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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.

Citation Management