To provide consistency to learners across all FutureLearn courses please use the Vancouver referencing system  in your courses when referencing other sources. Use our markdown guidance to format text.
Placing citations in text
- Always cite your sources.
- Each citation should be given a numeric reference, appearing consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text.
- Each citation should be identified by numbers in either superscript, parentheses, or square brackets – ie. ¹ (1) or 
- If you are citing more than one source at the same point you can do either consecutive or listed references, ie. (1-3), (1, 5)
- In-line citations can appear directly after the relevant text, to keep it contextual.
Block citations should be formatted as a ‘blockquote’ using markdown by inserting ‘>’ at the start of the quote text. It will appear with a pink line down the left-hand side to distinguish it as a quote.
Create a references section or bibliography
- At the bottom of your step add a ‘References’ subheading in markdown, H2 style i.e. ##
- Add each reference used in your step.
- Truncate the list of authors after six names, followed by “et al.”:
- If a journal carries continuous pagination throughout a volume (as many medical journals do), the month and issue number may be omitted.
- Optionally, a unique identifier (such as the article’s DOI or PMID) may be added to the citation
- You may add page numbers by adding the numbers in full in parenthesis i.e. (184-189).
- Do not include 'bare' URLs i.e. https://.... This is not a positive experience for learners using a screenreader who will listen to a full URL being read aloud. Instead, hyperlink the title of the web source or page. If you do paste the full URL, remove the hyperlink, so it appears as plain text.
Examples of citations
Leurs R, Church MK, Taglialatela M. H1-antihistamines: inverse agonism, anti-inflammatory actions and cardiac effects. Clin Exp Allergy. 2002 Apr;32(4):489-498.
Tashiro J, Yamaguchi S, Ishii T, Suzuki A, Kondo H, Morita Y, Hara K, Koyama I. Inferior oncological prognosis of surgery without oral chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer in clinical settings. World J Surg Oncol. 2014 May 10;12(1):145. [Epub ahead of print]
Thomas MC. Diuretics, ACE inhibitors and NSAIDs – the triple whammy. Med J Aust. 2000;172:184-185.
Guilbert TW, Morgan WJ, Zeiger RS, Mauger DT, Boehmer SJ, Szefler SJ, et al. Long-term inhaled corticosteroids in preschool children at high risk for asthma. N Engl J Med. 2006 May 11;354(19):1985-1997.
von Itzstein M, Wu WY, Kok GB, Pegg MS, Dyason JC, Jin B, et al. Rational design of potent sialidase-based inhibitors of influenza virus replication. Nature. 1993 Jun 3;363(6428):418-423. PMID 8502295.
Articles not in English
Forneau E, Bovet D. Recherches sur l’action sympathicolytique d’un nouveau dérivé du dioxane. Arch Int Pharmacodyn. 1933;46:178-191. French.
Rang HP, Dale MM, Ritter JM< Moore PK, Pharmacology. 5th ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone; 2003.
Editor(s) or compiler(s) as authors
Beers MH, Porter RS, Jones TV, Kaplan JL, Berkwits M, editors. The Merck manual of diagnosis and therapy. 18th ed. Whitehouse Station (NJ): Merck Research Laboratories; 2006.
Authored chapter in edited publication
Glennon RA, Dukat M. Serotonin receptors and drugs affecting serotonergic neurotransmission. In: Williams DA, Lemke TL, editors. Foye’s principles of medicinal chemistry. 5th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2002.
Drug-interactions.com [homepage on the Internet]. Indianapolis: Indiana University Department of Medicine; 2003 [updated 17 May 2006; cited 30 May 2006]. Available from: http://medicine.iupui.edu/flockhart/
Bibliographic tool + citation generator
Cite This For Me is a simple-to-use citation generator for the Vancouver style – you may find it helpful.
- Vancouver – Citing and Referencing – Library Guides at Monash University. Monash 2017 [updated 10 January 2017; cited 10 January 2017]. Available from: http://guides.lib.monash.edu/citing-referencing/vancouver
- Vancouver Style. Wikipedia 2017 [updated 16 December 2016; cited 10 January 2017]. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vancouver_system
Numeric reference for a citation using square brackets:
Subheading for References:
Terminology on this page that you aren’t familiar with? Check out our glossary.