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How to Reference Using the Vancouver System

The Vancouver referencing system, apart from the Harvard and Oxford systems, is one of the formats that academics use widely for essays in subject areas related to the Physical Sciences, specifically in Medicine. Essays that require scientific systems and justification must have previous data as part of the supporting points for the academics. This is made possible by the Vancouver referencing system.

Any scientific research work is not valid and important if students do not know how to credit the sources they have used for their essay assignment. Referencing is even more important in scientific essays since it shows that the essays are based on factual academic sources. Any format for referencing assists the readers in locating the sources themselves if they find them interesting.

In Vancouver referencing, the following sources must be referenced:

  • Published print materials
  • Unpublished print materials
  • Published and unpublished journals and dissertations
  • Online journals and other publications
  • Interviews, video clips, surveys and questionnaires

While the Oxford referencing system makes use of footnotes that correspond to superscript numbers, the Vancouver style uses a numerical approach in referencing sources. In-text citations include a number which is inserted into the cited passage, enclosed in parentheses. The number already corresponds to a specific source used. If the same source is cited more than once in the entire essay, the source will have the same assigned number in the reference. Numbers are assigned by the source’s order of appearance. Numbers are written either after full stops and commas or before colons and semi-colons.

Unlike other referencing formats, the Vancouver style uses a referencing list instead of a bibliography. The list is arranged according to the numbers the sources are assigned with.

The following information should be present when citing printed sources:

  • Author
  • Book title
  • Chapter title, if available
  • Editor(s), if available
  • Place of publication
  • Year of publication
  • Publisher
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