Guide to the Vancouver Citing and Referencing Style


When, in your work, you use an idea from a book, journal article, etc., you must acknowledge this in your text. This is referred to as ‘citing'.

Quotations longer than two lines should be inserted as a separate, indented paragraph.

Citing using the Vancouver style

Using quotations

Your reference list

A reference list is your list of all the sources you have cited in the text of your work. The list includes books, journals, etc., listed in one list, not in separate lists according to source type.

  • When using the Vancouver style, the reference list should be in numerical order and each number matches and refers to the one in the text
  • The list should be at the end of your work
  • Books, articles, etc. are written in a particular format

How to write references for your reference list and bibliography

Your bibliography

There may be items which you have consulted for your work, but not cited. These can be listed at the end of your assignment in a ‘bibliography'.

They should be listed in alphabetical order by author and laid out in the same way as items in your reference list. You will not need to number each work listed in your bibliography.

If you can cite from every work you consulted, you will only need a reference list.

If you wish to show to your reader (examiner) the unused research you carried out, the bibliography will show your extra effort.

Always check the guidance you are given for coursework, dissertations, etc., to find out if you are expected to submit work with a reference list and a bibliography. If in doubt, ask your lecturer or supervisor.

How to write references for your reference list and bibliography 

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Citing and referencing: Vancouver guide (pdf)