What is Vancouver?

Answered By: Richard Fallis
Last Updated: Jan 20, 2015     Views: 40

In referencing, Vancouver is the name of a numerical referencing style, used widely in in biomedical, health and some science publications.

Vancouver uses numbers to indicate references, either in brackets (1) or superscript¹, linked to full citations in footnotes and/or an end bibliography:

"A recent survey (1) and video (2) underlined that as much as a third of the heat generated in homes is lost through the walls or the roof as a result of poor insulation."

A Vancouver bibliography, which arranges references in the order they are cited, looks something like this:

1. Macmillan Cancer Support. Lung cancer. [internet]. 2010 [cited 2012 Aug 23]; [29 screens].  Available from:

2. Valberg PA, Watson AY. Lack of concordance between reported lung-cancer risk levels and occupation-specific diesel-exhaust exposure. 3rd Colloquium on Particulate Air Pollution and Human Health; 1999 Jun 6–8; Durham, North Carolina.

3. Amr S, Wolpert B, Loffredo CA, Zheng YL, Shields PG, Jones R. Occupation, gender, race and lung cancer. J Occup Environ Med [internet]. 2008 Oct [cited 2012 Aug 23]; 50(10):1167–75. Available from: doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31817d3639

Cite Them Right Online looks in more detail at using the Vancouver referencing style.

RefWorks and Write-N-Cite can help you to format documents automatically in Vancouver format.

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