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Citing Sources: Vancouver Style

What is Vancouver Style?

Vancouver style (also referred to as ICMJE and Uniform Requirement Style) is a citation style used heavily in the health and biomedical sciences. Vancouver style uses a number to mark in-text citations, and the reference list is in numerical order according for the order in which the reference appears in the paper.

General Guidelines - Vancouver Style

Vancouver Citation Style contains two parts, in-text citation (within your paper) and a list of references (at the end of your paper).

General Guidelines for In-Text Citations

  • References are usually numbered in the text. There are several ways of referencing a source within a text. The following are some examples.  Please discuss your choice with your instructors and be consistent with your choice. 

Square brackets [1]

Parentheses (1) 


         The following is an example of using parentheses  

         Example: Smith (9) has argued that...

  • Placement of citations: In-text citation numbers should be placed after the relevant part of a sentence. 
  • References are numbered consecutively in the order they are first mentioned. The full citations will be included in the Reference List at the end of your document, with matching numbers identifying each reference. If the same reference is used again, re-use the original number.

General Guidelines for References List

  • The last page of your paper is entitled References. References are single spaced, with double-spacing between references.
  • Numbering: List all references in order by number, not alphabetically. Each reference is listed once only, since the same number is used throughout the paper.

Citation Examples - list of References

1. Standard journal article

 Al-Habian A, Harikumar PE, Stocker CJ, Langlands K, Selway JL. Histochemical and immunohistochemical evaluation of mouse skin histology: comparison of fixation with neutral buffered formalin and alcoholic formalin. J Histotechnol. 2014 Dec;37(4):115-24.

2. Electronic journal article

Poling J, Kelly L, Chan C, Fisman D, Ulanova M. Hospital admission for community-acquired pneumonia in a First Nations population. Can J Rural Med [Internet]. 2014 Fall [cited 2015 Apr 27];19(4):135-41. Available from: by selecting PDF link in table of contents.

3. Book, personal author(s)

 Buckingham L. Molecular diagnostics: fundamentals, methods and clinical applications. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis; c2012.

4. Book, editor(s)

Kumar V, Abbas AK, Aster JC, editors. Robbins basic pathology. 16th ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders; c2013.

5. Page on a website:

Alzheimer Society of Canada [Internet]. Toronto: The Society; c2015. Benefits of staying active; 2013 Jan 28 [cited 2015 May 29];[about 1 screen]. Available from:

Vancouver Citation Style- Additional Resources