There are a number of different referencing styles. The Wits Faculty of Health Sciences accepts only two styles: Vancouver or Harvard. The one most commonly used in the medical and dental literature is the Vancouver style. It is extremely important to follow the same style and format consistently throughout your thesis, dissertation or research report. Choose ONE style only and follow this consistently. Please confirm the style acceptable to your School or Department before you begin to write up your chapters. If you use a reference manager such as End Note, please ensure that it is set to conform to the Faculty's Guidelines, as set out in this Guide.
This WHSL Guide replaces the reference section in the Faculty of Health Sciences Style Guide for Theses, Dissertations and Resesearch Reports, 3rd ed. 2000.
Referencing is a standardised method of acknowledging sources of information or the ideas and work of other people that you have used in the body of your work. This referencing method will identify all sources in a unique manner. Direct quotations, facts and figures, tables and images, from published as well as unpublished works need to be referenced, as do ideas and theories that originate elsewhere (ie. those that are not your own ideas and theories).
The Vancouver style of referencing is used predominantly in the field of health sciences, and is a numerical system. Each reference in the text is identified by means of a number, and these numbered references can be identified in full in a numerical list at the end of the entire work (eg. at the end of your research report, dissertation or thesis, or even your assignment or essay).
Use of references are important
Use TurnItIn to check your writing for plagiarism before handing it in. This can be accessed only on Sakai where access has been set up on specific courses. For help, please phone the e-learning department at 011 717 7179 (Nkaba Senne) or email her