URL: https://westernu.libguides.com/citation_style

Citation Style: Vancouver Style


About Vancouver Style

Vancouver Style is also know as the Uniform Requirements Style.  This style was created in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1978 by a group of editors of medical journals.  This is a numbered style that is very similar to the AMA style.

Examples of difference reference types can be found in National Library of Medicine's Citing Medicine ebook.

A list of examples can also be found on the National Library of Medicine's webpage.

The Vancouver/Uniform Requirement format for submitting a manuscript can be found on the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) website here.

Guidelines for Citing in Vancouver

Author names:

  • Author names are listed with a surname followed by first and middle initials (no punctuation)
  • Author names are separated by commas
  • If there are more than 6 authors, list the first 6 authors, followed by et al.

Journal names

  • Journal names are abbreviated according to the National Library of Medicine. To find the correct abbreviation, use the NLM Catalog to search for the journal title. (Search for the title and put [journal] after it in square brackets.
  • Journal names are not italicized


  • Only the first words of the title and any proper names are capitalized
  • Words after colons are not capitalized


  • Dates are listed in the following format: Year Month (first three letters only) Day - e.g., 2019 Jul 2

Page numbers

  • Page number ranges use as little duplication as possible. For example, pages 391-402 would be listed as is, but pages 332-341 would become 332-41 and 332-338 would become 332-8.

Citing online items

  • If you retrieved an item from the Internet or a database, write [Internet] after the title of the item
  • Include the date you are citing the item in square brackets after the item's publication date
  • If an article is retrieved from the Internet or a database, include the URL to aid in retrieval. At the end of the citation, write: Available from: URL. If the URL ends in a slash (/), put a period at the end of the URL; otherwise, end the citation with no period.

Publisher location information

  • Major well-known cities (such as New York, Philadelphia, Berlin, etc.) can be listed without state or country information
  • If a city is less well-known (or might be confused with another city in a different state, province, or country), include the state or province abbreviation or the country in parentheses after the city, e.g.: Bethesda (MD)

Reference Examples

Journal Article:

Dumoff A. Food and Drug Administration restrictions on drug compounding: needed medications are going to disappear: a call for intervention. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2018;17:22-8. 

Journal Article (more than 6 authors):

Rose ME, Huerbin MB, Melick J, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Regulation of interstitial excitatory amino acid concentrations after cortical contusion injury. Brain Res. 2002;943:15-22.

Journal Article (organization as author):

Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. Hypertension, insulin, and proinsulin in participants with impaired glucose tolerance. Hypertension. 2002;40:679-86.

Online Journal Article:

Lalau JD, Arnouts P, Sharif A, De Broe ME. Metformin and other antidiabetic agents in renal failure patients. Kidney Int [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2018 Aug 6];87(2):308-22. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0085253815300429?via%3Dihub

Epub Ahead of Print:

Jackevicius CA, Krumholz HM, Ross JS, Koh M, Chong A, Austin PC, et al. Clinical outcomes with beta-blocker use in patients with recent history of myocardial infarction. Can J Cardiol [Internet]. 2020 Feb 4 [cited 2020 Aug 9]. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2020.01.024 [Epub ahead of print]


Murray PR, Rosenthal KS, Kobayashi GS, Pfaller MA. Medical microbiology. 4th ed. St. Louis (MO): Mosby; 2002.

Book Chapter:

Neuman WL. Social research methods: qualitative and quantitative approaches. 6th ed. Boston: Pearson Education; 2006. Chapter 5, The literature review and ethical concerns; p. 110-48.

Authored Book Chapter:

Meltzer PS, Kallioniemi A, Trent JM. Chromosome alterations in human solid tumors. In: Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, editors. The genetic basis of human cancer. New York (NY): McGraw-Hill; 2002. p. 93-113.


The recommendation from UpToDate is to cite the topic as a book chapter. There are no page numbers to cite, and the publication year should be the most recent update date, e.g.:

Paoloni J. Approach to the adult with unspecified hip pain. In: Fricker P, editor. UpToDate. Wolters Kluwer; 2023 [cited 2023 Oct 21].  Available from: https://www.uptodate.com/contents/approach-to-the-adult-with-unspecified-hip-pain 

Other Databases:

Lexicomp [Internet]. Waltham (MA): Wolters Kluwer. c2000- . Atorvastatin (Lexi-Drugs) [updated 2023 Oct 20; cited 2023 Oct 21]; [about 31 screens]. Available from: https://online.lexi.com/lco/action/doc/retrieve/docid/patch_f/6396 

Merative Micromedex [Internet]. Ann Arbor (MI): Merative LP. c2009- . Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate [cited 2023 Oct 21]; [about 1 page]. Available from: https://www.micromedexsolutions.com/

Conference Proceeding:

Harnden P, Joffe JK, Jones WG, editors. Germ cell tumours V. Proceedings of the 5th Germ Cell Tumour Conference; 2001 Sep 13-15; Leeds, UK. New York (NY): Springer; 2002.

Conference Paper:

Antani S, Long LR, Thoma GR, Lee DJ. Anatomical shape representation in spine x-ray images. Paper presented at: VIIP 2003. Proceedings of the 3rd IASTED International Conference on Visualization, Imaging, and Image Processing; 2003 Sep 8-10; Benalmadena, Spain.

Conference Poster: 

Scott JD, Hines K, Huynh QT. Evaluation of the rate of publications/presentations of a required research experience. Poster session presented at: Medicines and beyond! The soul of pharmacy. 77th Conference of the FIP World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; 2017 Sep 10-14; Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Lecture Slides:

*Note: While classroom lectures are not covered in Vancouver (since they are typically not cited in professional publications), you can use this format if you are citing a course presentation:

Hines K, Visk C. PICO and evidence ranking for clinical questions. Lecture presented at: Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine 5 Conference Week. Western University of Health Sciences; 2023 Oct 23; Pomona, CA.

Part of a homepage/Website:

American Medical Association [Internet]. Chicago: The Association; c1995-2002 [updated 2001 Aug 23; cited 2002 Aug 12]. AMA Office of Group Practice Liaison; [about 2 screens]. Available from: http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/1736.html

Prescribing Information Sheets:

Cialis [package insert]. Indianapolis, IN: Eli Lilly & Co; 2003.

Thesis or Dissertation:

Borkowski MM. Infant sleep and feeding: a telephone survey of Hispanic Americans [dissertation]. Mount Pleasant (MI): Central Michigan University; 2002.

AI/LLM/Generative Text Tools: 

Guidelines on the use and citation of AI, large language models, and generative text tools are in flux and best practices are still emerging. Since generative AI tools and large language models are not able to be held accountable for the text they generate, they do not qualify as an author or creator. Since their output varies so substantially based on user input, the text they generate is not replicable or retrievable; therefore, it does not make sense to cite their contributions as a software either, because users would expect a particular version number to yield predictable results.

However, since the ideas or wording was not generated exclusively by the user, it is important to note the contribution of these tools. This can best be done in either the methods or acknowledgement section. Be sure to name the tool and explain when and how it was used (to generate ideas, check results, etc.). It is a good idea to also include the prompt or series of prompts you used.

These are general suggestions, but there are many opinions and context matters. Please consult your instructor or prospective publisher to check whether your proposed use of AI tools is appropriate in your given case and follow any further proposed guidance they offer.

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