In-Text & Bibliography Referencing In Vancouver Style

Vancouver system (numbered referencing) uses a number within the text to indicate a reference. It consists of:

  • In-text citation indicated by use of numbers.
  • At the end of the page, a sequenced numbered list of references is added which provides complete information of the respective in-text citation.

Vancouver referencing system follow the principles of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, which is presently managed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine. It is also recognized as Uniform Requirements for Documents presented to Biomedical Journals.

Usually, Vancouver style of referencing is used in scientific journals. It is mainly used to cite a medical research paper. The writer who is scripting on subjects like civil engineering, computing, mathematics, astronomy, physics, natural sciences also prefers Vancouver style of referencing.

(A) In-Text Citation

Each bit of work which is referred to in your content ought to have a unique number, allotted in the order of reference. If you want to refer to a piece of work more than once in your content, a similar reference number should be utilized. You can compose the number in round brackets or as superscript.

Use below guide to include the in-text citation in Vancouver style.

1- Citing one Author

“Recent research (1) indicates that…”

2- Citing more than one piece of work at the same time

The following is an example where jobs 6, 7, 8, 9, 13 and 15 have been cited in the same place in the text.

“Several studies (6–9,13,15) have examined…”

3- Referring authors name in the text

One can also use authors name in writing, explained with below examples.

“As emphasized by Watkins (2) carers of diabetes sufferers…”

4- Mentioning more than one author’s name

If a work has more than one author and you want to cite all of them in your text, use ‘et al.’ after the first author.

“Simons et al. (3) state that the principle…”

(B) Reference List:

Here you cite all the references that you have used in your work. This list is created exclusively of source type. It includes all the sources you have used, i.e., articles, websites, books, etc. Following points must be kept in mind creating a Vancouver list of references.

  • The list should be in numerical order, indicating the recommendation that has been used in the text.
  • Different source type has their specific format that should be followed.
  • This list must be created at the end of the paper.

Following are some examples to list down in the reference using the Vancouver style of referencing.

1- Referring to a book

G(#)ilstrap LC, Cunningham FG, Van Dorsten JP, editors. Operative obstetrics. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2002.

(#Storey KB, editor. Functional metabolism: regulation and adaptation. Hoboken (NJ): J. Wiley & Sons; 2004.)

2- A journal article referencing

(#)Drummond PD. Triggers of motion sickness in migraine sufferers. Headache. 2005;45(6):653-6.

(#)Geck MJ, Yoo S, Wang JC. Assessment of cervical ligamentous injury in trauma patients using MRI. J Spinal Disord. 2001;14(5):371-7.

3- Website citation

(#)Lavelle P. Mental state of the nation. Health matters [document on the Internet]. ABC online; 2005 May 19 [cited 2005 Jul 1]. Available from:

(#)Stanley F. Information page: Professor Fiona Stanley. Telethon Institute for Child Health Research [homepage on the Internet]. Perth: The Institute; 2005 [cited 2005 Jun 30]. Available from: