Citing and referencing: In-text citations

A guide to the styles recommended by Monash schools and departments for students and researchers

In-text citations

Important note: Please check with your unit coordinator for any specific referencing or formatting requirements. For instance, we are recommending the use of superscript3 for in-text citations as opposed to brackets.(3) Your unit coordinator may have their own preference.
General format

Insert an in-text citation when your work has been influenced by someone else's work, for example:

  • When you paraphrase someone else's work
  • When you directly quote someone else's work.

When using the Vancouver style, a number is allocated to each citation in the order in which it appears in the text.

  • Use superscript Arabic numerals, that is1,2, etc.

The way you cite information can be significant, depending on the emphasis you wish to apply.

  • If you wish to quote or paraphrase an author and emphasise the author, then your citation becomes 'author prominent'.

Example:  in their research, Jones and Smithassert...

  • Two authors are combined with 'and'
  • If there are more than two authors, use "et al" in your in-text citations.

Example: Pawson et al16 concluded that...

  • If you wish to emphasise the information you have paraphrased or quoted, your citation becomes 'information prominent'

Example: The results, as evidenced by a recent Australian study17 show that...

  • If the source is referred to again in different parts of the text, the same number is used
  • If you are citing multiple works by the same author, each citation will have its own reference number, even if it is published in the same year
  • Superscript reference numbers should be inserted inside colons and semi-colons

Example: ...the wording of the title shouldn't be too vague6;

  • Superscript reference numbers are placed outside full stops, commas, quotation marks, and brackets, that is, (parentheses).

Example:...when evaluating the quality of evidence.12

In-text citations - quotes and page numbers:

Include page numbers in in-text citations when you are directly quoting another person's work. Some unit coordinators may want you to include page numbers in your in-text citations when you paraphrase as well. Check your assignment instructions and ask your unit coordinator if you are unsure. For example, when citing information from a book or other long text, including page numbers in your in-text citations can help your reader to locate the information. Brackets (parentheses) are used if you're including page numbers as per the example below. Use p for a single page and pp for multiple pages.

  • Always try to read a primary source of information. If you do not have access to the primary source, you can cite a secondary source, when the ideas of one author are published in another author's work. Only cite the author of the work you have read and include this source in your reference list. highlight the issue Taylor10(p63) discusses Bridge's research...

  • If you want to cite several sources at once, for example when reporting on multiple studies with similar findings, you can include more than one source in one citation. Note in the example below that pages 3 and 5 are separated by a comma. If the information referred to was across consecutive pages, that is pages 3, 4, and 5 then the citation would include a hyphen9(pp3-5),10  instead.

Example: Russo 14(pp3,5),15 emphasises the importance of evaluating methodologies for meta-analyses.

Refer to the AMA Manual of Style Chapter 3.6 for more about in-text citations. Chapter 3.7 details more about how to include authors in your text.