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WHSL Vancouver Citation Style Guide for Theses, Dissertations and Research Reports: Print Book Citations

Replaces the section on citations (references) in the official Faculty of Health Sciences Style Guide for Theses, Dissertations and Research Reports

Book with an Author in Reference List

A book with author/s is cited under the name/ of the author/s in the text. If there are more than two authors for the work in the text, list the first author, followed by et al in italics in the text.

Eg. Smith et al ¹ recommend that students who are educationally disadvantaged may prefer to revise by means of case studies. Examples of such case studies in the field of obstetrics can be found in Hofmeyr et al ² 

In the Reference List, all authors may be cited or you may choose to cite only the first three authors, eg.

1. Smith, J.E., McTavish, P. & Barmey, M., et al. Short cases for medical exams: a revision guide for the educationally challenged. Edinburgh: Green Living, 2000.

OR all authors

2. Hofmeyr, G.J., Neilson, J.P., Alfirevic, Z., Crowther, C.A., Duley, L., Gulmezoglu, A.M., Gyte, G.M. & Hodnett, E.D. A Cochrane pocketbook: pregnancy and childbirth. Chichester: Wiley, 2008.

Both styles of citation are correct in the Reference List: first three authors or all authors. Whichever style you choose, remember to be consistent throughout. However, the Rule of Thumb at the Faculty of Health Sciences is brevity.

You may also choose to cite the full first name of the author, or only the author's initials. Again both are correct, but remember to be consistentHowever, the Rule of Thumb at the Faculty of Health Sciences is brevity.

Remember to use a maximum of the first two intials for authors' first names, eg. Gyte, G.M. not Gyte, G.M.L.

Book with No Author/s in Reference List

A book with no author/s is cited under the editor or translator (if there is one). In the text, you would state simply:

Parthasarathy¹ notes that auditory disorders in children are particularly distressing for parents without familial experience of these.  

The first "the" or "a" or "an" in the title is/are included, if this forms part of the title in the Reference List, eg.

1. Parthasarathy, T.K., ed. An introduction to auditory processing disorders in children. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2006. 

If no author or organisation can be identified and no editor or tranlslator is given, begin the reference with the title of the book. Do not use anonymous as the author, eg.

Examples in text: Children requiring cochlear transplants will require frequent auditory examination prior to transplanation (1,2).

1. Parthasarathy, T.K., ed. An introduction to auditory processing disorders in children. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2006. 

2. Handbook of auditory disorders. Johannesburg: Burnout Publications, 2012.



Book with an Editor in Reference List

A book with no author/s and an editor is cited under the editor (see the example on the right - Print Book Editor Citation Elements).

Citing a Chapter in a Book with an Author/Editor in Reference List

The author of the chapter referred to is cited as the author, followed by the title of the chapter and the chapter number. This is followed by In: (underlined, followed by a colon: ). The rest of the citation is the same as a title/editor citation. However, the page number range of the specific chapter follows the abbreviation pp. (one page only would be p.), eg.

Benatar, S.R. Global health ethics. Ch. 21. In: Medical ethics, law and human rights: a South African perspective, ed. by K. Moodley. Pretoria: Van Schaik, 2011, pp. 339-349.

If a particular page is cited, then the reference would be to that specific page only (eg. p.343) within the range of pages beginning on p.339 and ending on p.349. Note that in this case, there is only one p. (not pp.) 

Note: When citing a chapter in an edited work, the name of the editor is not inverted in the Refrence List, and is written as J.K. Rowling (not Rowling, J.K., ed., as would occur if the entire work was cited, and not just a chapter in the work. (See example in Print Book Chapter Citation Elements). 

Organisations as Author/Editor in Reference List

An organisation can also be an author or an editor of a print book, eg. University of the Witwatersrand. Faculty of Health Sciences. Guide to avoiding plagiarism. Johannesburg: The University, 2009.

Note: Omit the word "the" in front of the name of the organisation as an author, or editor. If the publisher of the work is the same as the organisational author/editor, then the publisher is simply given as The University (not University of the Witwatersrand).

However, Wits University Press is a separate publishing entitly (a different corporate organisation) to University of the Witwatersrand, so a work published by Wits University Press would use this form of the organisational name as publisher, eg. Natrass, N. The AIDS conspiracy. Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2012.

Date in Reference List

The date of publication is given as the year only, and should be in Arabic numerals in the Reference List. 

The date should be followed by a full stop (period). Eg: Johannesburg: Jacana Press, 2011.

If the reference is extremely old, and the date is cited as MDCCXXXIV, it must be converted to 1734 in arabic numerals. There are many Roman numeral converters on Google

Rule of Thumb: Brevity

Rule of Thumb

The rule of thumb for a Faculty of Health Sciences dissertation, research report or thesis is brevity. When in doubt as to whether to use authors' full first names or initials, or to include all or only the first three authors in your List of References, err on the side of brevity.

General Rules for Print Book Citations in Reference List

  • List author/editor names in the order they appear on the title page of print book
  • Author/editor name/s is/are inverted, ie. surname first, then first names or initials
  • Enter surnames of more than one word in the same format that appears on the title page of the book in the assumption that this format has been approved by the author, eg. DeWitt or de Witt or De Witt
  • Keep hypens in surnames, eg. Peter Cleaton-Jones should appear as Cleaton-Jones, P.
  • If initials are used, use a maximum of the first two initials
  • Omit designations, degrees, titles or rank, eg. George W. Bush Jr. should appear as Bush, G.W.; Professor Ahmed Wadee, PhD should appear as Wadee, A. 
  • The date in the Reference List is cited at the end of the print book reference, in Arabic numbers as the year only. The date should be followed by a full stop (period). Eg: Johannesburg: Jacana Press, 2011.

Elements of a Print Book Citation in Reference List

Book with an Edition in Reference List

A book with an edition follows the same format as a book without an edition. 

The edition (eg. 3rd, 7th, etc.) is written in abbreviated form as 3rd ed. If there is only one edition, then this information is not recorded. The edition is only noted if there have been two or more subsequent editions of the same work published. This information follows the title of the book.

See example of a print book with edition statement.

General Rules for Place of Publication in Reference List

  • Place of publication is defined as the city (not the country) where the work was published.
  • US and Canadian cities are followed by the two letter code designating the state or province so as to avoid confusion over place names with the same name but in different states (eg. Palm Springs, CA: or Palm Springs, FL:).
  • Other cities do not have this state/provincial distinction (so Johannesburg, Gauteng would not be used - the format would simply be Johannesburg:) Where two cities in different countries have the same name, eg. Cambridge, MA: refers to the city in the USA; while Cambridge: (on its own with no country code) is the English city.
  • If the cities are both outside the USA (eg. Perth, Scotland and Perth, Australia), use the ISO international two letter country code to identify the correct country in which the city is located.
  • Names of cities are Anglicised eg. Vienna not Wien.
  • Very large US and Canadian cities do not normally have a country code, eg. New York: (not New York, NY:) 
  • End place of publication information with a colon (eg. Johannesburg:)
  • If no place of publication can be located on the title page or verso (back of the title page), use [N.p.] to indicate "No place", eg. [N.p.]: Seymour Press, 1875.

Publisher in Reference List

A publisher is defined as the individual or organisation issuing the work. The name of the publisher always follows the colon (:) after the place (city) of publication in citation in the Reference List.

Record the publisher as it appears in the print book (including capitalisation and punctuation). However, if it is a well know publisher (eg. John Wiley & Sons Ltd.), this may be abbreviated to Wiley.

Standard abbreviations may be used for commonly used words, eg. Assoc. for Association. A list of what is permissible is available at this link