Vancouver Style

Vancouver style is a style of citing and making reference commonly used in medicine and science. It was established in the year 1978 in Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada, by a committee of medical journal editors. The Vancouver style consists of two parts; the in-text citation and a list of numbered references that appear at the end of the document.

Basic Rules

A writer using this style should be aware of basic rules, and guidelines are given by this style when it comes to citation and referencing of material. In-text citing, the Vancouver style requires that a number is provided in the order that which it is given in the text. If it is repeated in another part of the document, the same number is given. The number can be integrated into the text in that it comes at the end of the sentence. General rules that apply here are that a squared bracket [ ] or a curved bracket ( ) can be used to accommodate the number. Vancouver style gives allowance for the use of superscripts when citing a source in the text. The references are listed in numerical order and should be written as the last item of a manuscript.


When citing journal articles, the bibliography should include the author’s surname initials, the title of the articles, and the title of the journal and details of publication, when the reference is a book, the name of the author, the title of the book, the edition of the book, the place where it was published and the year of publication. The title of the book and the chapter, only the first letter should be capitalized. All the rest of the words should be in small letters. The titles should neither be italicized nor underlined. If the citation is of books or journals, the author of the paper should write a full and detailed bibliography, not leaving out information about the publication. When electronic sources have been cited, for example, a website, the elements of citation should entail necessary details about the texts, like the author and the year of publication and, most importantly, the URL. Caution should be taken when using the internet on the reliability of the information. When writing a reference list, the list should appear in chronological order. That is, from the numbers used to cite a report in the text of the paper.

References and quotations

Vancouver style recommends minimal use of direct quotations of information. If it is found necessary, the cited text should be placed between quotation marks and number the reference as earlier on explained. Personal communication as a reference is not advised by the Vancouver style of writing unless it provides essential information. In this case, one should not number the reference. The person's name and date of communication should be cited in parenthesis in the text.

Vancouver style gives uniform requirements so that ethical and technical issues in publishing biomedical manuscripts are addressed. What a great way to ensure uniformity in the biomedical and medical disciplines other than through the Vancouver style.


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