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Citing Your Sources: Vancouver Style

Resources to assist in citing your sources and managing references.

Vancouver Style Citations: Introduction

"Vancouver Style" is a standardized citation and formatting style developed by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors in Vancouver, BC in 1978.  The VIU Dental Hygiene department requires student work to be formatted in Vancouver style, as set out in the Canadian Journal of Dental Hygiene's Guidelines for Authors. The complete guide to the Vancouver style is Citing Medicine by the National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Vancouver Style: In-text References

The Vancouver style uses the citation-sequence system, meaning that references at the end of your paper are numbered in the order in which the corresponding citations appear in your text, rather than listed alphabetically by author. 

In-text references consist of consecutive numbers formatted in superscript and placed after the period.

Examples

Let's say the first citation in your research paper is a sentence paraphrasing this online article.  In Vancouver style, your in-text reference would look like this: 

Recent analysis suggests that  marijuana use is associated with increases in oropharyngeal cancer cases, but decreases in oral tongue cancer.1

The corresponding entry in the reference list at the end of your paper would look like this:

  1. Marks MA, Chaturvedi AK, Kelsey K et al. Association of Marijuana Smoking with Oropharyngeal and Oral Tongue Cancers: Pooled Analysis from the INHANCE Consortium. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014 Jan;23(1):160-171.

If your text requires the citing of more than one source, separate the numbers with a comma (no spaces), or indicate a range by separating the first and last numbers in the range with a hyphen, e.g.:

Recent analysis suggests that  marijuana use is associated with increases in oropharyngeal cancer cases, but decreases in oral tongue cancer.1,2

Recent analysis suggests that  marijuana use is associated with increases in oropharyngeal cancer cases, but decreases in oral tongue cancer.3-5

If you are quoting directly from your source, include the page number for the quoted passage in brackets following the reference number, and precede the page number with "p", e.g.:

Marks et al. "observed that marijuana use was strongly inversely associated with oral tongue cancer specifically, which is similar to what has been reported previously among oral cavity cancers in general."1(p167)

Vancouver Style References: Journal Articles

Journal article references contain the following elements in order:

  1. Author or Authors, last name and initial(s) separated by commas and ending with a period.  You can list all authors, or if there are more than three, you can use "et al." after the third author ("and others").  Be consistent. 
  2. Article title in sentence case followed by a period.
  3. Journal title abbreviation in italics followed by a period.
  4. Four-digit year of publication followed by semi-colon.
  5. Journal volume number followed by issue number in brackets, followed by a colon.
  6. Page range, hyphenated, followed by a period.
  7. If the article is online and a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) number is available, include it at the end of the reference prefaced by "doi: " and followed by a period.
Examples

Loesche W, Bromberg J, Terpenning M, et al. Xerostomia, xerogenic medications and food avoidances in selected geriatric groups. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1995;43(4):401–407.

Abrams A, Thompson L. Physiology of aging of older adults: Systemic and oral health considerations. Dent Clin North Am. 2014;58(4):729–38. doi: 10.1016/j.cden.2014.06.002

Batchelor P. The changing epidemiology of oral diseases in the elderly, their growing importance for care and how they can be managed. Age Ageing. 2015;44(6):1064–1070. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afv148.

Vancouver Style References: Books

Book references contain the following elements in order:

  1. Author or Authors, last name and initial(s) separated by commas and ending with a period.  You can list all authors, or if there are more than three, you can use "et al." after the third author ("and others").  Be consistent. 
  2. Book title in sentence case and italics, followed by a period.
  3. Edition number (if applicable) followed by "ed." 
  4. Place of publication (if more than one city is listed, use the first one) followed by a colon.
  5. Publisher, followed by a semi-colon.
  6. Four-digit year of publication followed by a period.
Examples

Weber RP. Basic content analysis. 2nd ed. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications; 1990.

Polit DF, Beck C. Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2012.

Vancouver Style References: Websites

Website references contain the following elements in order:

  1. If a personal author(s), list last name(s) and initial(s) separated by commas and ending with a period.  If a corporate author, provide the organization name followed by a period.
  2. Title followed by [Internet], ending with a period.
  3. Place of publication, if available, followed by a colon.
  4. Publisher (this will often be the same as the corporate author) followed by a semi-colon.
  5. Four-digit year of publication (if available) followed by the date you reference the material as follows: [cited YYYY Month DD] (use three-letter month abbreviations rather than the full month name).  End with a period.
  6. Available from: URL.
Examples

Marchildon GP, DiMatteo L. Health care cost drivers: the facts [Internet]. Canadian Institute for Health Information; 2011 [cited 2015 Jan 15]. Available from: https://secure.cihi.ca/free_ products/health_care_cost_drivers_the_facts_en.pdf

Statistics Canada. The Canadian population in 2011: Age and sex [Internet]. Ottawa: Statistics Canada; 2015 [cited 2016 Dec 30]. Available from: https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/censusrecensement/2011/as-sa/98-311-x/98-311-x2011001-eng.cfm

Journal Title Abbreviations

Another characteristic of Vancouver style references is the use of journal title abbreviations rather than full titles.  Journal title abbreviations are standardized and can be looked up in the NLM Catalogue or the Web of Science List of Journal Title Abbreviations.  

Examples

Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention is abbreviated as Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev

Clinical Advances in Periodontics is abbreviated as Clin Adv Periodontics

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