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Citation Style Guide

This guide was created to provide basic instruction on commonly-used citation styles across the faculties of Dalhousie University.


Vancouver Style is the citation style used by most biomedical journals, and it is maintained by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. It was established at a meeting of medical journal editors in Vancouver in 1978, which is where the name comes from. It is also known as the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals.  Vancouver is the citation style used by Medline and PubMed

The main feature that sets Vancouver apart from other citation styles is its sequential numbering of references in the text. References are numbered according to where they are first used in the text, and will continue to use that number for the rest of the paper. 



Papers using Vancouver Style to cite their references must include a "References" page at the end of their paper.  This section can either directly follow the text on the same page, or be on its own page following the text.  When citing from online journal articles, you must use a special abbreviation of the journal title.  

This NLM database allows you to search for the abbreviations for commonly-used medical journals. 


Online Guides


Special thanks to Jackie Phinney for her knowledge of Vancouver Style and her help creating the content for this page. 

Images used on this page:

Vancouver Skyline Image