AHRQ Citation Style for Reference Lists

Modified Vancouver Style
The elements and organizational format are provided for what information to include in citations on publications and products that are outputs of a grant. This reference list is a required component of the final grant report template.



  • Author name(s) followed by initials (no periods). List up to three authors and then add "et al."
  • Full title of article.
  • Title of journal, abbreviated in Index Medicus style. Use List of Journals Indexed in Index Medicus, 1998 (or most recent issue). Available from the National Library of Medicine. NIH Publication No. 98-267.
  • Year (month optional).
  • Volume, issue (optional, in parentheses), and page numbers.

Standard journal citation

Kleinman JC, Kopstein AN. Who is being screened for cervical cancer? Am J Public Health 1981 Nov 7;71(24):73-6.

Alberts ME. Immunization [editorial]. Iowa Med 1989 Oct;79(10):489-93.


Massone L, Borghi S, Pestarinno A. Localizations paimaires purpuriques de las dermatite herpetiforme [Purpuric paimar sites of dermatitis hepetiformis]. Ann Dermatol Venerol 1987;114(12):1545-7. (Fre).

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  • Author name(s) followed by initials (no periods). After three authors, use "et al."
  • Title.
  • Publisher, with date and site of publication (for the State, use the two-letter Postal Service abbreviation).

Book with individual or institutional authors

Perrin PG, Smith GH. The Perrin-Smith handbook of current English. Chicago: Scoff, Foresman; 1962.

Beth Israel Hospital. Obstetrical decision making. Philadelphia: B.C. Decker; 1987.

Part of book

Cassidy JT, Pefty RE. Textbook of pediatric rheumatology: 2nd ed. New York: Churchill-Livingston; 1990. Chapter 3, Basic concepts of drug therapy.

Rombeau JL, Caldwell MD, editors. Parenteral nutrition. Vol. 2, Clinical nutrition. Philadelphia: Saunders; 1986.

Merrift CRB. Breast imaging techniques. In: Putnam CE and Ravin CE, editors. Textbook of diagnostic imaging. Vol. 3. Philadelphia: Saunders; 1988. p. 2118-20.

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Scientific and Technical Reports in a Series

  • Author name(s) (use "et al." after three authors).
  • Title of the article and/or individual publication within the series.
  • Name of the series.
  • Agency or organization responsible for the series.
  • Date of publication (year with first three letters of month).
  • Publication or acquisition No.

Reports with individual or institutional authors

McConnell JD, Barry MJ, Bruskewitz RC, et al. Benign prostatic hyperplasia: diagnosis and treatment. Clinical Practice Guideline, No. 8. Rockville (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. 1994 Feb. AHCPR Publication No. 94-0582.

National Center for Health Statistics: Vital statistics of the United States, 1976. Vol. 1. Natality. Rockville (MD): The Center; 1976. DHHS Publication No. (PHS) 81-1100.

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Grant or Contract Reports

  • Author name(s) and affiliation(s) if different than sponsor.
  • Full title of the report.
  • Status of the report, if given (final, draft, preliminary).
  • Agency for which the report was prepared.
  • Date (year with first three letters of month).
  • Publication and/or grant or contract number.

Grant or contract report
Norman JC (Texas Heart Institute, Houston, TX). ALVAD: 1980. A comprehensive final report to NHLI. Vol 1. Bethesda (MD): National Institutes of Health, National Heart and Lung Institute, Devices and Technology Branch; 1980 Jan. Report No.: NIH-NOl-HV-53006-4-VI. Contract No.: N01-HV-5-3006. Available from: NTIS, Springfield, VA; PB80-148810.

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Dissertations and Theses

  • Author name.
  • Full title of the report.
  • Publication type.
  • Location and name of institution.
  • Date of publication.

Youssef NM. School adjustment of children with congenital heart disease [dissertation]. Pittsburgh (PA): University of Pittsburgh; 1988.

Devins GM. Helplessness, depression, and mood in end-stage renal disease [masters thesis]. Montreal, Quebec: McGill University;1981.

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Conference Proceedings

  • Editor names(s).
  • Title of publication/conference.
  • Name of conference.
  • Dates and place of conference.
  • Place of publication, publisher, and date of publication.

Conference proceedings
Vivian VL, editor. Child abuse and neglect: a medical community response. First AMA National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect; 1984 Mar 30-31; Chicago. Chicago: American Medical Association; 1985.

Papers presented at meetings should also include:

Author name(s).
Full title of paper.

Conference paper
Harley NH. Comparing radon daughter dosimetric and risk models. In: Gammage RB, Kaye SV, editors. Indoor air and human health: Proceedings of the 7th Life Sciences Symposium; 1984 Oct 29-31; Knoxville, TN. Chelsea (MN): Lewis Publishers; 1985. p. 69-78.

Conference abstract
Lunin LF. Organizing for information interaction in a radiology department [abstract]. In: Petrarca AE, editor. Information interaction: Proceedings of the 45th ASIS Annual Meeting; 1982 Oct 17-21; Columbus, OH. White Plains (NY): Knowledge Industry Publications, Inc.; 1982. p. 179-80.

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Electronic Resources and Nonprint Data

  • Title.
  • Type of medium.
  • Source of data.
  • Availability information.

Entire database
MEDLINE® [database online]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine; 1985-. Updated weekly. Available from: National Library of Medicine; BRS Information Technologies, McLean, VA; DIALOG information Services, Inc., Palo Alto, CA.

Part of database
1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey (NMES-2) [database on magnetic tape]. NMES public use tape 8: institutional population component—baseline questionnaire data for the institutional population. Rockville (MD): Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. Magnetic tape: EBCDIC. Available from: NTIS, Springfield, VA; PB91-146274 (documentation only); PB91-506691 (tape and documentation).

Web-based tool
Mass Prophylax/Vaccination Campaign Staffing Model. Hupert N. and Cuomo J. Copyright 2003 Weill Medical College of Cornell University, AHRQ Contract No. 290-00-0013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/research/biomodel.htm

Web-based tool (in article)
Tool for Financial Risk Assessment Worksheet and Required Data. Clouse TL, Silva III G, Gilliam R. Assessing Safety Net Provider Financial Health. Web-based Tool. October 2003. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. http://www.ahrq.gov/data/safetynet/clouse.htm

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Page last reviewed November 2003
Internet Citation: AHRQ Citation Style for Reference Lists. November 2003. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/funding/grant-mgmt/refstyle.html