Vancouver Style Guidelines for Students

For the majority of us, Vancouver style refers to the famous Canadian city and designates southwest British Columbia. However, students and scientists may perceive it differently. It is another style for formatting research papers and high school assignments in a variety of science disciplines. If you study at the University of the same name or any other Canadian college, you may face the need to format your scientific output using this citation style.

Unlike some widely applied writing styles, Vancouver is a numbered referencing format. It was introduced to cite academic and scientific works in the fields of healthcare, medicine, nursing, and science in general. The eponymous University, by the way, did not put it into practice.

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors is the organization responsible for the existence of this format. The main idea behind it was to make the papers well-structured, well-readable, and well-distinguished by the universe covered in work. Such a formulary also helps readers find the citation sources to keep on exploring the research question on their own. Just like with any other official writing style, the Vancouver style helps combat plagiarism and link research papers and dissertations to the logical flow as they should.

This article aims to briefly and clearly explain how to cite using the Vancouver style.

Vancouver Citation Style Features

No matter which topic you cover in class, the assignment you get assumes accurate citing of references to provide evidence. If the professor does not specify the preferred writing style in prompt, pick Vancouver citation style if you study medicine.

In-text citations can be:

  1. Direct — the writer will use the words of another writer exactly how they appear in the original;
  2. Indirect — the writer will paraphrase the words of another author.

Either way, one has to create corresponding endnotes and references.

According to the official Vancouver style guidelines, a writer should use Arabic numerals while citing the sources in-text.

Vancouver style citing has a lot in common with Oxford’s. The difference is it uses endnotes instead of footnotes to connect in-text citations with corresponding reference entries.

So, how does Vancouver in-text citation look like in the text? Here is an example:

The theory defended by Johnson was first put forward in 1973. (upper 1)

It should be noted that the numbers of the citations are always in the upper case.

Creating a Vancouver Style Referencing List

Create a separate page with the Vancouver style references linked to the sources used in your assignment. You should place such a list toward the end of your piece of writing, immediately after the main part, typically preceded by a blank page. You should include all the sources that you cited — list ALL of them, it is crucial. One of them can't be enough on its own, but all of them would do.

As you may know, a bibliography page is called “References,” and that is the title of this last page or pages depending on how much detail you include in your research. The whole list should follow the numerical order meaning you should put the source’s info one-by-one in the order you cite these sources in your text.

If you have some abbreviations going in your essay (say, journal titles), place them in adherence to the NLM Catalog. In Vancouver referencing style, you are allowed to omit the sources you have simply spent some time reading without quoting anything. Your references list should include the cited sources only.

To make it easier for you to understand Vancouver citation style better, please look at this specimen of Reference list below:

Neil V. Positive effects of the dry red wine on the organism of an average French man. Am J Sports Med [Internet]. 2015 Sep [cited 2016 Aug 19];33(11):1321-9. Available from: {full link}

As for online sources, you should always provide the URL of the website where you retrieved the quote. Another important rule is to list the first six authors only if the team of contributors exceeds this number. Name the first six contributors followed by ‘at all.’

To sum up, the information you must collect about each piece of work you cite should include:

  1. The name of the author(s)
  2. Title of the paper
  3. Publisher
  4. Date of publication
  5. Number of pages
  6. Any extra details (volume, issue number, etc.)

If it’s an online source, make sure to provide additional information such as the date of access and URL address (full). On the whole, it depends on whether you’re citing an e-book, journal, website, video, or else as each source has a unique approach to quoting it.

Vancouver Style Endnote Instructions

Do you know what a Vancouver style endnote is? Not all writing formats require the usage of endnotes or footnotes. An endnote describes the in-text citation in short.

If you are typing in Word, it is easy to insert endnotes in Vancouver format. Select a new bibliography style, “Vancouver” in our case. Pick ‘Select Another Style’ on the special Endnote toolbar. You can choose one of the approaches to format quotations:

  • Format a full folder in a certain style. Select Format and the Bibliography.
  • Apply the ‘Cite While You Write’ command to insert citations and references properly when writing.
  • To pick Vancouver, search for it in the list of styles being offered.
  • References that appear in your library will be shown in the bottom preview window when highlighted.
  • We recommend putting down the entire information about each source to save some time and effort toward the end of your endeavor.

To find more information about Vancouver formatting style, read the Guidelines published by the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE). Look for additional details in your student handbook or the official Vancouver writing guide.

We hope these Vancouver style guidelines will be useful for you to prepare perfectly formatted writing. Just follow our instructions step by step and succeed easily!