Vancouver referencing

Vancouver referencing

The Vancouver Style of referencing is considered an endnote system although it doesn’t use standard endnotes as there is no endnote list at the end of the text. It is mainly used in the fields of medicine and biology but can be used in other disciplines.

The main difference between the Vancouver Style and other referencing systems is that each text cited keeps its own number. Whereas all other referencing systems give each separate citation a new number, with the Vancouver Style once a number has been assigned to a source it keeps this number. For example if P. Bodkins is the first source cited, a ‘1’ is appended following the relevant passage. Full bibliographical information is then provided in the endnote. If, however, Bodkins is cited again, the ‘1’ is again appended at the end of the relevant passage to show the work is attributed to Bodkin. See some examples below if this doesn’t make sense at first.

Citing Book(s)

As discussed, the Vancouver style uses endnotes to reference information; see my earlier blogs on how to insert a footnote in Microsoft Word. When citing books, the author’s name is listed followed by the title, publisher location, publisher and the date, as follows:

1 Bodkins, P. How to Reference Correctly. London: Fictitious Publishing; 2012.

Note that a semi-colon follows the publisher.

If Bodkins is cited again throughout the assignment, the ‘1’ is appended in the usual fashion but as the full bibliographic information has previously been provided, no further action is required.

Citing Journal Articles

As with all sources cited using the Vancouver Style, any journal articles used are given their own number and listed in full in the end notes. An example of this is:

2 Bodkins P. “How to Reference Correctly” Fictitious Journals Quarterly, 10 (2012) 123-129.

Citing Other Sources

Remember that whatever source you’re citing, be consistent in how you do it.

Adapt the Bibliography

Unlike most other systems which require the bibliography to be listed in alphabetical order, when producing the bibliography for any assignment which uses the Vancouver Style all references will appear in the order in which they were encountered throughout the text.


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