How to Cite an Online Video in Vancouver Referencing

How to Cite an Online Video in Vancouver Referencing

The Vancouver referencing style is widely used in scientific and medical papers. But how do you cite an online video, such as a YouTube video, in this system? In this post, we’ll look at how to format both in-text citations and the reference list entry for an online video.

Citing an Online Video in Vancouver Referencing

‘Vancouver referencing’ is another term for a number–endnote referencing. As such, you cite sources in the text with a bracketed number:

High glucose levels can lead to damaged blood vessels (1).

The number here points to an entry in the reference list at the end of your document, with sources numbered in the order you first cite them. The citation above, for instance, would be for the first source cited in the document and the first source in the reference list.

In addition, since a video does not have page numbers, you may need to use a timestamp in citations if you quote something. This can go after the citation number, such as in the following:

This approach to treatment is called ‘weight optimisation’ (2: 00:14:13).

Here, the quote comes from 14 minutes and 13 seconds into the video.

Or, if you have named the video creator in the text, you can give the citation number immediately afterwards and the timestamp in a separate set of brackets after the quotation. For example:

Hasudungan (1) says that ‘ATP is energy’ (00: 04: 51).

In this case, we’re quoting something from four minutes and 51 seconds into the video. Anyone who wanted to check the quotation would then be able to find it by looking up the full source information in your reference list.

Online Videos in a Vancouver Reference List

In Vancouver, the reference list format for an online video is:

(Citation Number) Uploader Surname and Initials/Username, Title of Video [Video]. Year uploaded. Available from: URL [Accessed Date].

In practice, then, a reference for a YouTube video would look like this:

(1) Hasudungan A, Diabetes Complication and Pathophysiology of the Complication. [Video]. 2016. Available from: [Accessed 22 June 2020].

If you do not know the real name of the uploader, though, you can give their username instead. For instance:

(2) University of California Television. Making Sense of Diabetic Medication [Video]. 2014. Available from: [Accessed 22 June 2020].

Vancouver Referencing Variations

Vancouver referencing is a style rather than a formal system. As such, there are many versions of Vancouver available.

The version we use in this post is based on Imperial College London’s style guide [PDF], but make sure to check your own style guide if you have one.

And if you would like a little extra help to check the referencing in your documents, and every other aspect of your writing, why not upload something for professional proofreading today?

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