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UWI THESIS GUIDE: at-a-glance for the Faculty of Medical Sciences: TEXT OF THESIS


Text of thesis
  • Appears immediately after the preliminary pages
Word count
  • DM Clinical Research Projects not to exceed 20,000 words, not less than 8,000 words *
  • MPhil  not to exceed 50, 000 words *
  • PhD not to exceed 80,000 words *

            * excluding references, appendices, tables and figures

  • Begin on a new page
  • Major headings: bold, 1.5 spacing, all caps
  • Avoid widows and orphans - these are short single lines carried over to the top or bottom of a page respectively
  • Brackets: use square brackets [xxx] S
  • Superscript: superscripts is not used in the Vancouver style e.g. 10th not 10th 
  • Italics: use for scientific terminology only 
  • 1.5
  • Paragraph spacing: double spacing or indent
  • Left margin: 2 inches/ 5cm

  • Right, top, bottom margins: 1 inch/ 2.5 cm

Equations and formulae
  • Must be typed, not hand-written
Text Alignment
  • Left or fully justified but must be consistent throughout the document
  • Arabic numerals starting with '1'
  • Do not number pages with 'a' or 'b'
  • Top right hand corner of the page
  • Quotations of more than 2 lines should be set off from the text and indented 5 spaces away from the margin
  • Per Vancouver style, citation numbers appear inline with the text and the corresponding citation number is placed in square brackets: Kumar [5] stated that ....
  • Punctuation: place citation numbers AFTER full stops and commas: e.g. as evidenced from a recent Chinese controlled trial. [45]
  • Punctuation: place colons and semi-colons to the LEFT or INSIDE 
  • Punctuation: when citing multiple references, a hyphen is used to indicate a series of inclusive citation numbers  e.g. five studies (3-7) and a comma is used to indicate a series of non-inclusive numbers (4,7,9,11,19)


Footnotes / endnotes
  • Per Vancouver style, not accommodated in the body of the text
Figures, tables, illustrations etc
  • Place close to the discussion point
  • Tables are labelled above and centred 
  • Figures are labelled below and centred 
  • Font size 9 may be used within tables and figures but the text must be very legible
  • Use a coLon or full stop to separate the words 'table" and "figure" from their respective titles; be consistent for throughout the thesis
  • Appendices; ideally not more than 20% of the thesis but exceptions are accepted
  • Appendices: pages continue to be numbered in Arabic
  • Appendices: in the Vancouver style these are labeled by numbers not letters 



  • List of citations: use the term REFERENCES [Vancouver style] and place this before the appendices
  • Arrangement: the reference list is numbered consecutively and appears in the order they are first mentioned
  • Journal titles:  journal titles are abbreviated – always! Use Journals in NCBI Databases to derive journal title abbreviations
  • Journal titles: one-word journal titles are not abbreviated e.g. Lancet
  • Left justify the reference List



Joy Smart. Librarian, The Alma Jordan Library, The University of the West Indies for libguide concept support.