Vancouver is a numeric style established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.
In this style, your references are numbered in the order in which you first cite them in the text – this number can be written above the line or in brackets after the quote. The bibliograpy at the end should display your references in the order which they appear in the main body of the text.
In the Vancouver system, the only indication required in the text of a paper is a number, allocated in ascending sequence, and presented in the text either in brackets, some or in superscript.
- "Recent randomised controlled trials in primary care showed benefits for patients with depression from increased telephone support, better cooperation between primary care and mental health professionals, and more systematic follow up." 7
If the same source is cited again later in the text, the same number is used again. The original number assigned to the reference is reused each time the reference is cited in the text, regardless of the previous location in the text.
When quoting directly from a source word for word, quotation marks MUST be used.
Citing several references at the same time To cite two references at once, include both reference numbers:
- ….there is strong evidence of benefit in neonates, 12,13 …
To simultaneously cite more than two, consecutive references at once, just indicate the range:
- ….there is strong evidence of benefit in neonates, 12-14 …
If you are citing a mixture of consecutive and non-consecutive references, then indicate specific references and ranges as appropriate, in numerical order:
- ….there is strong evidence of benefit in neonates, 10,12-14 …
Secondary references should be used sparingly. In most cases you should cite material you have actually read.
Occasionally you will read a journal article or book that refers to another source. Ideally you should locate and read this original source – this is recommended. You will then be able to cite this source directly. Sometimes you are unable to obtain the original source to read it. If this is the case, you should acknowledge that you have not consulted the original source. Instead, use the following format in your text:
- Jones and Holder, cited by Rogers 8 noted that….The phrase "cited by" indicates that the reference to Jones and Holder's study was found in the book/article by Rogers. Include only Rogers in your reference list.
- [Chapter Author] [Chapter title] [Editors] [Book title] [Publisher and place of publication] [Year of publication] [Page numbers]
Meltzer PS, Kallioniemi A, Trent JM. Chromosome Alterations in Human Solid Tumors. In: Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, editors. The Genetic Basis of Human Cancer. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2002. p. 93-113.
- [Author/editor's surname] [Author/editor's first name or initial] [Editor] [Title of page] [Title of site] [Last update or copyright date] [URL] [(Access date)]
Royal College of General Practitioners. The Primary Health Care Team. RCGP website 2003 [cited 2004 Sep 22]; Available from: URL: http://www.rcgp.org.uk/information/publications/information/PDFInfo/21_OCT_03.pdf