Q: How do I refer to a seeded article in a literature review using Vancouver style of referencing?

Detailed Question -

I am writing a seeded critical literature review for a university assignment. We need to use Vancouver referencing, which means in-text citations are just a number with a period. For example, "research has shown X" 1,2,3. Since the aim of the review is to critically compare the seeded article within the context of other literature, how should I introduce the seeded article and then refer to it from then on? I don't think I should simply say "the seeded article" or just "author's name, year et. al" because that doesn't fit with the Vancouver referencing style.

1 Answer to this question

There are two aspects to your question, referencing a seeded article and using the Vancouver citation style. I shall respond to them in sequence.


Referencing an article: When referencing an article, we refer to or reference a piece of information or content in the article (such as a hypothesis or finding) for the purpose of our discussion and not the article itself. As per some citation styles, such as Harvard, we mention the authors, but here too, our focus is on what they hypothesized or found rather than the authors themselves. So, when referencing this seeded article, instead of saying “the seeded article,” you should refer to the relevant content in the article, for example, “data from study X shows that,” and "author name, year, et. al. state in their article that," and so on.


Using the Vancouver citation style: As you have rightly mentioned, using the Vancouver referencing, or citation, style involves simply using numbers after the referenced content in the paper. The numbers should appear in sequence in the paper, and this sequence should be matched in the References section. So, if your first reference is from the seeded article, you should write ‘1’ after the referenced content. This can come in parentheses (brackets) or as a superscript. If your next reference is from some other article, you need to write ‘2’ after this content, and so on. For more information on how to use the Vancouver style, refer to this article: Quick tips on Vancouver and Harvard styles in citations

Related reading:

How to cite an article: Quick tips on Vancouver and Harvard styles in citations