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Vancouver - Referencing Guide

Citing in the Text

Citing in the Text

Indicating the Relevant Reference in the Text

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 citations.

No distinction is made between print and electronic references when citing within the text.

Here are some examples of this kind of referencing :

The largest lesion in the first study was 10 cm (13).
The theory was first put forward in 1987 (1).
Scholtz (2) has argued that...
Several recent studies (3, 4, 15, 16) have suggested that...
For example, see (7).

It is not necessary to mention either the author(s) or the date of the reference unless it is relevant to your text.

It is not necessary to say "In reference (26) ...", "In (26) ..." is sufficient.

Citing More Than One Reference at a Time

When citing more than one source at a time, the preferred method is to list each reference number separately with a comma (with spaces) or a dash (without spaces) between each reference:

(1, 3, 5)
(2-5, 9, 13)

Including page numbers

Page number references are rarely included when citing within the text of an assignment or essay when using Vancouver style; however, for quotations or if you wish to be specific regarding the source of information, quotations or statistics, page or figure numbers may be given in the following format:

Westman (5 pp. 3-5, 9) reported 8 cases where vomiting occurred.
These patients showed no sign of nausea (3 p. 21, 4).
The incidence of the syndrome was rare. (12 fig. 4).

If you want to cite different page numbers from a single reference source at different places in your text, the page numbers are included in the parenthetical citation and the source appears only once in the list of references. The citation may include more than one page number, the citation of more than one reference, or both.

Direct quotations

Direct quotations are rarely, if ever, used in Vancouver Style.

You should include the page number in the parenthetical in text citation when directly quoting the exact wording of a source, please see the section above regarding the formatting of page numbers included in citations.

Short direct quotes are enclosed within quotation marks.

For example: "The increasing availability and growth rate of biomedical information, also known as ‘big data’, provides an opportunity for future personalized medicine programs that will significantly improve patient care" (1 p. 433).

Quotes longer than 4 lines should be indented in a block, without quotation marks and in reduced type.

For example:

With the increased need to store data and information generated by big projects, computational solutions, such as cloud-based computing, have emerged. Cloud computing is the only storage model that can provide the elastic scale needed for DNA sequencing, whose rate of technology advancement could now exceed Moore's Law. Moore's law is the observation that, over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors on integrated circuits and the speed of computers doubles approximately every 2 years. Although cloud solutions from different companies have been used, several challenges remain, particularly related to the security and privacy of personal medical and scientific data (1 p. 437).

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