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Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Vancouver Citation Style

Vancouver style, also known as the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (or Uniform style), is a reference style commonly used in health science publications. The American Medical Association (AMA) reference style is a variant of Vancouver style. Vancouver style guidelines are maintained by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). Click through the tabs above to learn more about how to use this citation style.

NOTE: Make sure to check citations created through citation management software (eg Zotero, Mendeley) and online generators (eg Summon, Google Scholar, journal websites). These programs may make errors when creating citations.

Vancouver Style citations should follow these guidelines:

  • Always cite sources when what you've written is not "common knowledge"; when you are using someone else's ideas or data (even when paraphrasing or not using their exact words); or when you are quoting your own written work (self-citation). 
  • In-text citations are identified using a superscript Arabic numeral, e.g. xxxx¹ (1 = a citation on your reference list).
  • References are cited consecutively in the order they appear in your document, NOT alphabetically (as is done in other citation styles such as APA).
  • Up to 6 authors are listed in a reference; when a reference has 7 or more authors, list only the first three followed by "et al." 
  • Authors should be identified by their surname, followed by first and middle initials (when provided), no periods after initials, and commas between authors; for example Yeoh M, Aguirre C.
  • Article, book, book chapter and other titles should be in sentence case: only the first word capitalized.
  • Journal titles are abbreviated in the reference, for example Am J Cardiol for the American Journal of Cardiology. Journal abbreviations can be found through the Pubmed Journals Database. When the journal cannot be found on Pubmed, consult these rules.
  • Use a DOI if possible when providing a link. If a DOI is not available, use a "permanent link" or "stable URL" as these are less likely to break over time.

The following are examples for citing major drug information and EBM databases using Vancouver Style. Some databases have citation generators, while others will need to be created from scratch. Always proofread citations generated automatically, and check with your instructor to verify citation practices.

Dates should be in this format: [YYYY - Month abbreviated to 3 letters - date in digits]; example: 2022 Mar 3. Note that it may not be possible to find the date that a database or website was last updated, or publication year - if that's the case, leave out that information.


For a chapter in Therapeutic Choices or Minor Ailments online:

Golian M, Klein A. Supraventricular tachycardia. In: CPS: therapeutic choices. Ottawa: Canadian Pharmacists Association [updated 2021 Mar 12; cited 2023 Jan 18]. Available from: Subscription required.
For a monograph in CPS:

CPS: Drug Information. Paxlovid [drug monograph]. Ottawa: Canadian Pharmacists Association. [updated 2022 Dec 8; cited 2023 Jan 18]. Available from: Subscription required.


Lexicomp Online

The following is a standard template for citing drug records from Lexicomp Online:

Drug Name. In: Specific Lexicomp Online Database [database on the Internet]. Hudson (OH): Lexicomp Inc.: publication year [updated Year Month Day; cited Year Month Day]. Available from: Subscription required to view.



General template:

[Author]. [Topic title]. Post TW, ed. UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate Inc. Accessed [Date].

Example from UpToDate:

Marion DW. Pacing the diaphragm: Patient selection, evaluation, implantation, and complications. Post TW, ed. UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate Inc. (Accessed on June 23, 2022.)



Cite references from ClinicalKey according to the type of material (ebook, journal article, procedural videos, guidelines etc.). The University of Western Australia Library provides the following example for citing a guideline from ClinicalKey: 

Ticagrelor for preventing atherothrombotic events after myocardial infarction [Internet]. London: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence; 2016 [cited 2018 Aug 24]. Available from:!/content/nice_guidelines/65-s2.0-TA420. Subscription required to view.



In the upper right corner of a monograph in DynaMed, look for the " symbol to generate a citation. You'll need to add more information to cite in Vancouver format. For conditions monographs, you can find the last updated date under the "Updates" section at the top.


DynaMed [Internet]. Ipswich (MA): EBSCO Information Services. 1995 - . Bell Palsy; [updated 2022 Mar 31, cited 2022 Aug 5]. Available from Subscription required to view.

Varenicline. In: IBM Micromedex® DRUGDEX® [database on the Internet]. Greenwood Village (CO): IBM Watson Health/EBSCO Information; 2022 [cited 2022 Aug 5]. Available from Subscription required to view.

Writing a Literature Review

Take a look at the Literature Reviews guide below for guidance on writing a literature review. The UBC Library Research Commons offer regular workshops on literature reviews, as well as workshops on systematic or scoping reviews. There is a separate guide for systematic and scoping reviews linked below.

Librarians offer one-on-one research consultations for help with any type of literature review. Contact your librarian to set up an in-person or online appointment.

Citing AI Generated Materials

In a post from April 7, 2023, APA offers some guidance on citing AI-generated materials and AI software.

First, APA suggests ensuring you describe how you used the AI tool in your research in a method section or comparable section of your paper.

APA also suggests that given that AI generated content like chats are not created by a person, that they cannot be considered personal communication. Instead, treat the content as an algorithm's output, and credit the author of the algorithm with a reference list entry and in-text citation.

You can also put the full text of long responses in an appendix or online supplemental materials.

Reference List
Author. (Year of the Version). Title of the Tool (Version if applicable) [Tool description if applicable]. Source/URL


OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT (Mar 14 version) [Large language model].

In-Text Citation

For a direct quote or paraphrase, or to cite the tool, use the following format. Note: OpenAI is the author not ChatGPT.

(Author, Year)


Parenthetical citation: (OpenAI, 2023)

Narrative citation: OpenAI (2023)

As of March 17, 2023, MLA has provided some guidance on citing generative AI, including ChatGPT and DALL-E.

In summary, MLA recommends

  • citing a generative AI tool whenever you incorporate any content created by it into your own work
  • acknowledging any uses of the tool in a note or other suitable location
  • vetting any secondary sources it cites
  • not treating the AI tool as an author


Works Cited Entry

The works cited entry for AI generated material should follow this format:

"Description of chat" prompt. Name of AI tool, version of AI tool, Company, Date of chat, URL.


"Write a haiku in the style of Edgar Allen Poe" prompt. ChatGPT, May 3 version, OpenAI, 19 June 2023,


In-Text Citation

For any quotes, paraphrases or references to the AI generated material, use the following format:

("Shortened description of chat")


("Write a haiku")

The Chicago Manual of Style does not have official recommendations for reference generative AI, but does provide some guidance about citing AI generated materials in a Q&A. (as of June 2023).

Currently, Chicago treats the AI model as an author, and the format as a personal communication; therefore references to AI generated content are included in a footnote but not in a bibliography or reference list.

Bibliography or Reference List

Do not include.

Footnote Version
Note number. Originator of the communication and description of the prompt, date the text was generated, publisher, General URL


1. ChatGPT, response to "Create a haiku in the style of Edgar Allen Poe," June 16, 2023, OpenAI,


Author-Date Version

In an author-date version where parenthetical citations are used in text, any information not in the text would be placed in a parenthentical reference.


(ChatGPT, June 16, 2023).

Although there is no specific guidance offered by Vancouver Style editors, AI content is generally considered personal communication and/or non-recoverable data, and therefore should not be included as a reference in your reference list according to the Vancouver Style.

Reference List

Do not include.

In-Text Citation

AI-generated content can be cited in-text using the following format:

Type of Communication, Communicator, Date (DMY)

You can also include further information, such as the prompt you offered the AI in type of communication.


In an online chat with Open AI's Chat GPT (23 March 2023)...

A chat generated a potentially useful script for dealing with these interactions (ChatGPT response, prompt for "How to resolve conflict with a coworker", 24 March 2023).

...(Grammerly paraphrase, 22 February 2023).

As of June 2023, IEEE does not cite AI generated text for publication and does not consider AI generated text a valid reference.

However, overall current advice is to treat AI generated text as a private communication or nonrecoverable material. Therefore, do not include a citation number, or include the reference in your reference list.


Reference List

Do not include a reference list entry.


In-text Citation

IEEE uses the following in-text citation format for unpublished materials:

Author's name (Initials, Surname), private communication, Abbrev. Month, year.)


In an online chat,... (OpenAI's Chat GPT, private communication, June 2023)

The Canadian Open Access Legal Citation Guide (the COAL Citation Guide) is designed to meet the needs of Canadian legal writers and researches. The full guide is freely available online. Section 8, AI-Generated Material, gives a detailed description of how to cite GenAI content. The general format is shown below. 

Reference List

Name of AI, version if available. Prompt. (Translation of prompt if applicable.) (Developer: host if different than developer, date or date range of response). URL if conversation publicly saved (Description of any additional prompts.) 

Full descriptions of each citation component are available in section 8.4 of the COAL Citation Guide. 

Shortened Citations

To be used in subsequent citations once the full citation has been provided. The COAL Citation Guide recommends using the name of the AI for the shortened citation. 

As each shortened citation must be unique, additional information (such as an abbreviated version of the initial prompt) must be added to differentiate shortened citations from others which use the same AI. 

Example (From COAL Citation Guide: Section 8.5):

  • First reference: ChatGPT, 3.5. Response to “when can landlords evict tenants?” (OpenAI, 25 March 2024). (Further prompts to specify jurisdiction and type of tenancy.) [ChatGPT].
Subsequent references: ChatGPT.

If the AI is not publicly available: 

Where the AI is not publicly available, the COAL Citation Guide recommends including additional information where possible. 

General Format: 

Name of AI, version if available. Prompt. (Translation of prompt if applicable.) (Developer: host if different than developer, date or date range of response). Description of type of nonpublic (name and version of public upstream version if applicable: developer of public upstream version if applicable, whether updated by public upstream version if applicable). URL if conversation publicly saved (Description of any additional prompts.) 

As with textual outputs, it is important to acknowledge how you have used generative AI in creating non-textual outputs such as images, music, figures, etc.

As of June 2023, only MLA and Chicago have released some guidelines on how to cite visual and other works generated by AI. See the links below for more information on citing images and other non-textual materials generated by AI, as well as guides created by UBC Library on citing non-textual materials generally.

Questions and Resources to Help You Avoid a Predatory Journal

If you need any assistance or have doubts about any journal, please contact your Subject Librarian.

Does UBC Library maintain an Institutional Membership with the journal's publisher?
UBC Library maintains institutional memberships with a variety of legitimate Open Access publishers and organizations. These memberships often provide discounts on article processing charges for UBC researchers. Consult the list of Open Access Publisher Discounts for UBC Researchers.

Is the journal included in DOAJ, the Directory of Open Access journals?
DOAJ  reviews the quality of the journals it accepts and adds to its listings. Journals accepted into DOAJ tend to be more reputable. DOAJ maintains a list of journals which claim to be indexed in DOAJ, but are not indexed in DOAJ.

Is the publisher a member of OASPA?
OASPA (Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association) is committed to setting standards and promoting open access publishing. These Open Access publishers share information and are more likely to have higher standards than non-members. Check the membership list.

Is the journal indexed?
Major databases and index services try to include only legitimate, high-quality journals. If the journal's website lists  names of indexes and abstracts that include the journal, confirm the information by searching in the index(es) they list. Find the index on UBC Library's list of databases here

What are the journal's metrics?
Predatory journals may list completely fictitious impact factors. Check Journal Citation Reports or SJR (SCIMago Journal and Country Rankings) to see if the journal has a legitimate impact factor, especially if the journal website claims that it does.  Note that JCR does not include some journals in the humanities, and newer Open Access journals may not yet have impact factor.

What are the citation counts on some individual papers?
Check the citation counts of several articles in the journal in Web of Science  or Google Scholar. Are these articles being cited by others in that field? A low or non-existent citation count for articles published a few years ago may mean that the journal does not publish high quality research.

Was the Journal on Beall's List?
From 2008 to the end of 2016, Jeffrey Beal maintained a list of potentially problematic scholarly open access publishers and publications.  Not without controversy, the list was helpful when used in conjunction with other factors.  A copy of the December  2016 list is available at the Internet Archive.

Did the journal solicit your article or chapter?
Sometimes reputable Open Access publishers send out notices offering to publish your work, but direct email solicitations are not typically used by legitimate publishers.  Make sure to find out more about the publisher/journal.

Does the submission process require transferring copyright of your article to the journal/publisher?
If you can't submit your article without first transferring your copyright, investigate the journal further.

Do you need to pay an article processing charge as you submit, i.e. before your article is accepted?
Most legitimate Open Access journals charge APC's upon acceptance.

(Adapted in part from "Evaluating Open Access Journals" is licenced as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)   Ryerson University Library and Archives.)


Help with Citing Sources and Writing