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Vancouver Referencing Guide

The Vancouver style was developed at a meeting of editors of biomedical journals in 1978. It is a numeric system. Each reference is given a number as it first appears in the text. The number given becomes the unique identifier for that reference, and so if it is cited again later in the text, it will still have the same number. The first reference cited will always be number 1 and numbers are allocated sequentially.

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Vancouver Reference Generator

Vancouver Referencing Overview

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  1. Books
  2. Articles
  3. Online sources
  4. Images/visual mediums
  5. Other source types

Important Things to remember

The most outstanding feature of Vancouver is that every source is assigned a unique number; these numbers are assigned as per their order of citation. The first source is assigned number 1, second 2 in that order. Citations that are made in the middle of a sentence may appear as below:

'Recent research (2, 4-6, 10) shows that fast food prices are rising as the status of the economy.'

You can cite authors' names, too; and if work has more than one writer, then you are allowed to use “et al.”

For Instance:

'Jones et al. (5) showed that this trend is declining.....'

In this referencing style, the list of references is arranged in numerical order, not unlike APA and Harvard which are done alphabetically. The number appears first in the reference list.

The reference list should be indented from the second line onwards.

The following material as referenced as below:

1. Books

Books citation should be done as below:

(Number) Last name, first initial. Title. Edition (if not the first edition of the book). City of publication: Publisher; Year.

For example:

(5) John, M. Project Management. New York: Sage Publications; 2015.

(5) John, M. Project Management. 3rd ed. New York: Sage Publications; 2015.

Citations for books with two or more authors:

If the book is written by two or more authors, only the first name of the first author should be used followed by “et al.” However, in the reference list, all authors should be listed in the order they are credited in the original book. The format for this should be as follows:

(Number) Last name, first initial and last name, first initial. Title. Edition (if not the first edition of the book). City of publication: Publisher; Year.

For example:

(4) John, M. and Patrick, A. Project Management:A Project Management Handbook. New York: Sage Publications; 2015.

(5) Dickson, E., Mark, K and Kelvin, k. Excelling In Customer Service. New York: Sage Publications; 2012.

Citations for a chapter in an edited book:

In citing a book chapter using this style, ensure you have added page range (p). This can be said pp 23-45. Ensure to add the book edition when citing a chapter from a book. If the book edition is the first then you don’t need to add the book edition. The following format is used:

(Number) Last name, first initial. Chapter title. In: Editor's name/s (ed/s) Book Title. Edition. City of publication: Publisher; Year. Page/s.

For example:

(6) John, S. The best business practice in the 21st century. In: Loftus, E. (ed.) Business Management: A Guide, 1st ed. New York: Sage Publications; 2012. p. 30-56.

Citations for multiple books by the same author:

In the text, the author's texts are always differentiated by years of publication. Where the author has produced more than one materials in the same year, then use letters a, b or c immediately after the year. The order for these sources should appear chronologically. The following format should be used:

(Number) Last name, first initial. (Year). Title. Edition (if not the first edition of the book). City of publication: Publisher.

For example:

(1) Jackson, N. Project Management. New York: Sage Publications; 2012.

(2) Jackson, N. Business Management. New York: Sage Publications; 2013.

(3) Jackson, N. Hotel Management. New York: Sage Publications; 2014a.

(4) Jackson, N. Management & Leadership. New York: Sage Publications; 2014b.

Tools for creating Vancouver Book references:

Reference a Book Reference a Book Chapter


2. Articles

Citations for Print Journals:

(Number) Last name, First initial. Article Title. Journal name, Year;Volume(Issue), Page/s.

For example:

(10) John, M. Project Management. Journal of Research Management, 2013;Volume 7(10), p. 50-59.

Citations for Journal Articles accessed on a website or database:

In-text citations for an online journal article remain unchanged from the way you would cite a print article. The citation in the reference list does have a few differences, however. In Vancouver referencing, wherever possible you should supply the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) of the source you accessed. If no DOI is available, you should cite the URL of the source.

(Number) Last name, First initial. (Year). Article Title. Journal name, Volume (Issue), Page/s. Available from: URL or DOI. [Accessed: date].

For example:

(15) John, M. Project Management. Journal of Research Management, 2013;Volume 7(10), p. 50-59: Available at: www.journalofresarchmanagement.com/johnprojectmanagement [Accessed: 10 August 2017].

Citations for Newspaper or Magazine Articles – Print or Online:

Newspaper/magazine citations are rendered similarly to journal articles when they are found online; the same differences in formatting occur, as the example below illustrates.

(Number) Last name, First initial. Article title. Newspaper name; Year. Page/s.

(Number) Last name, First initial. Article Title. Newspaper name; Year. Page/s. Retrieved from: Journal name/ URL if freely available.

For example:

(1) Bill, B. How to make awesome breakfast. Eat well magazine; Year. p. 5.

(2) Ronny, P. Awesome Breakfast. Eat well magazine; 2016. p.22. Available at: www.theeatwallmagazineonline.com/awsomebreakfast2016 [Accessed 22 July 2016].

Tools for creating Vancouver Journal references:

Reference a Journal Article


3. Online sources

Citations for websites:

If the website has a specific author, then it is advisable you recognize him or her as the credited author. If there is no specific author then organization name or the website name should be the credited author as illustrated below.

(Number) Author/Source if no specific author. Title of web document/page. Available at: URL [Accessed date: Day/Month/Year].

For example:

(14) McKinsey(2016). Managing Business Online in the digital era. Available at: www.mckinsey.com/managingbusinessonlineindigitalera [Accessed 23 June 2016].

Citations for emails:

(Number) Sender's last name, First initial. Email sent to: Recipient's Name. Date.

For example:

(8) Jackson, D. Email sent to: John Kerry. 10th June 2017.

Tools for referencing online sources:

Reference a Website Reference a Blog Reference an Email


4. Images/visual mediums

Citations for films/videos/DVDs:

(Number) Full Title of Film/Video/DVD. Country of Origin: Film studio or maker; Year.

For example:

(4) The Beauty & The Beast. USA: FOX Studios; 2015.

Citations for YouTube videos:

(Number) Username of contributor. Video Title [type of medium]. Available at: URL. [Accessed: Day/ Month/ Year].

For example:

(13) Hillsong. I Need You [YouTube video]. Available at: www.youtube.com/hillsongineedyou [Accessed 3 June 2017].

Citations for broadcasts:

(Number) Series title and episode name/number. Channel number: Broadcaster; Year.

For example:

(4) The Voice: USA, episode 10. BBC 1: BBC; 2012.

Citations for images/photographs – Print or Online:

(Number) Last name of artist/photographer, first initial. [Internet] Title of image. Available from: URL.

For example:

(5) Lucy, F. [Internet]. Belly Pump. Available from: http://favierproductionimages/bellypump

Citations for podcasts:

(Number) Broadcaster/author's name. Programme title [type of medium]. Series title. Year published. Available at: URL [Accessed date: Day/Month/Year].

For example:

(11) Favierproduction. how to operate camera [Podcast]. Camera Operation. 2016. Available at: www.favierproduction.com/howtoperatecamera [Accessed: 18 May 2017].


5. Other source types

Citations for reports:

(Number) Author/editor's last name, first initial. Full title of report. Organisation. Report number, Year.

For example:

(12) McDowell, A. An investigation on the importance of SMEs in developing nations. McKinsey &Company. Report number: 124, 2016.

Citations for dissertations:

(Number) Last name of author, first initial. Title of dissertation [Level]. Official name of university; year.

For example:

(14) Nathan, G. The impact of solar energy on Health sector [Masters level]. University of Portsmouth; 2008.

Citations for Acts of Parliament:

(Number) Short title (key words capitalised) section/chapter number/s. Place of publication: Publisher; year.

For example:

(19) Finance Act 1980 (c3). USA: Official Publications; 1980.

Citations for government/official publications:

(Number) Government agency/Last name of author, first initial. Title of document. City of publication: publisher; Year Page(s) if relevant.

For example:

(3) USA Government. Refugee relocation. Washington DC: Government Publications; 2016 p. 3-20.

Citations for interviews:

(Number) Last name of interviewer, first initial. Title/description of interview. Location: Year.

For example:

(11) Freeman, H. Job Description. New York: 2017.

Citations for presentations/lectures:

(Number) Last name of author, first initial. Presentation/lecture title. Format presented at; Year; Location.

For example:

(16) Yankee, R. Climatic Change in 21st Century. Presentation; 2017; London.

Citations for music:

(Number) Performer/writer's last name, first initial. Recording title. City published: music label; year.

For example:

(8) Legend, J. All of me. Washington DC: One Voice Label; 2015.

Citations for dictionaries:

(Number) Publisher. Full title of dictionary. Edition. Year. Place of publication: Publisher. Page/s.

For example:

(4) Cambridge Publishers. New English dictionary. 4th Ed. New York: Cambridge Publications; 2010. P. 30.

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