• 3-minute read
  • 11th September 2018

Vancouver Referencing – Citing a Conference Paper

After an academic conference, the organisers often publish papers in a collection known as the conference proceedings. These can be a great source when writing an essay, so in this blog post we’re looking at how to cite a conference paper when using the Vancouver referencing style.

In-Text Citations

Vancouver referencing is a number–endnote system. This means that citations are given as a number in the text, with each number indicating an entry in the reference list. For instance:

Pollution has heavily affected ocean life (1).

Here, the bracketed number is the citation. Sources are numbered in the order you first cite them in your writing, so this would be the first source listed at the end of the document. If you need to cite a conference paper more than once, simply use the same number as in the first citation.

If the paper’s author is named in the text, however, give the citation immediately afterwards instead of at the end of the sentence. And when quoting a conference paper directly, make sure to include a page number in the citation so that the reader can find the quoted passage.

Reference List

At the end of your document, you will need to create a list of every source cited in your work. Sources here should be listed in the order they are first cited. The basic format for a conference paper is:

(#) Author Surname and Initial. Title of Paper. In: Editor Name(s), ed(s). Title of Conference Proceedings: Proceedings of Conference Name (if different from title); date of conference; location of conference. Place of publication: Publisher; Year of Publication. Page range.

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In practice, then, the reference list entry for a published conference paper would look like this:

(1) Smith, M. A Floating Disaster: Plastic Pollution and Ocean Biodiversity. In: J. Jones and L. Cage, eds. Proceedings of the Third Annual Conference on Ocean Conservation; 24 May 2015; University of Manchester, Manchester, England.  Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015. p. 24-38.

This provides all the information your reader will need to find the paper you’ve cited.

A Note on Vancouver Referencing

The exact format used for a conference paper in Vancouver referencing may depend on the style guide you are using. The same is true for how citations are presented in the text.

Consequently, we recommend checking your style guide for advice if you have one available. If not, then use the style suggested here. Just remember that references should be clear and consistent!

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