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Vancouver - Referencing Guide

Vancouver Style

About Vancouver Style

Vancouver Style uses a notational method of referencing when referring to a source of information within the text of a document.

In its simplest form, a number in parentheses (round brackets) placed in the text of the essay, indicates the relevant reference:

Citations are numbered consecutively in the order in which they appear in the text and each citation corresponds to a numbered reference, containing publication information about the source cited, in the reference list at the end of the publication, essay or assignment.

Once a source has been cited, the same number is used in all subsequent references. No distinction is made between print and electronic references when citing within the text.

A numbered list of references must be provided at the end of the paper:

The list should be arranged in the order of citation in the text of the publication, assignment or essay, not in alphabetical order.

List only one reference per reference number.

See Reference List Entries or All Examples for details on how to construct references for specific resources such as books, journals and web pages.

Important Information

Created September 2010; modified July 2019

The Vancouver (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors) Style is used primarily for publications in medicine, biomedicine, medical technology and allied health sciences.

Please remember to check with your unit co-ordinator or tutor before submitting your assignments, as their style preference may vary from the guidelines presented here.

When using EndNote referencing software, please use the following output style - Vancouver. For information about EndNote, please see the EndNote Guide.


This referencing guide follows the principles and examples given in the Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals: writing and editing for biomedical publication published by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) in December 2018.

This publication is the authoritative international guide to Vancouver publication standards and style. Associated publications are also available.