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Subject Guides

Referencing styles - a Practical Guide

Vancouver

Vancouver referencing style

Used by: Biochemistry (as well as Harvard), Biology (as well as Harvard), Hull York Medical School (as well as Harvard)

Introduction to Vancouver referencing style

The Vancouver style was developed by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) as a system for presenting publications and citations. The Vancouver Style has a number of different interpretations so check and follow your Department's specific regulations.

In-text citations

Vancouver uses numeric in-text citations, where the number of the reference(s) is given in superscript after the information, summary or quote:

A recent study1 has demonstrated the effectiveness of…

The results presented here have also been confirmed elsewhere2 .


Citations/references are numbered in the order they first appear in the text - so your first citation is 1, the second is 2 and so on. If you cite the same source again later in the text, re-use the original citation number.

Reference list

The reference list at the end of the document includes the full details of each source so the reader can find them themselves. Sources are listed in the order they first appear in the text.

The information to include depends on the types of source - see the examples.

Useful resources

Guidance for all source types

Formatting references for one, two or more authors

1 author

Include the author's surname and initial(s).

1. Cooper A. Biophysical chemistry. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry; 2011.

 


2-6 authors

Include all authors in the order they appear on the source, separated by commas.

2. Downie G, Mackenzie J, Williams A. Calculating drug doses safely: a handbook for nurses and midwives. 2nd ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone; 2010.

 


7+ authors

Add the first 6 authors' names as above, then add at al. to show that additional authors are listed on the published source.

In-text citations with multiple sources

If you are synthesising a number of sources to support your argument you may want to use a number of sources in one citation.

Separate out the numbers by a comma, eg 1, 3, 6. For a range of sources that appear consecutively in your reference list, use a hyphen, eg 5-7

No author name or publication date

No named author

It is important to use quality sources to support your arguments and so you should carefully consider the value of using any source when you cannot identify its author.

For online sources, look carefully for named contributors, such as in the ‘about us’ sections. For printed material, look carefully at the publication/ copyright information which is often on the inside cover of a book or back page of a report. If you cannot locate the information, you could use the name of the organisation, for example ‘NHS’, for the author.


No publication date

Knowing when a source was created, published, or last updated is important as this helps you to determine the relevance and reliability of the source. For online sources, look carefully for created and/ or last updated dates on the page(s) you are using, such as in the ‘about us’ sections.

If no date can be established, indicate this with [date unknown]. If you can't identify an exact date, but clues in the content give an estimated date you can indicate this estimate with [year?]:

7. Schultz A. An introduction to radiography. London: Smith’s Medical Press; [1935?].

Direct quotes

Quotations are word-for-word text included in your work and must be clearly distinguished from your own words and ideas. Quotations are word-for-word text included in your work and must be clearly distinguished from your own words and ideas. You must also include the page number(s) in the citation and reference list entry.


Short quotations (of less than three lines)

Use a brief phrase to introduce the quotation. For example:

In-text:

As Neville emphasises, “you should cite all sources and present full details of these in your list of references”1 (p.37).   


Reference:

1. Neville C. The complete guide to referencing and avoiding plagiarism. 2nd ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press; 2010.

 


Longer quotations (of three lines or more)

Use block quotation, without quotation marks, but clearly indent the quote to indicate these words are not your own. For example:

In-text:

Neville comments that:
It can sometimes be difficult, if not impossible, to avoid using some of the author’s original words, particularly those that describe or label phenomena. However, you need to avoid copying out what the author said, word for word. Choose words that you feel give a true impression of the author’s original ideas or action1 (p.37).


The in-text citation is given at the end of the quotation and before the punctuation, with a full reference, including page number, in the reference list being given as in the example above.

Citing a source you've read about in a different source (secondary referencing)

A secondary reference is given when you are referring to a source which you have not read yourself, but have read about in another source, for example referring to Jones’ work that you have read about in Smith. Wherever possible, you should avoid using secondary references and locate and reference the original source. If you do need to use a secondary reference, you can clearly show what source you are citing and from which location, using the following format:

In-text:

According to WHO, cited in Edwards and Langpap5 , a lack of information influences the health impacts of poor fuel use choices.


Reference:

5. Edwards JHY, Langpap C. Fuel choice, indoor air pollution and children’s health. Environment and Development Economics. 2012;17(4):379-406.


Only the source you have read is cited and included in your reference list.

When to include page numbers in citations

It is important to give a page number with a reference in the following circumstances: 

  • when quoting directly
  • when referring to a specific detail in a text (for example, a specific theory or idea, an illustration, a table, a set of statistics).

This might mean giving an individual page number or a small range of pages from which you have taken the information. Giving page numbers enables the reader to locate the specific item to which you refer. You should note the page in ( ) after the superscript number for the citation, for example:

 Over 99% of the almost two million deaths each year from indoor air pollution are in developing countries(p.380).

When to use capital letters in titles

For an article or book title, capitalise the first word and any proper nouns. Capitalise each major word of journal titles.

2. Cohen L, Manion L, Morrison K. Research methods in education. 6th ed. London: Routledge; 2007.
3. Anscombe FJ. Graphs in statistical analysis. The American Statistician. 1973;27(1):17-21. 

Using abbreviations

It is common in science publications to use standard abbreviations for common words in book and journal titles, to give more concise references (for example Adv Synth Catal for Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis). CASSI lists standard abbreviations for publication titles and for other key words, which can be found at: www.cas.org/content/references/corejournals. The appendices of ‘Citing Medicine’ www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK7247  also contain lists of common abbreviations used in academia.

If you use non-standard abbreviations, you should define what these are, at first use. Common abbreviations are also given below:

  • Appl. (applied)
  • Conv. (convention)
  • ed. (edition)
  • et al. (and others)
  • Fig. (figure)
  • no. (issue number)
  • p. (single page)
  • pp. (page range)
  • Rep. (report)
  • ser. (series)
  • supp. (Supplement)
  • Soc. (Society)
  • Tab. (table)
  • vol. (volume)

Commonly used sources

Examples of in-text citations and reference list entries for key source types.

Use these examples alongside the information given in the 'Guidance for all source types' box.

Book

Bibliography/ Reference List:

Information to include
#. Surname Initial.Title of book. X ed. Place: Publisher; year.

1. Cooper A. Biophysical chemistry. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry; 2011.


Include edition (ed.) if needed - omit for 1st editions.

Edited book (& chapters)

Chapter in an edited book

Bibliography/ Reference List:

Information to include
#. Surname Initial. Title of chapter. In: Surname Initial, editor. Title of book. Place: Publisher; year. p. #-#

3. Taylor G. Principles of molecular genetics. In: Bishop T, Sham P, editors. Analysis of multifactorial disease. Oxford: BIOS Scientific Publishers; 2000. p. 1-14.

 


Edited book

Bibliography/ Reference List:

Information to include
#. Surname Initial, editor. Title of book. Place: Publisher; year.

4. Browse NL, Black J, Burnard KG, Corbett SA, Thomas WEG, editors. Browse's introduction to the investigation and management of surgical disease. London: Hodder Arnold; 2010.

Journal paper

Journal article (print copy)

Bibliography/ Reference List:

Information to include
#. Surname Initial. Title of paper. Name of journal. year;volume(issue):page range

5. Pimentel ECG, König S. Genomic selection for the improvement of meat quality in beef. Journal of Animal Science. 2012;90(10):3418-26.


The journal title can also be abbreviated to 'J Anim Sci'.


Journal article (electronic copy)

Bibliography/ Reference List:

Information to include
#. Surname Initial. Title of paper. Name of journal. [Internet] year Mon day [cited year Mon day];volume(issue). Available from: URL

6. Sinzinger H, Berent R. Platelet function in the postprandial period. Thrombosis Journal [Internet]. 2012 Sep 3 [cited 2012 Oct 29]; 10(19). Available from: http://www.thrombosisjournal.com/content/10/1/19


Normally this format is used only for journals that do not have a print publication, and that are published only online. For journals that have both print and online publication, use the referencing format for 'Journal article (print copy)', even if you obtained your copy of the article electronically.

Website

The posted or last updated date should be given for the page, as well as when it was cited.


Website with author

Bibliography/ Reference List:

Information to include
#. Surname, Initial. Title of specific webpage [Internet]; year Mon day [cited year Mon day]. Available from: URL

54. Riley C, Campbell D. The maths that made Voyager possible [Internet]; 2012 Oct 23 [cited 2012 Nov 15]. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20033940

 


Website with no author

Bibliography/ Reference List:

Information to include
#. Organisation. Title of specific webpage [Internet]; year Mon day [cited year Mon day]. Available from: URL

55. Royal Society of Chemistry. Business skills for chemists [Internet]; 2012 [cited 2012 Nov 15]. Available from: http://www.rsc.org/learn-chemistry/resource/res00000952/business-skills-for-chemists

Further sources

Examples of in-text citations and reference list entries for other source types.

Use these examples alongside the information given in the 'Guidance for all source types' box.

Act of Parliament

Bibliography/ Reference List:

1. Green Energy (Definition and Promotion) Act 2009, ch. 19.

Atlas

Bibliography/ Reference List:

2. Master atlas of Greater London. 11th ed. Sevenoaks: Geographer's A-Z Map Company; 2007.

Blog

Bibliography/ Reference List:

3. Hoskin R. Can a neuroscientist read your mind? 2012 Apr 30 [cited 2012 Oct 29]. Science Brainwaves: British Science Association [blog]. Available from: http://www.sciencebrainwaves.com/uncategorized/can-a-neuroscientist-read-your-mind

Book (translated to English)

Follow this example if you read a book in another language and want to refer to it

Bibliography/ Reference List:

5. Penso G. La médecine Romaine: L’art d’Esculape dans la Rome antique [Roman medicine: the art of Aesculapius in ancient Rome]. Paris: Les Éditions Roger Dacosta; 1984. French.

Book (read in another language)

If you are reading an English language version of a book originally published in another language follow this example

Bibliography/ Reference List:

4. Samsonov GV. The oxide handbook. 2nd ed. Johnston RK, translator. New York: IFI/ Plenum; 1982

Computer application/program/software

Bibliography/ Reference List:

7. Adobe Systems. Adobe creative suite: production studio premium [computer program]. San Jose (CA): Adobe Systems Incorp.; 2005.

Conference papers & proceedings

Conference paper (unpublished)

Bibliography/ Reference List:

8. Almarashi F. Insulin resistance, diabetes and cardiovascular disease: making the link and reducing the risk. Unpublished paper presented at: The National Arab American Medical Association Conference; 2008 [cited 2012 Nov 5]; Dubai, UAE. Available from: http://www.naama.com/pdf/insulin-resistance-metabolic-syndrome-diabetes-cardiovascular-disease-mellitis-links-fatma-almarashi-md.pdf

 


Conference proceedings (full)

Bibliography/ Reference List:

9. Waller D, editor. CETL-MSOR 2011 Conference [Internet]. Proceedings; 2011 Sep 5-6; Coventry University: HEA Maths, Statistics & OR Network; [cited 2012 Nov 5]. Available from: http://www.mathstore.ac.uk/headocs/Proceedings2011.pdf

CD, CD-Rom or DVD

Bibliography/ Reference List:

6. Hale PJ. Real world community health nursing. [CD-ROM]. St Louis (MO): Mosby; 2007.
7. The story of maths. [DVD]. London: British Broadcasting Corporation; 2008.

Database

Database (Internet, DVD or CD) with author

Bibliography/ Reference List:

10. Kramida A, Ralchenko Y, Reader J and NIST ASD Team. Atomic Spectra Database [electronic database]. Gaithersburg (MD): National Institute of Standards and Technology; 2012. Fe (all spectra); [cited 2012 Nov 5]. Available from: http://physics.nist.gov/cgi-bin/ASD/lines1.pl

 


Database Online (not referring to specific content)

Bibliography/ Reference List:

11. Kramida A, Ralchenko Y, Reader J and NIST ASD Team. Atomic Spectra Database [electronic database]. Gaithersburg (MD): National Institute of Standards and Technology. 2012 [cited 2012 Nov 5]. Available from: http://physics.nist.gov/cgi-bin/ASD/lines1.pl

Diary

examples

Dictionary

Dictionary (with editor)

Bibliography/ Reference List:

12. Marcovitch H. Black’s medical dictionary. London: A & C Black; 2005.

 


Dictionary (without editor)

Bibliography/ Reference List:

13. Oxford concise colour medical dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1998.

E-book

E-book (online)

If page markers are not available on the e-book version you are using cite the chapter for specific references to the source (for example “…” 1(ch.1))

Bibliography/ Reference List:

15. Zorich, V. Mathematical analysis of problems in the natural sciences [e-book]. Gould G, translator. Heidelberg: Springer; 2011 [cited 2012 Nov 5]. Available from: http://www.springerlink.com/content/r4nn7g/#section=794391&page=1.

 


E-book (reader)

If viewing an e-book using an e-book reader it is important to reference the specific version of the publication for this reader. If page markers are not available on the e-book version you are using cite the chapter for specific references to the source (for example “…” 1(ch.3)).

Bibliography/ Reference List:

16. Collins, S. The hunger games. [Kindle]. Scholastic Fiction; 2011. [cited 2012 Nov 5]. Available at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005EGXTEE/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d2_g351_i4?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0V3C55RJ3DB412MK834J&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=467128533&pf_rd_i=468294.

Email

Personal communications (for example, email, text messages, letters) do not always require referencing in your reference list as separate sources. If you are using these sources of information you should introduce them in your writing, for example: “Professor Patel raised concerns about the ethics of the study in an email to the author (1 Nov 2012)”. If you are required to reference personal communications you should follow the format below:

Bibliography/ Reference List:

17. Patel Mayur. Ethical concerns re fat absorption experiment [e-mail]. Message to: Jane Jones. 2012 Nov 1 [cited 2012 Nov 5].

Encyclopedia (full book or individual entry)

Encyclopedia (full)

Bibliography/ Reference List:

18. McGraw-Hill concise encyclopedia of science and technology. 6th ed. Vol 1. London: McGraw-Hill; 2009.

 


Encyclopedia (entry)

Bibliography/ Reference List:

19. McGraw-Hill concise encyclopedia of science and technology. 6th ed. Vol 1. London: McGraw-Hill; 2009. Infrared spectroscopy; p. 1222.

Government publication (command paper, eg white paper, green paper)

Bibliography/ Reference List:

21. Great Britain. Dept. of Health. Liberating the NHS: legislative framework and next steps, CM7993. London: Department of Health; 2010.


You can omit 'Great Britain' if you are only referring to UK central government publications and this will be clear to your reader. If you are referring to publications by devolved government bodies or to international government publications you should state the jurisdictions.

Graph, chart, figure or table

Graph, chart, table or figure (print copy)

Give the title for the table/ figure etc and include a number to the source

In-text:

[INSERT IMAGE] Receptor selection: generating self-tolerance22


Bibliography/ Reference List:

22. Nairn R, Helbert M. Immunology for medical students. Philadelphia: Mosby; 2002. Figure 14.7; p.115.

 


Graph, chart, table or figure (online)

Give the title for the table/ figure etc and include a full in-text citation

In-text:

[INSERT IMAGE] Ash dieback across Britain23


Bibliography/ Reference List:

23. Kinver M. Ashes to ashes: why is dieback making the headlines? [Internet]. 2012 Nov 07. [Image], Ash dieback across Britain; [cited 2012 Nov 13]. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20219650

Interview

Interview (conducted by someone else)

If referring to an interview conducted by someone else that has been published in such as a newspaper or journal you can reference using the format for that source, including the additional information as below:

Bibliography/ Reference List:

24. Packman Z, Steen P. The nurses who simplified discharge planning [interview]. Nursing Times. 2007 Oct 16-22; 104(42):20-1. Interview by Victoria Hoban.

 


Interview (conducted by yourself)

If referring to an interview you have conducted as part of your research you should give a citation, perhaps also signposting the reader to a transcript attached as an appendix, and a full reference. Consideration also needs to be given to confidentiality and interviewee anonymity as appropriate.

Bibliography/ Reference List:

25. Hill, Gemma. Laboratory safety study for BSc dissertation [personal interview]. At University of York, with Karl Schmidt, 2012 March 2 (see appendix 1).

Lecture

Bibliography/ Reference List:

26. Delius G. Modelling with functions. [Lecture to BA/BSc Mathematics Year 1]. University of York. 2010 Nov 8.

Lecture notes

Bibliography/ Reference List:

27. Delius G. Modelling with functions. [Lecture notes]. Introduction to applied mathematics [module], University of York. 2010 Nov 8.

Letter

Personal communications (for example, email, text messages, letters) do not always require referencing in your reference list as separate sources. If you are using these sources of information you should introduce them in your writing, for example: “Professor Patel raised concerns about the ethics of the study in a letter to the author (1 Nov 2012)”. If you are required to reference personal communications you should follow the format below:

Bibliography/ Reference List:

28. Patel Mayur (Biology Department, University of York). Letter to: Jane Jones (Medical School, University of York). 2012 Nov 1.

Magazine article

Bibliography/ Reference List:

29. Lowe N. Chemistry: a departmental infrastructure to support effective supervision. Forum. 2012; Issue 30: p.11.

Microfiche

Bibliography/ Reference List:

30. Pratt P. The theory of chess; a treatise, in which the principles and maxims of this game, or rather science, are clearly and concisely explained [microform]. London: Samuel Bagster; 1799.

Newspaper article

Newspaper article (online)

Bibliography/ Reference List:

31. Laurance J. Liverpool care pathway: a way of death worth fighting for? The Independent [Internet]; 2013 Jan 08 [cited 2012 Jan 09]. Available from: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/liverpool-care-pathway-a-way-of-death-worth-fighting-for-8443348.html

 


Newspaper article (print with author)

Bibliography/ Reference List:

32. Harvey F. Jowit, J. Mixed messages on windfarms ‘a disaster’ for investors. The Guardian. 2012 Nov 1; p. 12-13

 


Newspaper article (print no author)

Bibliography/ Reference List:

33. The risk of a new Southern Cross. The Independent. 2012 Nov 5; p.18.

Online video (eg YouTube) & other online digital media

Bibliography/ Reference List:

34. ProfessorDaveatYork. Professor Dave’s amazing molecules 7: Influenza. [Video]. 2009 Dec 14 [cited 2012 Nov 15]. Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7223YDiEx94&playnext=1&list=PL16BF42E87C9566B8&feature=results_video

Pamphlet or booklet

Bibliography/ Reference List:

35. Royal College of Physicians, British Geriatrics Society, British Pain Society. The assessment of pain in older people: national guidelines [pamphlet]. Concise guidance to good practice series, No 8. London: RCP; 2007.

Parliamentary bill

Bibliography/ Reference List:

36. Alan Turing (Statutory Pardon) Bill [HL] 2012-13.


The [HL] is used to denote a Bill originating in the House of Lords. Use [HC] for Bills originating in the House of Commons.

Patent

Bibliography/ Reference List:

37. Berberet S, Bates M. Fitting for plumbing fixture. United States patent US D582022. 2008 Dec 2.

Podcast

Bibliography/ Reference List:

38. Moots R, van Riel P. Inflammatory myopathies. [Podcast]. Rheumatology on-line, 2011 Jun 3 [cited 2012 Nov 15]. Available from: http://www.oxfordjournals.org/our_journals/brheum/podcast.html

Radio programme

Bibliography/ Reference List:

39. A brief history of mathematics. BBC Radio 4 [radio broadcast]. 2010 Jun 25.

Report

Reports (hard copy)

Bibliography/ Reference List:

40. Harding A-H. The Great Britain asbestos survey 1971-2005: mortality of workers listed on the Great Britain Asbestosis or Mesothelioma registers. Buxton: Health and Safety Laboratory, HSE; 2010. Report No.: RR908.

 


Reports (online)

Bibliography/ Reference List:

41. Nursing and Midwifery Council. NMC (Constitution) Order 2008: Consultation report. [Internet] Nursing and Midwifery Council; 2008 [cited 2012 Dec 04]. Available from: http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Consultations/Responsestoconsultations/DH_089502

Republished source

Bibliography/ Reference List:

42. Erikson EH. Childhood and society. St Albans: Triad/Paladin; 1977 [original work published 1951].


This format is for when you read and cite a more recent version of an older work. Give the date and details of the version you read, with the original publication date at the end of the reference.

Review

Bibliography/ Reference List:

43. Gates P. Mathematical relationships in education: identities and participation [book review]. Research in Mathematics Education. 2012 Mar: 14(1):91-94.


The journal title can the abbreviated to 'Res Math Educ'.

Source material where confidentiality is maintained

This should be used where it is important the institution from which the source originates should not be named, in to order protect corporate or individual confidentiality. For example, where a policy, procedure or care plan is being used.

In-text:

"This was in accordance with the NHS Trust's disciplinary policy45".


Bibliography/ Reference List:

45. NHS Trust (Name withheld). Disciplinary policy; 1999.

Standard

Bibliography/ Reference List:

46. British Standards Institute. BSEN14975: Loft Ladders: requirements, marking and testing. London: British Standards Institute; 2006.

Statutory instrument

Bibliography/ Reference List:

47. Control of substances hazardous to health regulations [statutory instrument]; 1988, SI 1988/1657.

Telephone conversation

Personal communications (for example, email, text messages, letters) do not always require referencing in your reference list as separate sources. If you are using these sources of information you should introduce them in your writing, for example: “Professor Patel raised concerns about the ethics of the study in a telephone conversation with the author (1 Nov 2012)”. If you are required to reference personal communications you should follow the format below:

Bibliography/ Reference List:

48. Patel Mayur (Biology Department, University of York). Text message to: Jane Jones (Medical School, University of York). 2012 Nov 1.

Television programme

Bibliography/ Reference List:

51. Richard Hammond’s miracles of nature: super-powers. BBC 1 [television broadcast]. 2012 Nov 19.

Text message

Personal communications (for example, email, text messages, letters) do not always require referencing in your reference list as separate sources. If you are using these sources of information you should introduce them in your writing, for example: “Professor Patel raised concerns about the ethics of the study in a text message to the author (1 Nov 2012)”. If you are required to reference personal communications you should follow the format below:

Bibliography/ Reference List:

49. Patel Mayur (Biology Department, University of York). Text message to: Jane Jones (Medical School, University of York). 2012 Nov 1.

Thesis

Bibliography/ Reference List:

50. Taylor A. Rational R-matrices and tensor identities for the exceptional lie algebras [PhD thesis]. York: University of York; 2009.

Twitter post

Use either the author’s proper name or Twitter pseudonym. In the following example, either 'Chemistry at York' or '@ChemistryatYork' can be used.

Bibliography/ Reference List:

52. Chemistry at York. Scientists detect CO2 accumulation at the edge of Space: http://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/2012/research/co2-accumulation/ 2012 Nov 12 [cited 2012 Nov 15] [Tweet]. Available from: http://twitter.com/ChemistryatYork

VLE

Bibliography/ Reference List:

53. ELDT. Help Guide: Blogs in Yorkshare: an overview. University of York [Internet]; 2012 [cited 2013 Jan 09]. Available from: https://vle.york.ac.uk/bbcswebdav/institution/E-Learning/Development/Team/Guides/Bb/Blog/--/Overview.html

Wiki

Bibliography/ Reference List:

56. Open Science Wiki. Mole [Internet]. [Date unknown; cited 2012 Nov 15]. Available from: http://science.wikia.com/wiki/Mole