• 2-minute read
  • 14th December 2017

Vancouver Referencing – Citing a Book

These days, many treat books as things you put on shelves so you look smart when visitors come round. Students know, however, that if you open and read them, books are full of knowledge!

This makes them handy when you’re researching an essay. As such, in this post, we’re looking at citing a book using Vancouver referencing.

Citing a Book in the Text

Vancouver referencing uses numbers in the main text to indicate citations. These point to a list of sources at the end of your document, where you should give full publication details.

Sources are numbered in the order they are cited in your document. Usually, citation numbers are given in brackets at the end of the relevant passage:

The first study into Bloaty Head was inconclusive (1). Follow-up studies…

If you name the author in the text, however, you should give the number immediately afterwards:

Webley (1) reports that inflation room treatments proved effective.

If you are quoting a source, meanwhile, you should also give page numbers in the citation:

One cause identified in the study was ‘sniffing cheese’ (1: p. 45).

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Here, the citation shows that the quote comes from page 45 of the first source in the reference list.

Reference List

When adding a book to a reference list, the basic format is:

(Citation number) Surname Initial(s). Title. Edition (if applicable). Place of publication: Publisher; Year.

The ‘n.’ here should match the number used in citations for the same book. For example, if the first source cited in your work were a book, you would list it as follows

(1) Webley M. Electronic Diagnoses. 2nd ed. London, England: Penguin; 2007.

If your version of Vancouver referencing also includes a separate bibliography, books are listed using the same format without the initial number (bibliography entries are not cited in the main text, so they won’t have a citation number associated with them).

A Note on Vancouver

Keep in mind that there are many variations of Vancouver referencing. All use a numeric style like the one described above, but the details of how citations and references are presented can vary.

As such, you should always check your university style guide if you are unsure how to proceed.

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