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The Vancouver Referencing

College of Medicine recommends that students use the Vancouver referencing style in their academic writings.

In Vancouver referencing:

1. A reference list should appear at the end of the assignment, report, dissertation/thesis with entries listed numerically and in the same order that they were cited in the text (end-notes);

2. Use the right punctuation, spacing and format of the details in the reference;

3. Do not use the ampersand (&) between author names;

4. Book and journal titles are not italicized or placed in quotation marks;

5. Insert the citation at the appropriate place in the text of your document;

6. Capitalize first words only of the article title and proper nouns where applicable;

7. Journal titles are abbreviated. These abbreviations are standardized. If you are not sure of the right abbreviation, refer to the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Catalog for the List of journals currently indexed in MEDLINE. Other sources include the CAS Source Index (CASSI) search tool;

8. If an article has more than six authors, list the first three mentioned authors, followed by et al.;

9. A list of references should include all the in-text citations in your document..

Notes on in-text citations

Definition: “an acknowledgment of references that support your work. It is the form of a number that correlates with a source in your reference list” (University of Queenland Library).

1. In Vancouver referencing style, Arabic numerals are used for in-text citations. A number is assigned to each reference as it is cited even when an author’s name is mentioned in the sentence;

2. When a refernce is reused, the original number is maintained in further citations regardless of its previous position in the text;

3. When multiple references are cited at a given place in a statement, a hyphen (-) is used to join the first and last numbers that are inclusive, e.g. [1-5]. Commas are used to separate non-inclusive numbers, e.g., [1-5,7,23].

4. No spaces should be included in between multiple in-text citations as indicated in the example above;

5. So not use a hyphen if there are no citation numbers in between that support your statement, e.g., [1-2].

6. Reference numbers should be placed outside fullstops and commas and inside colons and semi-colons. However, this may vary according to preferences of particular journals. Some may require that the reference numbers be placed inside fullstops and commas.


Patients or their representatives may make a formal complaint if they believe that the medical practice has failed them. [2]

Citing specific pages (University of Queenland Library):

  • Patient showed no signs of diabetes. [1(p23),9]
  • Smithers [2(pp3,6)] reported signs of… (more than one page cited)
  • Jones [10(pp23-27)] states that…

Note: Reference software like the Endnote will put the reference number and pages within the bracket, e.g., … end of story. (10 p23,11) for multiple pages (10 pp23-5,11)

Sources cited from the Internet should be included in your reference list.

For further information, consult the following:

Inversion C, American Medical Association. AMA manual of style: a guide for authors and editors. 10th ed. New York: Oxford University Press; 2007.

Patrias K. Citing medicine: the NLM style guide for authors, editors, and publishers [Internet]. 2nd ed. Wendling DL, technical director. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2007 [update 2000 Oct 21; cited 2010 March 7]. Available from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/citingmedicine