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Vancouver Citation Style Guide: Home


Welcome to the Vancouver Citation Style Guide. Please read this introduction page, then use the tabs above or the links to the right to navigate to templates and examples in various information formats.

The Vancouver Style was first put forth by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors in 1978 and has been adopted by biomedical publishers worldwide. Is it used primarily in health sciences and medicine. Your project you may require you to use Chicago, APA, or MLA citation styles. Please consult with your instructor.

In the Vancouver Style your references should:

  • be cited consecutively in the order in which they appear in your paper, presentation, poster, etc.
  • be identified in text by superscript Arabic numbers.
  • avoid including “personal communication” unless it provides essential information not available from a public source, in which case the name of the person and date of communication should be cited in parenthesis in the text, and the author should obtain written permission and confirmation of accuracy from the source of communication.
  • list all authors/editors when six or less; when seven or more, list the first three and add "et al."
  • list authors with surnames first followed by first and middle initials (if available).
  • abbreviate journal titles in the format found at the PubMed Journals Database.

Example of Vancouver Style in a Paper

Risk Factors for Meningococcal Disease in College Students

Neisseria meningitidis causes an estimated 2400 cases of invasive meningococcal disease annually in the United States with a case fatality rate of 10% to 15%.1  Meningococcal disease has traditionally been considered a disease of children; however, it is now a leading cause of both meningitis and sepsis in young adults.2  Since 1990, the number of meningococcal disease outbreaks has increased including on college campuses3 but outbreaks represent only 2% to 3% of overall meningococcal disease.4  Over the past 10 years, rates of meningococcal disease among adolescents and young adults have increased5 while rates among college students were not available.

In September 1997, the American College Health Association (ACHA) issued a statement recommending that “college students consider vaccination against potentially fatal meningococcal disease” with the currently available quadrivalent meningococcal polycasaccharide vaccine (serogroups A,C, Y, and W-135).6  This led many colleges and parents to advocate increased use of vaccine for college students. At that time the risk of meningococcal in college students was not well understood and guidelines from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended the use of meningococcal vaccine for the control of outbreaks but did not recommend routine use of meningococcal vaccine in civilians because of its relatively ineffectiveness in children 2 years and younger, among whom the risk of endemic disease is highest, and the relatively short duration of protection. 7,8


Immunization  with the currently available quadrivalent meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine would decrease the risk for meningococcal disease in college students who choose to be vaccinated, but would not eliminate the risk because the vaccine confers no protection against the 28% of cases that were serogroup B and its efficacy against serogroups A,C, Y, and W-135  is 85% to 95%. 7



1. Rosenstein NE, Perkins BA, Stephens DS. The changing epidemiology of meningococcal disease in the United States. J Infect Dis 1999;180(6):1894-1901.

2. Schuchat A, Robinson K, Wenger J. Bacterial meningitis in the United States in 1995. N Engl J Med 1997;337(14):970-976.

3. Jackson LA, Schuchat A, Reeves MW et al. Serogroup C meningococcal outbreaks in the United States. JAMA 1995;273(5):383-389.

4. Woods CW, Rosenstein N, Perkins BA. Neisseria meningitis outbreaks in the United States, 1994-1997. Paper presented at: Infectious Diseases Society of America; November 12-15, 1998; Denver, Colo. Abstract 125Fr.

5. Martone WJ, Schaffner W, Collins Ml. The changing epidemiology of meningococcal disease in the US with emphasis on college health issues. The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases 1999;1-16.

6. American College Health Association. Recommendation on meningococcal meningitis vaccination. [Internet] 1997 [cited July 3, 2001]. Available from:

7. Control and prevention of serogroup C meningococcal disease: evaluation and management of suspected outbreaks. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 1997;46:13-21.

8. Meningococcal disease prevention and control strategies for practice-based physicians. Committee on Infectious Diseases, American Academy of Pediatrics. Pediatrics 1996;97:404-412.


Example taken from:

Bruce MG, Rosenstein NE, Capparella, JM, et al. Risk factors for meningococcal disease in college students. JAMA. 2001;286(6):688-693.


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