuation, spacing, and capitalization. These general rules
apply to both print and electronic articles.

  • Enter author’s surname followed by no more than 2 initials (full stop).
  • If more than 1 author: give all authors’ names and separate each by a comma and space.
  • For articles with 1 to 6 authors, list all authors. For articles with more than 6 authors, list the first 6 authors then add ‘et al.’
  • Only the first word of the article title and words that normally begin with a capital letter are capitalized.
  • Follow the date with a semi-colon;
  • Abbreviate months to their first 3 letters (no full stop)
  • Give the volume number (no space) followed by issue number in brackets
  • If the journal has continuous page numbering through its volumes, omit month/issue number.
  • Abbreviate page numbers where possible, eg: 123-29.

Electronic journal articles

  • The word [Internet] in square brackets should be inserted after the abbreviated journal title.
  • The date cited [in square brackets] must be included after the date of publication
  • The URL (web address) must be included at the end of the reference.
  • For electronic journal articles with a DOI, include the DOI (digital object identifier)at the end of the reference, after the URL.


Books and book chapters
Follow these examples closely for all layout, punctuation, spacing and capitalization.

  • Enter author’s surname, followed by no more than 2 initials.
  • Give all authors’ names and separate each by a comma and a space.
  • Enter all authors’ names in the order in which they appear in the original source.
  • Only the first word of the article title and words that normally begin with a capital letter are capitalized.
  • For book chapters abbreviate page numbers to p. eg p. 12-25. Where appropriate abbreviate thus: p. 122-8.
  • Abbreviate months to their first 3 letters
  • The formats for Tables and Figures (see below) can also be applied to charts, photographs, graphs etc.

From the Internet
Follow these examples closely for all layout, punctuation, spacing and capitalization

  • Author names should be listed in the order they appear on the site.
  • Reproduce the title of a homepage as closely as possible to the wording on the screen.
  • Place the word Internet in square brackets following the title (and content type if present)
  • Place of publication is defined as the city where the homepage is published. If the place, publisher, date
    unknown use [place unknown], for example.
  • The publisher is defined as the individual or organization issuing the homepage.
  • Use the date of publication as the date the page was first published on the internet, always give the year.
  • Date of update/revision – Always give the year and include the date/month, if provided, after the year.
  • Include the date that you saw the page on the internet.
  • Begin with the phrase “Available from”. Insert the URL in its entirety. End with a period only if the URL ends
    with a slash, otherwise, end with no punctuation

If you need one to one help you can contact us directly, see contact details given in the end.

Sample reference list

1. O’Campo P, Dunn JR, editors. Rethinking social epidemiology: towards a science of change. Dordrecht:
Springer; 2012. 348 p.
2. Schiraldi GR. Post-traumatic stress disorder sourcebook: a guide to healing, recovery, and growth
[Internet]. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2000 [cited 2006 Nov 6]. 446 p. Available from: http://books.mcgrawhill.com/getbook.php?isbn=0071393722&template=#toc DOI: 10.1036/0737302658
3. Halpen-Felsher BL, Morrell HE. Preventing and reducing tobacco use. In: Berlan ED, Bravender T, editors. Adolescent medicine today: a guide to caring for the adolescent patient [Internet]. Singapore: World
Scientific Publishing Co.; 2012 [cited 2012 Nov 3]. Chapter 18. Available from:
http://www.worldscientific.com/doi/pdf/10.1142/9789814324496_0018
4. Stockhausen L, Turale S. An explorative study of Australian nursing scholars and contemporary
scholarship. J Nurs Scholarsh [Internet]. 2011 Mar [cited 2013 Feb 19];43(1):89-96. Available from:
http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.lib.monash.edu.au/docview/858241255?accountid=12528
5. Kanneganti P, Harris JD, Brophy RH, Carey JL, Lattermann C, Flanigan DC. The effect of smoking on
ligament and cartilage surgery in the knee: a systematic review. Am J Sports Med [Internet]. 2012 Dec
[cited 2013 Feb 19];40(12):2872-8. Available from: http://ajs.sagepub.com/content/40/12/2872 DOI:
10.1177/0363546512458223
6. Subbarao M. Tough cases in carotid stenting [DVD]. Woodbury (CT): Cine-Med, Inc.; 2003. 1 DVD: sound, color, 4 3/4 in.
7. Stem cells in the brain [television broadcast]. Catalyst. Sydney: ABC; 2009 Jun 25.

Source of this topic: https://guides.lib.monash.edu/citing-referencing/vancouver

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