Numbered citations

In the Vancouver style, numbers are used to denote in-text citations in your research paper. Numbers are allocated consecutively to each reference as it is cited for the first time in the text of the assignment (i.e. the first citation that appears in-text is number one, the next unique citation that appears in-text is number 2 and so on). This number becomes the unique identifier of that source and if the source is cited again in-text, the same number is repeated. Vancouver uses superscript numbers in-text, e.g. 1-4,10,12

Placement of in-text citations

Include citations:

  • After the author’s name, e.g. Johnson1 explains…
  • To the right of commas and full stops, e.g. This is a widely accepted theory.2
  • To the left of colons and semi colons, e.g. The study lists the following3: motivation,…

Multiple citations can be inserted at a single point in-text, separated by a comma with no spaces in between, e.g. This issue has been faced by many in the industry.1,2,4,7 When there are three or more consecutive citations, join the first and last in the series with a hyphen, e.g. The condition has been reported in a number of studies.4-7

Page numbers

If citing different pages from a single source at different places in the text, page numbers can be included in the citation and the source listed once in the reference list. Place the page number(s) in brackets directly following the numbered citation. Use p for a single page or pp for multiple pages, e.g. …pain response should be considered.8(p83),9,12(pp3,5)

Please check with your tutor if they require you to provide page numbers for direct quotes.

Author names in-text

If mentioning authors in text, only surnames (family names) are used. For a reference with two authors include both surnames, e.g. Avery and Williams1 highlight the importance of this method. For references with three or more authors, list the first author then et al (meaning and others), e.g. Azar et al2 reported on this association.

Sample paragraph and reference list

In Australia falls are one of the main causes of injury-related hospitalisations, with the elderly representing the majority of cases.1 Accidental falls in older persons can have a detrimental effect on their mental wellbeing.2,3 “The psychological aspects, especially fear of falling, loss of confidence and increased anxiety, can be more disabling than the physical ones.”3(p18) It is therefore important that effective programs are implemented to reduce the incidence of falls.4-6


  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Trends in Hospitalised Injury, Australia: 2007-08 to 2016-17. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare; 2019. INJCAT 204. Accessed November 26, 2020.
  2. Lee F, Mackenzie L, James C. Perceptions of older people living in the community about their fear of falling. Disabil Rehabil. 2008;30(23):1803-1811. doi:10.1080/09638280701669508
  3. Barker W. Assessment and prevention of falls in older people. Nurs Older People. 2014;26(6):18-24. doi:10.7748/nop.26.6.18.e586
  4. Sinclair AJ, Morley JE, Vellas B, eds. Pathy’s Principles and Practice of Geriatric Medicine. 5th ed. John Wiley & Sons; 2012. Accessed October 10, 2018. doi:10.1002/9781119952930
  5. Reznik D. Fall prevention. Am J Nurs. 2013;113(7):12. doi:10.1097/01.NAJ.0000431897.51118.69
  6. Jones D, Whitaker T. Preventing falls in older people: assessment and interventions. Nurs Stand. 2011;25(52):50-55.

See a sample journal article in the Vancouver referencing style:

Astell-Burt T, Feng X. Association of urban green space with mental health and general health among adults in Australia. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(7):e198209. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.8209

Generative AI

Tools like Open AI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and Writesonic’s ChatSonic produce text in response to prompts. Other tools produce music, art, and code. They are examples of nonrecoverable sources, meaning the content they produce is not accessible to anyone other than the person who generated it. People cannot be directed to a particular location to find it. Additionally, they are not considered scholarly sources as their responses are based on the datasets they are trained on, and the true origin of the information is unknown.

Content produced by generative AI may be inaccurate, unreliable and unethical, and may contain errors, biases, or other issues. Before you begin your assignment, check your unit outline and assignment guidelines, or ask your lecturer as using the tools may be prohibited. If you have been provided with specific guidelines on how to reference generative AI outputs, you should follow them.

If you are allowed to use generative AI in your assignment, you must include:

  • a written declaration, detailing which tools were used, to what extent, and descriptions of how the information was generated, including the exact wording of prompts used.
  • an in-text citation, if the generated text has been quoted or paraphrased within the text of your assignment. There is no entry in the reference list.

A declaration must be included in your assignment after your reference list. It should detail which tools you have used to generate content in the process of completing your assignment and how they have been employed. The declaration must include the prompts you have used to generate information.

The format should be as follows:

I acknowledge the use of (insert AI tool name and URL) in the preparation and/or writing of my assignment. I have used (insert AI tool name) to assist with: (delete items from the following list that do not apply):

  • Research: I generated an overview of my topic and/or identified relevant legal cases to assist with the research process.
  • Idea generation: I generated suggestions on possible topics or angles to explore within my assignment.
  • Clarifying: I generated explanations/examples to help me understand confusing or complex topics.
  • Structure and organisation: I generated an assignment plan.
  • Writing: I generated text which I adapted in my assignment. I have indicated through footnotes where text has been quoted or paraphrased.
  • Other: Please provide a description of how you have used the tool.

The following prompts were input into (insert AI tool name)

  • Prompt one
  • Prompt two etc.

Declaration example:

I acknowledge the use of ChatGPT ( in the preparation and/or writing of my assignment. I have used ChatGPT to assist with:

  • Research: I generated an overview of my topic and/or identified relevant legal cases to assist with the research process.
  • Writing: I generated text which I adapted in my assignment. I have indicated through footnotes where text has been quoted or paraphrased.

The following prompts were input into ChatGPT:

  • Are dogs better than cats?

As there is no entry in the reference list, the details of the tool used should be provided in-text using the following format:

(Communicator, type of communication, Month Day, Year).

In-text citation example

Fall reduction strategies can only be successful if a multi-faceted approach is adopted, one which addresses both personal and environmental risk factors (ChatGPT, response to question from author, February 22, 2023).