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Vancouver - Referencing Guide

Personal Communications


 Personal communications include

  • AI generated text  e.g. ChatGPT
  • conversations
  • electronic bulletin boards
  • emails
  • interviews
  • letters
  • memos
  • messages from discussion lists
  • online chats
  • personal interviews
  • telephone conversations
  • text messages

 Do not include references for personal communications in a reference list, as they are unpublished, and do not contain recoverable data.

 Cite personal communications in the text only.

 Permission should be sought from the source/author of a personal communication if you wish to include quotes in your text.

 Details to include when referencing in text are:

  • date of the communication;
  • whether the communication was in oral or written form;
  • the affiliation of the person might also be included to better establish the relevance and authority of the citation (recommended).



In a conversation with a colleague from the School of Population Health (Jameson LI 2002, oral communication, 7th August)...


In text: In an email from Professor Peter Smith ( in February 2000 (1) ...

Reference List:

1. Smith P. New research projects in gastroenterology [Internet]. E-mail to Matthew Hart ( 2000 Feb 5 [cited 2000 Mar 17].


As stated in a letter from B.J. Samuels, MD, in July 2002...

See the All Examples page for examples of in-text and reference list entries for specific resources such as articles, books, and web pages.

Reference List Entries

This guide divides reference list entries into different formats for ease of use.
Select the format you require from the Reference List Entries menu or select from the links below: