Vancouver Referencing Style

In text

  • A superscript number should be assigned in numerical order to each reference as it is cited in the text. A number must be used even if the author is given in the text (e.g. Jones5 reported that…).
  • The original number assigned to a reference should be used each time the reference is cited in text.
  • When multiple references are cited together, use a hyphen to join the first and last numbers that are inclusive (e.g. …was reported5-8) and commas (without spaces) to separate non-inclusive numbers (e.g. …was reported5-8,12).
  • The superscript citation number should be placed outside full stops and commas and inside colons and semi-colons. If the source applies to only a part of the sentence, the number should appear directly after the end of that part of the sentence, before the punctuation and without a space.

Reference list

  • Sources should be listed numerically at the end of the article, in the same order in which they were cited in text.
  • Book and journal titles should not be italicised nor placed in quotation marks.
  • Only the first word of the article title and words that normally begin with a capital letter should be capitalised.
  • Journal titles should be abbreviated, according to their official abbreviation.
  • If the journal has continuous page numbering, the month/issue number can be omitted.
  • If there are more than six authors/editors, the first six should be listed, followed by et al.
  • The digital object identifier (DOI), where available, should be included at the end of the reference in the form of a link (i.e. preceded by http://dx.doi.org/10.xxxx). DOIs can be retrieved from CrossRef using the Simple Text Query tool (the service is free but you are required to register an email address).

Some common examples:

Journal article

Author's surname Initials, Author's surname Initials. Title of article. Abbreviated journal title. Year of publication;volume(issue number):page numbers. DOI.

Article in press

Author's surname Initials, Author's surname Initials. Title of article. Abbreviated journal title. In press Year. DOI.

Article not in English

Author's surname Initials, Author's surname Initials. Title of article in original language [translated title in English]. Abbreviated journal title. Year of publication;volume(issue number):page numbers. Original language. DOI.

Book

Author/editor’s surname Initials. Title of book. ed. [if not 1st]. City of publication: publisher's name; year of publication. DOI.

Chapter in a book

Author's surname Initials. Title of chapter. In: Editor's surname Initials, editor. Title of book. ed. [if not 1st]. City of publication: publisher's name; year of publication. p. xx–xx. [page numbers of chapter, separated by an en dash and not elided]. DOI.

Conference proceeding

Author's surname Initials. Title of paper. In: Editor's surname Initials, editor. Title of conference; date of conference; place where conference was held. City of publication: publisher's name; year of publication. p. xx–xx. [page numbers]. DOI.

Newspaper article

Author’s surname Initials. Title of article. Title of newspaper. Year month day;page/section.

Website / homepage

Author/Editor/Organisation's name. Title of the page [homepage on the Internet]. City of publication: publisher's name; year created [updated year month day; cited year month day]. Available from: URL

Thesis / Dissertation

Author's surname Initials. Title of thesis or dissertation [thesis/dissertation]. City: university; year.

Dictionary

Dictionary. ed. City: Publisher; year. Word; page.

Dictionary online

Dictionary [online]. ed. City: Publisher; year. Word [cited year month day]. Available from: URL

Patent

Filer(s). Title. Patent number, date.

Act

nth Act of year, country.

TV programme

Name of reporter. Title [television broadcast]. Programme name. City: Broadcaster; year month day.

ArXiv

Author's surname Initials. Title [article on the Internet]. year created [cited year month day]. Available from: URL

Data set

Author's surname Initials. Subset/portion. In: Title of data set. Data repository/archive. Version. DOI/persistent ID.

Personal communication

Personal communications used as a reference should be avoided, unless they provide essential information that is not available from a traceable source. Personal communications should be cited in text only and should not be included in your reference list. It is advisable to get permission from the source/author of your personal communication. Personal communications in the text should include the date and type of communication (e.g. oral or written):

Surname Initials Year, oral/written communication, month day

For a more comprehensive list of examples see http://www.library.up.ac.za/health/Vancouver.htm