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WHSL Citing the Medical Literature: Citing Journal Articles Vancouver Style

How to cite print and electronic books and journals using Vancouver or Harvard styles for use in the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand (GEMP 1 BMCS, MTP1, MTP2)

Example of a Journal Article Citation Vancouver Style

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Where to Find More Information about Citing a Print Journal Article, Vancouver Style

The chief source of information for citing a print journal article is the article itself. Journal articles will always contain the following information at the top of the article:

  • Article title
  • Author/s of the journal article

Usually, information about the journal title, volume, and issue number as well as date, appear at the bottom of each page or every alternate page of the journal article. If all of this information is not shown, you may need to check the contents pages of the journal, or find a citation to the article using the Single Citation Matcher in PubMed (

Further rules for citing print journal articles using the Vancouver style can be found at the link below, from the book Patrias, K. 2007 - Citing Medicine: the NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors and Publishers, ed. by D. Wending. Bethesda, MD.: National Library of Medicine. 


Citation Variations

There can be slight variations in style, depending on the style used by the journal or book editors, or if you are writing a dissertation or thesis for submission in the Faculty of Health Sciences. Always check the style required before submission.

The same journal article as seen in the example on the left can also be cited as follows:

  • Reuter, H. & Couper, I. 2007. Influences on the choice of health professionals to practice in rural areas. SAMJ  97(11):1060
    • Initials (not full first names) to a maximum of the first two initials of authors are used
    • Journal title is abbreviated
    • The volume may be in bold type
    • Only the first page of the article is given

Use of the Ampersand (&) in Citations

It is permissible, using Vancouver Style, to use the ampersand (&) when citing authors in your bibliography or list of references, eg.

Jones, W., Smith, R.S. & Potgieter, J.W.

Note: A maximum of the first two initials only are used, eg. Potgieter, J.W. not Potgieter, J.W.L.