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The Vancouver System

In the Vancouver System, cited publications are referred to in the text by giving the author’s surname and a number, or simply by number. The number is either given in brackets (1) or in superscript1. The original number assigned to the reference is used each time the reference is cited in the text, regardless of its position in the text. The full reference list, which follows the text, is in numerical order.

Examples in text

In his theory of psychological types, Carl Jung (6) introduced sensing and intuition as the two ways in which people tend to perceive the world. Sensing involves observing, gathering data through the senses; intuition involves indirect perception by way of the unconscious-speculation, imagination, hunches. Everyone uses both faculties, but most people tend to favour one over the other.

In the 1940s Isabel Briggs Myers developed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), an instrument that measures, among other things, the degree to which an individual prefers sensing or intuition. In the succeeding decades the MBTI has been given to hundreds of thousands of people and the resulting profiles have been correlated with career preferences and aptitudes, management styles, learning styles, and various behavioural tendencies. The characteristics of intuitive and sensing types (7) and the different ways in which sensors and intuitors approach learning have been studied (1), (2).

Examples in a reference list

(1). Lawrence, G., People Types and Tiger Stripes: A Practical Guide to Learning Styles, 2nd edition, Gainesville, Fla.: Center for Applications of Psychological Type, 1982.

(2). Lawrence, G.,’A Synthesis of Learning Style Research Involving the MBTI’, J. Psychological Type, 1984: 8, 2-15.

(6). Jung, C.G., Psychological Types, Princeton N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1971. (Originally published in 1921.)

(7). Myers, l.B. and Myers, P.B., Gifts Differing, Palo Alto Calif.: Consulting Psychologists Press, 1980.

As can be seen from the examples above, the main formatting difference in the reference list is the position of the year of publication. In the Harvard system this comes after the author, while in the Vancouver system it comes towards the end of the reference.

A book 

Surname(s) of author(s) followed by initials, title (in italics), place of publication, publisher, date of publication.

Example: (8).Chomsky, N., Language and Mind, New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1968.

A journal article

Author(s), title (possibly in inverted commas), journal (in italics), date of publication, volume (possibly in bold), number (usually in brackets), page numbers.

Example: (9).Waldheim, G.P, 'Understanding How Students Understand', Engineering Education, 1987; 77 (5) 306-308.

A chapter in an edited book 

Author of chapter, title of chapter (possibly in inverted commas), title of book (in italics), editor of book, pages, place of publication, publisher, date of publication.

Example: (10). Kagan, J., 'Impulsive and Reflective Children: The Significance of Conceptual Tempo'. In J. Krumboltz, ed., Learning and the Educational Process, Chicago: Rand McNally, 1965.

An electronic journal

Author, title of document, title of journal (in italics), date of publication, volume, issue, page numbers. Available from: URL (sometimes in angle brackets), date accessed (in square brackets).

Example: (11). Koehn, D. 'The Ethics of Handwriting Analysis in Pre-Employment Screening 'The Online Journal of Ethics 1995; 1 (1) no pages. Available from http://condor/ [Accessed on 20 February 2006].