• 3-minute read
  • 8th November 2019

How to Cite a Book in Vancouver Referencing

Many now treat books as things you put on shelves so you look smart when visitors come around. Students know, however, that books are full of knowledge! You just have to read them. And, in this post, we’re looking at how to cite a book in Vancouver referencing.

How to Cite 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 for every source you cite in your work.

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 would give the number immediately afterwards. For instance:

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

And if you are quoting a source, you should give page numbers as well:

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

In the line above, for example, the citation shows that the quote comes from page 45 of the first source in the reference list.

Find this useful?

Subscribe to our newsletter and get writing tips from our editors straight to your inbox.

Adding a Book to a Vancouver Reference List

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

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

The “n.” here should match the number used in citations. 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 requires a separate bibliography, books should be listed using the same format without the initial number. This is because bibliography entries are not cited in the main text, so they won’t have a citation number associated with them.

A Note on Vancouver Referencing

There are many variations of Vancouver referencing. All use a numeric style like the one described above, but the details of how to cite sources vary.

As such, if you have one, you should always check your style guide for the correct format. If you’re not sure whether you have a style guide, ask the person leading your course. And if you’d like more help with your academic writing, give our proofreading services a try today!

Comments (0)

Got content that needs a quick turnaround?

Let us polish your work.

Explore our editorial business services.

More Writing Tips?
Trusted by thousands of leading
institutions and businesses

Make sure your writing is the best it can be with our expert English proofreading and editing.