Vancouver reference style for Communicable Diseases Intelligence

Communicable Diseases Intelligence uses the Vancouver style for reference citations, with however, a few variations from other journals. The following is a guide to the CDI version of Vancouver reference citations.

Page last updated: 12 February 2013

References l Articles in Journals l Books and other monographs l Other published material l Unpublished material l Electronic material


References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text. Identify references in text, tables, and legends by superscripted Arabic numerals. The citation identifier should follow any punctuation, not precede it. References cited only in tables or in legends to figures should be numbered in accordance with the sequence established by the first identification in the text of the particular table or figure.

Use the style of the examples below, which are based on the formats used by the NLM in Index Medicus. The titles of journals should be abbreviated according to the style used in Index Medicus. Consult the List of Journals Indexed in Index Medicus, published annually as a separate publication by the library and as a list in the January issue of Index Medicus. The list can also be obtained through the National Library of Medicine (NLM) website or looked up online in the NLM Journal database.

Avoid using abstracts as references. References to papers accepted but not yet published should be designated as 'in press'; authors should obtain written permission to cite such papers as well as verification that they have been accepted for publication. Information from manuscripts submitted but not accepted should be cited in the text as 'unpublished observations' with written permission from the source.

Avoid citing a 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 parentheses in the text. For scientific articles, authors should obtain written permission and confirmation of accuracy from the source of a personal communication.

The references must be verified by the author against the original documents. The Uniform Requirements style (the Vancouver style) is based largely on an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard style adapted by the NLM for its databases.
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Articles in Journals

Standard journal article

List the first six authors followed by et al.

Vega KJ, Pina I, Krevsky B. Heart transplantation is associated with an increased risk for pancreatobiliary disease. Ann Intern Med 1996;124:980–983.

As an option, if a journal carries continuous pagination throughout a volume (as many medical journals do) the month and issue number may be omitted. CDI only includes the month and issue number if a journal does not carry continuous pagination throughout a volume.

More than six authors

Parkin DM, Clayton D, Black RJ, Masuyer E, Friedl HP, Ivanov E, et al. Childhood—leukaemia in Europe after Chernobyl: 5 year follow-up. Br J Cancer 1996;73(4):1006–1012.

Organization as author

The Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. Clinical exercise stress testing. Safety and performance guidelines. Med J Aust 1996;164(2):282–284.

No author given

Cancer in South Africa [editorial]. S Afr Med J 1994;84(5):15. Note: do not use Anon.

Article not in English

(Note: CDI translates the title to English, encloses the translation in square brackets, and adds an abbreviated language designator.) Ryder TE, Haukeland EA, Solhaug JH. Bilateral infrapatellar seneruptur hos tidligere frisk kvinne. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 1996;116(4):41–42.

Volume with supplement:

Shen HM, Zhang QF. Risk assessment of nickel carcinogenicity and occupational lung cancer. Environ Health Perspect 1994;102 Suppl 1:275–282.

Issue with supplement

Payne DK, Sullivan MD, Massie MJ. Women's psychological reactions to breast cancer. Semin Oncol 1996;23(1 Suppl 2):89–97.

Volume with part

Ozben T, Nacitarhan S, Tuncer N. Plasma and urine sialic acid in non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. Ann Clin Biochem 1995;32 (Pt 3):303–306.

Issue with part

Poole GH, Mills SM. One hundred consecutive cases of flap lacerations of the leg in ageing patients. N Z Med J 1994;107(986 Pt 1):377–378.
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Issue with no volume

Turan I, Wredmark T, Fellander-Tsai L. Arthroscopic ankle arthrodesis in rheumatoid arthritis. Clin Orthop 1995;(320):110–114.

No issue or volume

Browell DA, Lennard TW. Immunologic status of the cancer patient and the effects of blood transfusion on antitumor responses. Curr Opin Gen Surg 1993:825–833.

Pagination in Roman numerals

Fisher GA, Sikic BI. Drug resistance in clinical oncology and hematology. Introduction. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am 1995 Apr;9(2):xi–xii.

Type of article indicated as needed

Enzensberger W, Fischer PA. Metronome in Parkinson's disease [letter]. Lancet. 1996;347(2):1337. Clement J, De Bock R. Hematological complications of hantavirus nephropathy (HVN) [abstract]. Kidney Int 1992;42(1):1285.

Article containing retraction

Garey CE, Schwarzman AL, Rise ML, Soyfried TN. Ceruloplasmin gene defect associated with epilepsy in EL mice [retraction of Garey CE, Schwarzman AL, Rise ML, Soyfried TN. In: Nat Genet. 1994;6:426–431]. Nat Genet 1995;11(9):104.

Article retracted

Liou GI, Wang M, Matragoon S. Precocious IRBP gene expression during mouse development [retracted in Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1994;35(23):3127]. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1994;35(22):1083–1088.

Article with published erratum

Hamlin JA, Kahn AM. Herniography in symptomatic patients following inguinal hernia repair [published erratum appears in West J Med 1995;162(7):278]. West J Med. 1995;162(6):28–31.
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Books and other monographs

Personal author

Ringsven MK, Bond D. Gerontology and leadership skills for nurses. 2nd edn. Albany (NY): Delmar Publishers; 1996.

Editor, compiler as author

Norman IJ, Redfern SJ, editors. Mental health care for elderly people. New York: Churchill Livingstone; 1996.

Organization as author and publisher

Institute of Medicine (US). Looking at the future of the Medicaid program. Washington: The Institute; 1992.

Chapter in a book

Phillips SJ, Whisnant JP. Hypertension and stroke. In: Laragh JH, Brenner BM, editors. Hypertension: pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management. 2nd edn. New York: Raven Press; 1995. p. 465–478.

Conference proceedings

Kimura J, Shibasaki H, editors. Recent advances in clinical neurophysiology. Proceedings of the 10th International Congress of EMG and Clinical Neurophysiology; 1995 Oct 15–19; Kyoto, Japan. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 1996.

Conference paper

Bengtsson S, Solheim BG. Enforcement of data protection, privacy and security in medical informatics. In: Lun KC, Degoulet P, Piemme TE, Rienhoff O, editors. MEDINFO 92. Proceedings of the 7th World Congress on Medical Informatics; 1992 Sep 6–10; Geneva, Switzerland. Amsterdam: North-Holland; 1992. p. 1561–1565.

Scientific or technical report

Issued by funding/sponsoring agency: Smith P, Golladay K. Payment for durable medical equipment billed during ;skilled nursing facility stays. Final report. Dallas (TX): Department of Health and Human Services (US), Office of Evaluation and Inspections; 1994 Oct. Report No.: HHSIGOEI69200860. Issued by performing agency: Field MJ, Tranquada RE, Feasley JC, editors. Health services research: work force and educational issues. Washington: National Academy Press; 1995. Contract No.: AHCPR282942008. Sponsored by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research.


Kaplan SJ. Post-hospital home health care: the elderly's access and utilization [dissertation]. St. Louis (MO): Washington Univ.; 1995.


Larsen CE, Trip R, Johnson CR, inventors; Novoste Corporation, assignee. Methods for procedures related to the electrophysiology of the heart. US patent 5,529,067. 1995 Jun 25.
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Other published material

Newspaper article

Lee G. Hospitalizations tied to ozone pollution: study estimates 50,000 admissions annually. The Washington Post 21 Jun 1996; Sect. A:3 (col. 5).

Audiovisual material

HIV+/AIDS: the facts and the future [videocassette]. St. Louis (MO): Mosby-Year Book; 1995.


North Carolina. Tuberculosis rates per 100,000 population, 1990 [demographic map]. Raleigh: North Carolina Dept. of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Div. of Epidemiology; 1991.

Book of the Bible

The Holy Bible. King James version. Grand Rapids (MI): Zondervan Publishing House; 1995. Ruth 3:1–18.

Dictionary and similar references

Stedman's medical dictionary. 26th edn. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins; 1995. Apraxia; p. 119–120.

Classical material

The Winter's Tale: act 5, scene 1, lines 13–16. The complete works of William Shakespeare. London: Rex; 1973.

Media release

Siemens AG. Shell and Siemens to develop emission-free fuel cell power plant. Press release. 13 July 1999. Accessed on 23 November 2007. Available from website address.
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Unpublished material

In press

Leshner AI. Molecular mechanisms of cocaine addiction. N Engl J Med. In press 1996.

Electronic material

Journal article in electronic format

Morse SS. Factors in the emergence of infectious diseases. Emerg Infect Dis [serial online] 1995;1:[24 screens]. Accessed on 5 June 1996. Available from: website address.


National Organization for Rare Diseases [Online]. 16 August 1999. Accessed on 21 August 1999. Available from: website URL [Online]. Salmonella Typhimurium DT104 – Australia, Europe. 2001. Accessed on 22 August 2001. Available from: website address.

Monograph in electronic format

CDI, clinical dermatology illustrated [monograph on CD-ROM]. Reeves JRT, Maibach H. CMEA Multimedia Group, producers. 2nd edn. Version 2.0. San Diego: CMEA; 1995.

Computer file

Hemodynamics III: the ups and downs of hemodynamics [computer program]. Version 2.2. Orlando (FL): Computerised Educational Systems; 1993.