Title: What is referencing and how to do referencing in Vancouver style?

Title: What is referencing and how to do referencing in Vancouver style?

There is a variety of referencing styles to choose from. However, since the rules differ, you must check the referencing style your lecturer or department wants you to use. If you don’t double-check and employ a style that isn’t specified in your rules, you may lose points.

Now, if you have asked to follow the Vancouver referencing style, aka the ‘numerical-endnote’ method, this blog has all the essentials you need. 

What is referencing?

Referencing is a technique for showing your audience that you thoroughly searched and read relevant literary sources. Similarly, referencing acknowledges that you have borrowed ideas and written material from other authors and utilized them in your work. Thus, there are two aspects to each referring style: citing and the reference list. 

Why should I reference sources? 

Referencing is essential for conducting successful research and for your readers to understand how you conducted your research. Knowing why you need to reference can help you see why it’s critical to know how to reference.

  • Accurate referencing is an essential part of good academic practice. It improves the presentation of your work by demonstrating that your writing is grounded in knowledge and guided by relevant academic reading.
  • You’ll make sure that anyone who reads your work can track down the sources you utilized to create it and give you credit for your research efforts and quality.
  • Plagiarism might be charged if you do not acknowledge the labour or ideas of others.

Furthermore, solid reference lists are essential to your teachers. You’ll earn better grades if you impress them with the quality of the information you use and your references.

What is a citation? 

You must acknowledge the usage of another person’s work in your work, whether by referring to their ideas or incorporating a direct citation in the body of your work. A citation is a type of acknowledgement.

How do I write citations using the Vancouver style? 

Citations in Vancouver referencing style are denoted by numbers in the text. These numbers appear in parentheses or superscripts. You can choose one type and stick with it:

  • Parentheses numbering: Levitt (2) argues that …
  • Superscript numbering: Levitt2 argues that …

Naming authors

When referring to work or introducing a quote, you must acknowledge the author. In your paragraph, use the author’s last name. If a source has numerous authors, merely list the first one, then add ‘et al.’ to the end:

  • Davies et al. (1) argue that …


Citing multiple sources

You can also use the following format to mention many sources in one place:

  • Several studies (8, 12) indicate a similar effect.

You can use an English dash to indicate a range of sources that appear sequentially in your numbered list.

  • There is a large body of research (1, 4–7) exploring this phenomenon.

The citation is directed to sources 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7 in this situation.

Citing page numbers

When you quote a text without paraphrasing it, you must include a page number or range.

Place the page number inside the same parenthesis as the reference number, preceded by ‘p.’:

  • Bute refers to his project as ’a madcap journey through America’s disciplinary institutions’ (4, p. 499).

Creating a Vancouver reference list

A Vancouver reference list consists of a numbered list of all your sources, each with crucial information such as the author, title, and publication date.

The list appears at the end of your document in numerical order. Unless the last element is a DOI or URL, each entry ends with a full stop.

Author names

The author’s last name and initials appear at the top of each entry.

When there are multiple authors listed in a source, commas are used to separate their names. For example, if a source has more than six authors, mention the first six, then ‘et al.’

Source titles

Capitalize just the first word of the title and subtitle, as well as any proper nouns:

  • The Cambridge companion to the philosophy of biology.

In Vancouver referencing, titles are always written in plain text. Italics and quotation marks should not be used.

Vancouver reference examples

As various facts are appropriate in different circumstances, the information you supply varies depending on the sort of source you’re citing. The most often referenced source categories have their formats and examples, which are listed below.

  1. Book

Format – x. Author(s). Title. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher; Year.

Example – 1. Wilkinson IB, Raine T, Wiles K, Goodhart A, Hall C, O’Neill H. Oxford handbook of clinical medicine. 10th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2017

  1. Book chapter


  1. Author(s). Title of chapter. In: Editor(s), editors. Title of book. Place of publication: Publisher; Year. Page range.


  1. Darden L. Mechanisms and models. In: Hull DL, Ruse M, editors. The Cambridge companion to the philosophy of biology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2008. p. 139–159.
  2. Journal article


  1. Author(s). Article title. Journal Name (abbreviated). Year Month Day; Volume(Issue): page range. Available from: URL DOI


  1. Bute M. A backstage sociologist: Autoethnography and a populist vision. Am Soc. 2016 Mar 23; 47(4):499–515. Available from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12108-016-9307-z doi:10.1007/s12108-016-9307-z
  1. Website


  1. Author(s). Title [Internet]. Year [cited Date]. Available from: URL


  1. Cancer Research UK. Current research into breast cancer [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2020 Feb 14]. Available from: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/our-research/our-research-by-cancer-type/our-research-into-breast-cancer/current-breast-cancer-research


Since you have a complete idea of how to do Vancouver referencing now, I hope you will not face any difficulty completing your assignment. However, if you are still confused, you can use a referencing tool or get experts to help you.


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