Skip to Main Content

Vancouver Citation Style: ABOUT VANCOUVER

Background Information

• The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) was originally known as the Vancouver Group, after the location of its first meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 1978.
• The term “Vancouver style” originated from this meeting. This citation style follows rules established by the (ICMJE)now maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine. It is also known as Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts submitted to Biomedical Journals. The National Library of Medicine has published an e-book "Citing Medicine" which details the Vancouver citation formats for a variety of information media. 
• The Vancouver style is used by MEDLINE, PubMed and hundreds of medical/scientific journals.
• There is no generic, printed manual or handbook called the "Vancouver" style.
• The  MSL-recommended Vancouver Style resources are online and exist in 2 forms on the Medical Sciences Library's website (see boxes on this page:

                 [1]  Citing Medicine e-book for authors, editors and publishers [e-book]

                 [2]   Samples of Formatted References for  Authors of Journal Articles [short sheet]


Important notes:          

* Either is acceptable for use at the UWI, St. Augustine. 

* There are minor differences between citation styles of some sources in both documents.

* The key is to use one standard source in the research paper.

*In the broad sense, the Vancouver style refers to any author-number system regardless of the formatting details.

*The general logic here, is that numbered in-text citations exactly match the numbered entries in the Reference List.

*Many online versions of Vancouver guidelines exist but details e.g. punctuation, casing of titles, and italics, vary widely among them. Use only the sources recommended by the Medical Sciences Library.

*The West Indian Medical Journal "style" is a shortened form of the Vancouver style.

This Libguide presents a standard Vancouver style - in-text and reference list - for the general guidance of medical researchers at the UWI St Augustine. A selection of frequently used sources is presented.

Samples of Formatted References for Authors of Journal Articles

Citing Medicine

Patrias K. Citing medicine: the NLM style guide for authors, editors, and publishers [Internet]. 2nd ed. Wendling DL, technical editor. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2007 -    [updated 2015 Oct 2; cited 2019 Nov 18]. Available from: