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Citing Your Sources: Vancouver Style

Resources to assist in citing your sources and managing references.

Vancouver Style Citations: Introduction

The Vancouver Island University (VIU) Dental Hygiene Program, like most dental hygiene programs, uses the ‘Vancouver Style’ referencing style for citing sources within academic work. The complete guide to the Vancouver style referencing is Citing Medicine by the National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Giving credit to the origin of the information is a sign of respect and an expectation of your academic integrity and professionalism. Additionally, citations allow the reader the ability to find the article quickly and easily. The VIU Dental Hygiene Program uses a modified version of the 2nd edition of Citing Medicine. VIU dental hygiene students should follow the guidelines and examples provided below.

Please keep in mind each scholarly journal or publisher sets standards for referencing expectations. Modifications in style may occur for reasons such as editorial board preferences or limitations in publication space. As such, when seeking publication always refer to the specific guidelines for the journal or publisher.

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, Straif K, Berthiller J, Schwartz SM, Smith E, Wyss A, Brennan P, Olshan AF, Wei Q, Sturgis EM, Zhang ZF, Morgenstern H, Muscat J, Lazarus P, McClean M, Chen C, Vaughan TL, Wunsch-Filho V, Curado MP, Koifman S, Matos E, Menezes A, Daudt AW, Fernandez L, Posner M, Boffetta P, Lee YC, Hashibe M, Souza G. Association of Marijuana Smoking with Oropharyngeal and Oral Tongue Cancers: Pooled Analysis from the INHANCE Consortium. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014 Jan;23(1):160-71.

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: Authors, Article Title, Journal Title, Date of Publication, Volume and Issue number, Location (Pagination)

  • Author or Authors, last name and initial(s) separated by a comma and space and ending with a period. 
    • List names in the order they appear in the text
    • Convert given (first) names and middle names to initials, for a maximum of two initials following each surname
    • Include all the authors listed for the article
  • Article title in sentence case followed by a period.
  • Journal title abbreviation followed by a period.
  • Four-digit year of publication followed by semi-colon.
  • Journal volume number followed by issue number in brackets, followed by a colon.
  • Page range, hyphenated, followed by a period. (Page numbers are not repeated. For example, 452-468 would become 452-68 or 241-248 would become 241-8)
Examples

Loesche WJ, Bromberg J, Terpenning MS, Bretz WA, Dominguez BL, Grossman NS, Langmore SE. Xerostomia, xerogenic medications and food avoidances in selected geriatric groups. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1995;43(4):401-7.

Abrams AP, Thompson LA. Physiology of aging of older adults: Systemic and oral health considerations. Dent Clin North Am. 2014;58(4):729–38.

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):1064–70.

Vancouver Style References: Books

Entire Book, written or compiled by the same author(s)

Author(s). Title of Book. Edition. Place of Publication: Publisher; Date.

  1. Author or Authors, last name and initial(s) separated by commas and ending with a period. 
    1. List all author names in the order they appear in the text
    2. Convert given (first) names and middle names to initials, for a maximum of two initials following each surname
    3. Include all author(s) contributors listed for the chapter
  2. Book title in sentence case 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 and a space.
  5. Publisher name followed by a semi-colon and a space.
  6. Four-digit year of publication followed by a period.
Example

Malamed SF. Handbook of local anesthesia. 7th ed. St. Louis: Elsevier; 2020.

Chapter of book compiled by an editor with various chapter contributors

Author(s) of Contribution. Title of Contribution. Connective Phrase: Editor(s) of Book. Title of Book. Place of Publication. Edition. Place of Publication: Publisher; Date of Publication. Location of Contribution (page numbers).

  1. Author or Authors of the chapter contributor(s), last name and initial(s) separated by commas and ending with a period. 
    1. List all author names in the order they appear in the text
    2. Convert given (first) names and middle names to initials, for a maximum of two initials following each surname
    3. Include all author(s) contributors listed for the chapter
  2. Title of chapter in sentence case followed by a period.
  3. Connector phrase followed by a colon and a space ‘In: ’
  4. Editor(s) of the book, last name and initial(s) separated by commas, then write word ‘editors followed by a period.
    1. List all editor(s) names in the order they appear in the text
    2. Convert given (first) names and middle names to initials, for a maximum of two initials following each surname
    3. Include all editor(s) of the book.
  5. Book title in sentence case followed by a period.
  6. Edition number (if applicable) followed by period "ed." 
  7. Place of publication (if more than one city is listed, use the first one) followed by a colon and a space
  8. Publisher name followed by a semi-colon and a space
  9. Four-digit year of publication followed by a period.
  10. Page range, hyphenated, followed by a period. (Page numbers are not repeated. For example, 452-468 would become 452-68 or 241-248 would become 241-8)
Example

Forrest JL, Miller SA. Evidence-based decision making. In: Bowen DM, Pieren JA, editors. Darby and Walsh dental hygiene theory and practice. 5th ed. Maryland Heights: Elsevier; 2020. p. 25-33.

Vancouver Style References: Websites

Website references contain the following elements in order: Author. Title [Type of Medium]. Place of Publication: Publisher; Date of Publication [Date of Citation]. Available from: URL

  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 in sentence case 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. Date of Publication - Four-digit year of publication, Month, Day (if available) as follows YYYY Month DD (use three-letter month abbreviations rather than the full month name). 
  6. Followed by the date you referenced the material as follows: [cited YYYY Month DD] (use three-letter month abbreviations rather than the full month name).  End with a period.
  7. Available from: URL
Examples

Marchildon GP, DiMatteo L. Health care cost drivers: The facts [Internet]. Canadian Institute for Health Information; 2011 Oct [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

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association. Our history [Internet]. Ottawa: CDHA; 2018 [cited 2019 Sep 16]. Available from: https://www.cdha.ca/cdha/About_folder/History_folder/CDHA/About/History.aspx?hkey=065b136f-72d3-4a84-a7aa-51cc7b519cd5

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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