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Vancouver Referencing

Vancouver is a numbered referencing style that is commonly used in Medicine and Health Sciences.

  • It consists of two main elements:

Citations in the paragraphs of your project / paper are numbered sequentially, each citation with one unique number throughout.

References are listed numerically at the end of your work.

Example of in text citations:

Exposure to secondhand smoke is an important cause of premature mortality and morbidity, 1 2 3 and children are more vulnerable than adults to the effects on health. 3 4 They may have little control over their environment and exposure to secondhand smoke.

References (at end of paper)

1. Hole D. Passive smoking and associated causes of death in adults in Scotland. Edinburgh: NHS Health Scotland, 2004

2. Jamrozik K. Estimate of deaths attributable to passive smoking among UK adults: database analysis. BMJ 2005; 330:812-5

3. Patient UK. Passive smoking by children and other people. EMIS & PIP [updated 2005; cited 21 Feb 2008]  Available from

4. Ashley MJ, Ferrence R. Reducing children’s exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in homes: issues and strategies. Tob Control 1998;7:61-5

The Vancouver Referencing Guide is modelled on Citing Medicine: The NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors and Publishers (2nd edition)

Tutorial on Vancouver Referencing

Referencing Common Sources

1. Printed book

Reference elements

Author / Title / Edition / Place of publication / Publishers / Year​ 


Murray PR, Rosenthal KS, Pfaller MA. Medical microbiology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021.                                                   

2. Electronic book

Reference elements  

Author / Book title / Edition / Place of publication / Publisher / Year of Publication / Available from: www...​ 

Reference Foley KM, Gelband H. Improving palliative care for cancer. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press; 2001. Available from: 


Reference elements                  Author / Article title / Journal Name / Year / Volume / Part / Page Numbers
Reference Berry TD, Fournier AK. Examining university students' sneezing and coughing etiquette. American Journal of Infection Control. 2014;42(12):1317-8.


Reference elements                  Author or organisation/ [webpage] Title / Place of publication & publisher / [Updated Date and Cited Date] / Available from...
Reference BodyWhys. Help and support for families, friends and other carers Dublin: BodyWhys;  [updated 2008; cited 19 July 2016]. Available from:


Reference elements                  Provider. Place: Creator/Rights holder; [access date/download date]. Title of App / Available from URL​
Reference Google Play. Brussels. BrandNewHealth; [19 July 2016]. Exsmokers iCoach. Available from:


Reference elements           Author or Organisation / Title / [Format] / [Date cited] Available from URL
Reference Southern California Orthopedic Institute. Anatomy of the ankle [image on the Internet]  [Cited 19 July 2016]. Available from:


Reference elements                  Lecturer's Surname, First Initial. Title of slideshow/lecture (in italics). Name of module/degree (if appropriate). Name of institution or location. Year of publication [Cited Year Month Day]. Available from:​
Reference Hill, A. Breast Cancer Research & Treatment, Constantly improving the odds. [Lecture] Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. 2016, November 10. Available from:



Reference elements                  Name of organisation or agency. Title. Place of publication: Publisher; Year of Publication.
Reference Irish Department of Health & Children. A vision for change: report of the expert group on mental health policy. Dublin: Stationary Office, 2006.


RCSI Printable Guide: Vancouver Referencing