Vancouver Referencing Guide

Vancouver referencing is usually used within Biology and Medical Sciences. It uses an endnote system with an indexed list of sources at the end of the work. In-text, superscript (small) numbers are used to reference sources, which are each assigned a number and referred to using this number throughout.

The guide below gives details of how to reference your work in the Vancouver style of academic citation. Alternatively, if you are looking for our Vancouver Reference Generator then click on the button below:

Vancouver Reference Generator Example Vancouver Style Essay

Vancouver Referencing Overview


  1. Books
  2. Articles
  3. Online sources
  4. Images/visual mediums
  5. Other source types

Key things to remember

The feature most well known in Vancouver is that each source is assigned a unique number – these are assigned in order or citation in-text, so the first source cited would be (1), the second (2), and so on. A sentence mid-text which is citing several pieces of research, for example, might look like this:

'Recent research (2, 4-6, 10) shows that fast food prices are rising.'

You can cite authors' names, too; if a work has more than one author, use 'et al.'

'Jones et al. (5) showed that this trend is continuing'.

In Vancouver style, the reference list is organised according to numerical order, not alphabetical order. The number should be the first thing that appears in the reference list.

The reference list should be indented from the second line onwards.

1. Books

Citations for books with one author:

(Number) Last name, first initial. Title. Edition (if not the first edition of the book). City of publication: Publisher; Year.

For example:

(5) Davis, B. A History of Chocolate. Nottingham: Delectable Publications; 2013.

(5) Davis, B. A History of Chocolate. 3rd ed. Nottingham: Delectable Publications; 2013.

Citations for books with two or more authors:

If a book has two or more authors, only the first author's name should be listed in-text followed by 'et al.', meaning 'and others'. However, all authors should be listed in the reference list in the order they are credited in the original work.

(Number) Last name, first initial and Last name, first initial. Title. Edition (if not the first edition of the book). City of publication: Publisher; Year.

For example:

(4) Jones, F. and Hughes, S. Eating Out: A Definitive Restaurant Handbook. Nottingham: Delectable Publications; 2006.

(5) Evans, D., McDonald, F. and Jackson, T. Getting the best service. Nottingham: Delectable Publications; 2008.

Citations for a chapter in an edited book:

When citing a single chapter in a larger book, it is important to ensure that you add the page range (p.) that the chapter spans. When citing an individual chapter, you should also always include the edition of the book in the citation (you do not have to do this for other books unless it is notthe first edition).

(Number) Last name, first initial. Chapter title. In: Editor's name/s (ed/s) Book Title. Edition. City of publication: Publisher; Year. Page/s.

For example:

(6) King, S. The best wines and where to find them. In: Loftus, E. (ed.) Fine Wine: A Guide, 1st ed. Nottingham: Delectable Publications; 2010. p. 28-46.

Citations for multiple books by the same author:

In text, the author's texts can usually be differentiated by year. They should be listed in chronological order of publication. Where you are citing two works by the same author which were published in the same year, these should be labelled with 'a', 'b', 'c' and so on directly after the year.

(Number) Last name, first initial. (Year). Title. Edition (if not the first edition of the book). City of publication: Publisher.

For example:

(1) Brown, G. Mexican Food. Nottingham: Delectable Publications; 2011.

(2) Brown, G. Japanese Food. Nottingham: Delectable Publications; 2014.

(3) Brown, G. Chinese Food. Nottingham: Delectable Publications; 2015a.

(4) Brown, G. Italian Food. Nottingham: Delectable Publications; 2015b.

Tools for creating Vancouver Book references:

Reference a Book Reference a Book Chapter

2. Articles

Citations for Print Journals:

(Number) Last name, First initial. Article Title. Journal name, Year;Volume(Issue), Page/s.

For example:

(10) Jenkins, O. Unusual Recipes and Cantonese Cuisine. Culinary Research, 1996;Volume 5(8), p. 47-59.

Citations for Journal Articles accessed on a website or database:

In-text citations for an online journal article remain unchanged from the way you would cite a print article. The citation in the reference list does have a few differences, however. In Vancouver referencing, wherever possible you should supply the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) of the source you accessed. If no DOI is available, you should cite the URL of the source.

(Number) Last name, First initial. (Year). Article Title. Journal name, Volume (Issue), Page/s. Available from: URL or DOI. [Accessed: date].

For example:

(15) Jenkins, O. Unusual Recipes and Cantonese Cuisine. Culinary Research, 1996;Volume 5(8), pp. 47-59. Available at: [Accessed: 5 June 2016].

Citations for Newspaper or Magazine Articles – Print or Online:

Newspaper/magazine citations are rendered similarly to journal articles when they are found online; the same differences in formatting occur, as the example below illustrates.

(Number) Last name, First initial. Article title. Newspaper name; Year. Page/s.

(Number) Last name, First initial. Article Title. Newspaper name; Year. Page/s. Retrieved from: Journal name/ URL if freely available.

For example:

(1) Bell, Y. Man with unusual tastes eats chalk for breakfast. The Weekly Herald; Year. p. 4.

(2) Lees, P. Freaky eaters. The Weekly Herald; 2015. p.21. Available at: [Accessed 21 June 2016].

Tools for creating Vancouver Journal references:

Reference a Journal Article

3. Online sources

Citations for websites:

When citing a website, it is important to ascertain authorship of the website – if it's an article on website which is not a newspaper/magazine site or online journal, there may be an individual author; if not, the organisation or website name would be credited with authorship.

(Number) Author/Source if no specific author. Title of web document/page. Available at: URL [Accessed date: Day/Month/Year].

For example:

(14) HealthTips. Superfoods and where to find them. Available at: [Accessed 20 June 2016].

Citations for emails:

(Number) Sender's last name, First initial. Email sent to: Recipient's Name. Date.

For example:

(8) James, D. Email sent to: Jeremy Renton. 9th July 2016.

Tools for referencing online sources:

Reference a Website Reference a Wiki Reference a Blog Reference an Email

4. Images/visual mediums

Citations for films/videos/DVDs:

(Number) Full Title of Film/Video/DVD. Country of Origin: Film studio or maker; Year.

For example:

(4) The World's Best Curries. U.K: Foodie Studios; 2013.

Citations for YouTube videos:

(Number) Username of contributor. Video Title [type of medium]. Available at: URL. [Accessed: Day/ Month/ Year].

For example:

(13) Yummydishes. Egg custard – simple recipe! [YouTube video]. Available at: [Accessed 13 June 2016].

Citations for broadcasts:

(Number) Series title and episode name/number. Channel number: Broadcaster; Year.

For example:

(4) World Kitchen: Nigeria, episode 5. BBC 1: BBC; 2011.

Citations for images/photographs – Print or Online:

(Number) Last name of artist/photographer, first initial. [Internet] Title of image. Available from: URL.

For example:

(5) Hewer, D. [Internet]. Women enjoying a cup of tea. Available from: http://foodieimages/hewerdcupoftea

Citations for podcasts:

(Number) Broadcaster/author's name. Programme title [type of medium]. Series title. Year published. Available at: URL [Accessed date: Day/Month/Year].

For example:

(11) Yummydishes. Innovative Baking [Podcast]. Innovative Food. 2015. Available at: [Accessed: 17 April 2016].

5. Other source types

Citations for reports:

(Number) Author/editor's last name, first initial. Full title of report. Organisation. Report number, Year.

For example:

(12) Lewis, D. A report on the sales of '2 Dine for £10'. Marks and Spencers. Report number: 123, 2015.

Citations for dissertations:

(Number) Last name of author, first initial. Title of dissertation [Level]. Official name of university; year.

For example:

(14) Neath, G. An examination of Mexican food in popular culture [Masters level]. Oxford Brookes University; 2008.

Citations for Acts of Parliament:

(Number) Short title (key words capitalised) section/chapter number/s. Place of publication: Publisher; year.

For example:

(19) Food Act 1981 (c5). London: Official Publications; 1981.

Citations for government/official publications:

(Number) Government agency/Last name of author, first initial. Title of document. City of publication: publisher; Year Page(s) if relevant.

For example:

(3) UK Government. Nutrition and Young People. London: Government Publications; 2007 p. 7-20.

Citations for interviews:

(Number) Last name of interviewer, first initial. Title/description of interview. Location: Year.

For example:

(11) Ferman, H. Discussing cooking. London: 2006.

Citations for presentations/lectures:

(Number) Last name of author, first initial. Presentation/lecture title. Format presented at; Year; Location.

For example:

(16) Yates, R. The benefits of herbs. Presentation; 1998; Nottingham.

Citations for music:

(Number) Performer/writer's last name, first initial. Recording title. City published: music label; year.

For example:

(8) Luce, F. Delicious. Nottingham: Delectable Music; 2011.

Citations for dictionaries:

(Number) Publisher. Full title of dictionary. Edition. Year. Place of publication: Publisher. Page/s.

For example:

(4) Wordy. Wordy's modern dictionary. 4th Ed. Nottingham: Delectable Publications; 2007. P. 25.

Back to Top ^