Vancouver Citation Style


The Vancouver Style is the citation style used by most biomedical journals and many scientific journals. It came out of a meeting of medical journal editors in 1978, held in Vancouver, BC, and is maintained by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). It is also known as the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals.The Dental Hygiene program at Vancouver Community College uses Vancouver Style in all assessment tasks. All sources used should be properly referenced according to the following guidelines. Proper citations are a reflection of your professionalism and respect for other scholars and practitioners. Failure to do so is plagiarism and is a serious academic offense.
Note: The Dental Hygiene program requires additional pieces of informationwhen citing resources:
1.Include the page number(s) as part of the in-text citation for direct quotes and ideas. This is not always required with Vancouver Style.
2.Where called for in Dental Hygiene assessment task directions, include the direct link to any article accessed through an online database, not just the name of the database. You will need to find a “permanent link” for the article. Consult the “Help” files for the database or contact the librarians.
3.Short URLs (also referred to as ‘tiny’) are recommended - see page 4.

Additional Resources on the Vancouver Style

For the complete guide to the Vancouver Style, please consult this online book:
Citing Medicine, 2nd ed.
This book provides very detailed examples for almost any type and variation of resource: conference papers, wikis, journal articles with a supplement, etc.
Remember that the Dental Hygiene department uses a modified version of Vancouver Style, and that you will need to provide working links to any online material cited.
URM Sample References at:


Using Vancouver Style

Vancouver Style uses in-text citations and a Reference List at the end of your document.

•Citations within the text of your paper are identified with a number in round brackets.
Example: Jones (8) has argued that…

•References are numbered consecutively in the order they are first used in the text. The full citations will be included in the Reference List at the end of your document, with matching numbers identifying each reference.

•When multiple references are cited together, use a hyphen to indicate a series of inclusive numbers. Use commas to indicate a series of non-inclusive numbers. A citation with these references (4,5,6,7,14,19) is abbreviated to (4-7,14,19).
Example: Multiple clinical trials (4-6,9) show…

•The original number used for a reference is reused each time the reference is cited.
Example: “…the theory was first put forward by Lee (7) in 1999, but there was disagreement (3,5,8) over its importance.”

•Include the page number for any direct quotes or specific ideas.
Example: “…has been proven demonstrably false.” (4, p23)

•The citation in brackets is placed after any commas and periods, and before any colons and semi-colons.
Example: …a new definition. (13, p111-2)
…this option is preferred (11);

Indirect Citations

An indirect source is when one author is quoted in the text of another author. These types of citations are generally not accepted in Vancouver Style, so seek permission from your instructor. Include the author and date of the original source in the text. Use “as cited in” or “as discussed in” to say where you found the quotation and provide the citation to that reference.
Example: James Wallace (2001) argued (cited by 5, p26), that…
Reference List
Provide full citations in your Reference List, included starting as a new page at the end of your document. Follow the examples included in this guide for different types of resources:
•Articles in Journals
•Other Resources
•Personal Communication


Standard Format for Books:
Author Surname Initials. Title: subtitle. Edition (if not the first). Place of publication:
Publisher; Year.
Book with One Author or Editor
1.Mason J. Concepts in dental public health. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2005.
2.Ireland R, editor. Clinical textbook of dental hygiene and therapy. Oxford: Blackwell Munksgaard; 2006.

Two-Six Authors/Editors
3.Miles DA, Van Dis ML, Williamson GF, Jensen CW. Radiographic imaging for the dental team. 4th ed. St. Louis: Saunders Elsevier; 2009.
4.Dionne RA, Phero JC, Becker DE, editors. Management of pain and anxiety in the dental office. Philadelphia: WB Saunders; 2002.
More than Six Authors/Editors
5.Fauci AS, Braunwald E, Kasper DL, Hauser SL, Longo DL, Jameson JL, et al., editors. Harrison’s principles of internal medicine. 17th ed. New York: McGraw Hill; 2008.
Organization as Author
6.Canadian Dental Hygienists Association. Dental hygiene: definition and scope. Ottawa: Canadian Dental Hygienists Association; 1995.
No Author/Editor
7.Scott’s Canadian dental directory 2008. 9th ed. Toronto: Scott’s Directories; 2007.
Government Document
8.Canada. Environmental Health Directorate. Radiation protection in dentistry: recommended safety procedures for the use of dental x-ray equipment. Safety Code 30. Ottawa: Ministry of Health; 2000.
Chapter in a book
9.Alexander RG. Considerations in creating a beautiful smile. In: Romano R, editor. The art of the smile. London: Quintessence Publishing; 2005. p. 187-210.

10.Irfan A. Protocols for predictable aesthetic dental restorations [Internet]. Oxford: Blackwell Munksgaard; 2006 [cited 2009 May 21]. Available from Netlibrary:

Articles in Journals
Journal articles can be accessed in three different ways: (1) from the print (paper) copy; (2) from the journal’s website; or (3) from an online article database like Medline. You will cite the article differently depending on how you accessed it.
Standard Format for Journal Articles:
Author Surname Initials. Title of article. Title of journal, abbreviated. Date of Publication:
Volume Number(Issue Number): Page Numbers.
Finding the Journal Abbreviation
Vancouver Style does not use the full journal name, only the commonly-used abbreviation: “New England Journal of Medicine” is cited as “N Engl J Med”.
If the abbreviation is not stated, use the PubMed Journals Database to find your journal: The correct abbreviation will be listed.
Journal Article in Print

11.Haas AN, de Castro GD, Moreno T, Susin C, Albandar JM, Oppermann RV, et al. Azithromycin as a adjunctive treatment of aggressive periodontitis: 12-months randomized clinical trial. J Clin Periodontol. 2008 Aug; 35(8):696-704.
Journal Article from a Website
12.Tasdemir T, Yesilyurt C, Ceyhanli KT, Celik D, Er K. Evaluation of apical filling after root canal filling by 2 different techniques. J Can Dent Assoc [Internet]. 2009 Apr [cited 2009 Jun 14];75(3):[about 5pp.]. Available from:
Journal Article from an Online Database
13.Erasmus S, Luiters S, Brijlal P. Oral hygiene and dental student’s knowledge, attitude and behaviour in managing HIV/AIDS patients. Int J Dent Hyg [Internet]. 2005 Nov [cited 2009 Jun 16];3(4):213-7. Available from Medline:
14.Monajem S. Integration of oral health into primary health care: the role of dental hygienists and the WHO stewardship. Int J Dent Hyg [Internet]. 2006 Feb [cited 2009 Jun 21];4(1): 47-52. Available from CINAHL with Full Text:

Standard Format for Websites:
Author Surname Initials (if available). Title of Website [Internet]. Place of publication:
Publisher; Date of First Publication [Date of last update; cited date]. Available
from: URL
Publication Information Online
Publication information is often unavailable on websites and is not standardized like books or journals.
Vancouver Style requires the “Place of Publication”, the “Publisher” and the “Original Publication Date” as part of the citation. If these pieces of information are not given, use: [place unknown], [publisher unknown] or [date unknown].
Website with Author
15.Fehrenbach MJ. Dental hygiene education [Internet]. [Place unknown]: Fehrenbach and Associates; 2000 [updated 2009 May 2; cited 2009 Jun 15]. Available from:
Website without Author
16.American Dental Hygienists’ Association [Internet]. Chicago: American Dental Hygienists’ Association; 2009 [cited 2009 May 30]. Available from:
Part / Article within a Website
17.Medline Plus [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. National Library of Medicine; c2009. Dental health; 2009 May 06 [cited 2009 Jun 16]; [about 7 screens]. Available from:

18.Skariah H. The tooth booth dental blog [Internet]. Mississauga (ON): Hans Skariah; 2004 - [cited 2009 Jun 20]. Available from:

An Entry / Article within a Blog
19.Skariah H. The tooth booth dental blog [Internet]. Mississauga (ON): Hans Skariah; 2004 - . Dental did you know: breastfeeding duration and non-nutritive sucking habits; 2009 May 18 [cited 2009 Jun 20]; [about 1 screen]. Available from:

Image on the Internet
McCourtie SD, World Bank. SDM-LK-179 [image on the Internet]. 2009 Apr 29 [cited 2009 Jun 14]. Available from:

Other Resources
Newspaper Articles
Like journals, newspapers are cited differently depending on how the article was accessed. Include a working “permanent link” to any article accessed online.

21.Fayerman P. Women must now wait to 40 for publicly paid amnio test. Vancouver Sun. 2009 Jun 9; Sect. A:5.
22.Health Canada issues warning over fake toothbrushes. The Globe and Mail [Internet]. 2009 April 10 [cited 2009 Jun 23]. Available from:
23.Waldman D. Mouth is ‘window on the rest of the body’: oral health, dental hygiene is linked to more than teeth, gums. The National Post [Internet]. 2009 Apr 14 [cited 2009 Jun 22]. Available from Canadian Newsstand:
Entries in reference books are either signed or unsigned. The author will be listed at the start or end of the individual entry. An editor(s) will usually be listed at the front of the book but the editor is not included in the citation for reference works.

24.Dental dam: still the best dry-field technique [DVD]. Provo (UT): Practical Clinical Courses; 2007.
25.Cuaron A, director; Abraham M, producer. Children of men [DVD]. Universal City (CA): Universal; 2006.

Dictionary, Encyclopedia or Similar Reference Book

26.Mosby’s dental dictionary. 2nd ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier; 2008. Frenotomy; p. 273.

Signed (and Online)
27.Murchison DF. Dental emergencies. In: Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy [Internet]. 18th ed. Whitehouse Station (NJ): Merck; 2009 [last modified 2009 Mar; cited 2009 Jun 23]. Available from:


Personal Communications

Personal Letters and Conversations
Personal communication (with the exception of email) should not be included in the Reference List, as they are unpublished and cannot be easily traced by the reader. Instead, acknowledge personal conversations and letters within the text in parentheses.

“…in conversation with a fellow student from the Dental Hygiene program (Affleck, Ben. Conversation with: Matt Damon. 2008 Sep 07.).”

Personal Letter
“…this information was later confirmed in a letter (Hepburn, Katherine. Letter to: Spencer Tracy. 2005 Mar 03. 4 pages.).”

Email correspondence is included in the Reference List as emails are easily traceable and dated.

28.Bloom, Orlando. Searching Medline for dental hygiene articles [Internet]. Message to: Johnny Depp. 2008 Nov 11 [cited 2009 Jun 22]. [3 paragraphs].