Cite using Vancouver

About Vancouver

Vancouver is a citation style commonly used in natural and medical sciences. In this guide we present one example of how you can cite sources according to the Vancouver system. There are however many versions of the Vancouver style. Always check with your teacher or supervisor if there are other instructions for your assignment.

If you are using reference management software

The version of Vancouver presented in this guide corresponds to the "National Library of Medicine" style in Endnote, Mendeley and Zotero.

Read more about reference management software.

In-text citations

In the Vancouver style, in-text citations are always indicated by numbers in order of appearance. The numbers are put in parentheses (1) or in brackets [1]. If you cite the same source several times, you consistently use the number it was given the first time you referred to it. In the reference list, which must be included at the end of the document, the bibliographic references are presented in the same numeric order of appearance. In other words, not in alphabetical order.

If you refer to several sources in the same place in the text, hyphens are used between the included references (2-5). Use commas without spaces to skip references that are not included (3-6,8,12,20).

Whether you mention the author's name in the text or not does not change the way you write in-text citations in Vancouver. You must still include the number of the reference. If the work cited has more than one author you can write the name of the first author in the text followed by "et al.".


Recent studies (1-2) show that the use of e-books is increasing. According to Olsson et al. (3) there is "a limited supply of e-books" (p. 83). Many researchers expect the supply to increase rapidly in the near future (2,4-5).

Reference list

The reference list is included at the end of the document and follows the numerical order of the in-text citations. If a source has more than six authors, the first six are named followed by "et al.".

For more information about the format of the references, please refer to the relevant source type in the menu.

Example of a reference list:

1.    Agardh D, Dahlbom I, Daniels T, Lörinc E, Ivarsson SA, Lernmark A, et al. Autoantibodies against soluble and immobilized human 
       recombinant tissue transglutaminase in children with celiac disease. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2005;41(3):322–7.
2.    Hunt KS, Ray JA, Jeter JM. Hereditary risk for cancer. In Alberts D, Hess LM, editors. Fundamentals of cancer prevention. 3rd ed. Berlin:
       Springer; 2014. 123-50.
3.    Bryman A, Bell E. Business research methods. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2011.