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Vancouver Style of Referencing

Also known as the "Author-Number Style" and "Numbered Referencing Style", the Vancouver Referencing Style is a referencing system commonly used in Medical Sciences. This has been developed by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) for the purpose of implementing 'uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals'.

As with other referencing styles, the Vancouver style has two parts: citing sources within the text and a corresponding list of references used at the end of the paper. Here are some general rules for Vancouver style of referencing:


In-text Vancouver citation rules:

  • Arabic numbers in brackets (1) or superscript (1) are placed after the citation.
  • The numbered citation applies not just to texts but also to tables and figures.
  • A citation must be numbered even if author is already mentioned in the text.
  • The original number assigned to a reference is reused each time the same author is mentioned in the text.

Vancouver referencing format for
Reference list/bibliography:

  • The reference list is arranged based on the numerical arrangement of in-text citations, regardless of the type of reference used, i.e. books, journals, etc.
  • A bibliography, on the other hand, is separate from the reference list and is arranged alphabetically. These are the sources consulted but not cited within the text.


Please take note that different journals or institutions may use different versions of Vancouver referencing hence it would be highly advisable to check if your institution has such preferences.


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