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Vancouver Referencing Style @ UCT: Websites

Vancouver Referencing Style is extensively used in the biomedical and health sciences.

Website documents


          NB: Remember to evaluate websites before using them in your paper:

Criteria for evaluating websites:

1. Accuracy and authority:
Ask the following questions:

  •    Who wrote the page and can you contact him or her?
  •    What institution publishes this document, can you tell by the domain, e.g. (.com for commercial companies); (.edu OR .ac
       for academic institutions); (.gov for government agency); (.org for organizations); (.net for computer networks).
  •    What qualifications or expertise does the individual or group that created the site have?
  •    Is the information reliable? 
  •    Are there any spelling and grammatical errors?

   2. Purpose and content:

  •    What is the purpose of the site? You can get the clues from the title and headings in the site, the "about us" link, as well as
       from the "mission statement" of the site. 
       Then find out whether the purpose is to provide research and scholarly information; to entertain;
     to market or sell something; to provide educational or factual information; to advocate ideas; or persuade you.
  •    Can you observe any political or ideological bias in the site?

   3. Currency:

  •    When was the website last updated or revised?
  •    How well maintained is the website? 
  •    Are the links current and working or do they lead you to outdated pages or error messages?

   4. Coverage:

  •   Is the information presented cited correctly?
  •   Is there a fee that must be paid to obtain information or is it free of charge? You should be able to view information properly -
      not limited to fees or software requirements.
  •   Is it all images or a balance of text and images?

Adapted from:


Referencing website documents: Examples.

Document with personal author:

 Standard format:
Document Author. Title of the document. Year of the document [Cited year abbreviated month date].

   Available from: web address


 1.  Hooper JF. Psychiatry & the law: forensic psychiatric resource page. 1999 [cited 2014 Oct 13]. Available from:



Document with an organization as author:


   2. Gene Ontology Consortium. The gene ontology. 2007 [cited 2014 Oct 13]. Available from:




Document with no author:


   Title of the document. Year of the document [cited year abbreviated month date]. Available from: web address


   3. Profiles in science. 1998 [cited 2014 Oct 13]. Available from:




Document with an editor:


   4. Bergeron K, editor. Alternative nature online herbal. 1997 [cited 2014 Oct 13]. Available from:



Document with a publisher and a place of publication:


   Author of the document. Title of the document. Place of publication: Publisher; Year of publication. [cited Year
   abbreviated month date]. Available from: web address


   5. Fugh-Berman A. PharmedOUT. Washington: Georgetown University, Department of Physiology and Biophysics; 2006 [cited 2014 Oct 13]. Available from: