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Vancouver is a numbered referencing style where you have an in-text citation (consecutively numbered) and a related entry in a reference list at the end of your document in number order.

Vancouver - scholarly journal article

The titles of journals should be abbreviated according to the style used for PubMed/MEDLINE (see NLM Journal title abbreviations). If no abbreviated title exists, use the full journal title. Do not abbreviate journal titles consisting of a single word e.g. Chest

For electronic articles include [Internet] after the journal title.

The month date may be included.

If there is no year of publication use [date unknown]. 

If there are no page numbers calculate the number of pages or screens, eg, [about 2 p.] or [about 4 screens].

Reference list

Add a reference list at the end of your essay, citing all sources used in the body of your writing. The reference list should be in numbered order.

One author

Two to six authors

More than six authors

Group as author

Unknown author

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In-text citation

When using another person's ideas or words include an Arabic numeral in brackets (consecutively numbered). If the reference is referred to again, the same number is used.


  • ... has been recently identified (1). There is a need to be cautious with giving aspirin to children as overdosing can lead to mortality (1).

If you are expressing ideas that have originated from more than one source, separate the numbers with commas, or use a hyphen if referring to a range of numbers (references). 

  • ... in alkyl sulphates such as sodium lauryl sulphate (3,5-6) and diethyl sulphate (7). Other compounds showing promise were those in the C12 - C14 range (3-4).

For direct quotes, use quotation marks and include the page number(s). If including the authors insert the number after the authors and the page number(s) goes after the quote.

  • Bryant and Knights (1) stated that "severe overdose of aspirin can be dramatic and potentially fatal, especially in children" (p1084). 

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