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Referencing: Vancouver

Vancouver Style

The Vancouver style of referencing is a numbered referencing style predominantly used in the medical and health sciences.

It takes its name from a meeting held in 1978 in Vancouver, Canada, where a group of editors of general medical journals met "to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals" (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors: ICMJE).

The style guide to refer to for this style is Citing medicine: the NLM style guide for authors, editors, and publishers, currently published by the National Library of Medicine. This publication permits a number of variations in format. In this referencing guide, some options are noted but not everything is listed.This style is also known as National Library of Medicine (NLM) or ICMJE style.

Journal title abbreviations

Agreed abbreviations for journal titles can be found by searching the U.S. National Library of Medicine, NLM catalog: Journals referenced in the NCBI databases.   

If using the EndNote software, you can install the Journals Term List for Medicine. See EndNote guide


Style Guides:

Vancouver Style Guides from Other Universities

Universities using Vancouver often produce in-house guides that can be useful as a 'quick' guide. These can be used providing you note any local adaptations to the style that might have been adopted by individual universities.

Some useful local university guides include:



Notre Dame: AMA referencing (Vancouver) and EndNote:

University of Queensland: