In-Text Citations

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When to use in-text citations

In-text citations are used to inform the reader when your work has been influenced by someone else’s work.

In text citations should be used...

  1. When paraphrasing someone else’s work
  2. When directly quoting someone else’s work

When citing using Vancouver style, use a reference number in superscript to indicate the relevant reference.

For example:

“It is suggested in Smith1…”

“… as has been revealed in subsequent studies.4

Note: Some guides may suggest the use of square [] or round ( ) brackets. This is acceptable, however superscript is preferred.

General guidelines for Vancouver in-text citations

  • Assign a reference number to each citation according to the order in which it appears in your work
  • Citation numbers should use Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 etc.)
  • Place citation numbers in superscript
  • Place references directly after full stops.

Note: In-text citations do not need to include the author’s name(s), pages used, or date of publication. Additionally, there is no distinction made between print and electronic references within in-text citations.


"As such, Scott affirms these findings.6"

Citing multiple references at once

List each reference number separated by a comma, or use a dash to indicate a consecutive range.


"... has been noted in studies.2,4,5,6"

"...a hypothesis which has previously been proven.5-8

Citing a reference more than once

When citing a source that you have previously cited, use the same reference number in all subsequent citations in your work.

If you are citing multiple works by the same author, assign each reference its own number, even if the works were published in the same year.

Providing more information

Although not required, If you wish to provide the reader with more information, follow the format below.

"Smith1(p56) posits that..."

Content last reviewed: February 20, 2019