Biomedical Engineering

Library Resources for Biomedical Engineering

Vancouver Style Library Guide

Below are links from different sources on how to cite and reference in Vancouver Style. If you have any further questions please feel free to reach out to the Engineering Librarian, Jay McAllister for further assistance at:

How Do I Write a Reference?

To write your own references you need different bits of information about each item that you read when you are researching a piece of work. These bits of information are called ‘bibliographic’ information.

For all types of references the key bits of information you need to start with are:

1. Author or editor

2. Date of publication/broadcast/recording

3. Title of the item

This will form the basis of each reference you have to write. You may find that some items are not as straightforward as others, so be aware of the following:

1. Author or editor: This means the primary (main) person who produced the item you are using.

2. Date of publication/broadcast/recording: This means the date the item was produced. It is usually a year, but if you are using a newspaper article, an email, or a television recording, you will have to include a full date (day/month/year) in your reference.

3. Title of the item: This means the primary (main) title of the item you are using. That sounds very obvious, but have a look at a web page and try to work out what the main title is. We would advise common sense in this situation – you have to identify the key piece of information that describes what you have used, and will allow the reader of your work to identify that information.

Citing Examples


Each piece of work which is cited in your text should have a unique number, assigned in the order of citation. If, in your text, you cite a piece of work more than once, the same citation number should be used. You can write the number in brackets or as superscript

Citing one author

  • Recent research (1) indicates that the number of duplicate papers being published is increasing.
  • Recent research^1 indicates that the number of duplicate papers being published is increasing.

Citing the author’s name in your text

You can use the author’s name in your text, but you must insert the citation number as well.

  • As emphasized by Watkins (2) carers of diabetes sufferers ‘require perseverance and an understanding of humanity’ (p.1)

Citing a direct quotation

If a direct quote from a book, article, etc., is used you must:

  • Use single quotation marks (double quotation marks are usually used for quoting direct speech)
  • State the page number
  • Example: Simons et al. (3) state that the principle of effective stress is ‘imperfectly known and understood by many practicing engineers’ (p.4).

How do I Write a Reference List?

This is your list of all the sources that have been cited in the text of your work. The list is inclusive showing books, journals etc. listed in one list, not in separate lists according to source type.

  • When using the Vancouver style, the reference list should be in numerical order and each number matches and refers to the one in the text.
  • The list should be at the end of your work.
  • Books, paper or electronic journal articles, etc., are written in a particular format that must be followed.