Jumping from Harvard to Vancouver

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The Journal has made the decision to change the referencing style for all articles, with immediate effect. We are moving away from the existing Harvard style to the Vancouver style of referencing and full details are available in the author guidelines on our website. For a while things may look a bit clunky as new papers will be intermingled with papers that were accepted using the old referencing style and which are already published on Early View.

The new style will bring about a radical change in the appearance of our papers. The example below shows how Vancouver will make a difference.

Harvard version:

A small of study children demonstrated a relationship between maternal iron status and adiposity and offspring blood pressure (Godfrey et al., 1994). Blood pressure was also an outcome reported by Project Viva, a US prospective cohort study following the children of women whose nutritional status had been measured in detail in the period prior to and during pregnancy. Gillman and colleagues (2003) reported that maternal calcium supplementation during pregnancy reduced blood pressure in 6 month old infants. Project Viva also identified an association between higher maternal vitamin D intake and lower risk of childhood asthma among 3-year-olds (Camargo et al., 2007). The same cohort showed that babies born to women who gained excessive weight in pregnancy were more likely to be obese in childhood (Oken et al., 2009). Normia et al., (2013), reported that in a small cohort of mother-child (4 year old) pairs, higher maternal carbohydrate intake was associated with higher childhood systolic blood pressure and higher childhood systolic blood pressure was noted in offspring exposed to lowest or highest tertiles of maternal fat intake during pregnancy. A longer-term follow up of Scots in their forties for whom maternal food intake data was available also provided evidence that maternal intake could be a driver of intrauterine programming (Campbell et al., 1996). Adult blood pressure was associated with maternal intakes of animal protein and sugars, but the relationship was complex and non-linear.

Camargo, C.A., Rifas-Shiman, S.L., Litonjua, A.A., Rich-Edwards, J.W., Weiss, S.T., Gold, D.R., Kleinman, K.& Gillman, M.W. (2007). Maternal intake of vitamin D during pregnancy and risk of recurrent wheeze in children at 3 y of age. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 85, 788-795.

Campbell, D.M., Hall, M.H., Barker, D.J.P., Cross, J., Shiell, A.W. & Godfrey, K.M. (1996). Diet in pregnancy and the offspring’s blood pressure 40 years later. Br. J. Obs. Gynae. 103, 273-280.

Gillman, M.W., Rifas-Shiman, S., Rich-Edwards, J., Kleinman, K. & Lipshultz, S.E. (2003). Maternal calcium intake and offspring blood pressure. Circulation 107, E7016.

Godfrey, K.M., Redman, C.W., Barker, D.J. & Osmond, C. (1991). The effect of maternal anaemia and iron deficiency on the ratio of fetal weight to placental weight. Br. J. Obs. Gynae. 98, 886-891.

Normia, J. Laitinen, K., Isolauri, E., Poussa, T., Jaakkola, J & Ojala T. (2013) Impact of intrauterine and post-natal nutritional determinants on blood pressure at 4 years of age. J. Hum. Nutr. Diet. 10.1111/jhn.12115

Oken, E., Kleinman, K.P., Belfort, M.B., Hammitt, J.K. & Gillman, M.W. (2009). Associations of gestational weight gain with short- and longer-term maternal and child health outcomes. Am. J. Epidemiol. 170, 173-180.

Vancouver version:

A small of study children demonstrated a relationship between maternal iron status and adiposity and offspring blood pressure(1). Blood pressure was also an outcome reported by Project Viva, a US prospective cohort study following the children of women whose nutritional status had been measured in detail in the period prior to and during pregnancy. Gillman and colleagues (2) reported that maternal calcium supplementation during pregnancy reduced blood pressure in 6 month old infants. Project Viva also identified an association between higher maternal vitamin D intake and lower risk of childhood asthma among 3-year-olds(3). The same cohort showed that babies born to women who gained excessive weight in pregnancy were more likely to be obese in childhood(4). Normia et al., reported that in a small cohort of mother-child (4 year old) pairs, higher maternal carbohydrate intake was associated with higher childhood systolic blood pressure and higher childhood systolic blood pressure was noted in offspring exposed to lowest or highest tertiles of maternal fat intake during pregnancy(5). A longer-term follow up of Scots in their forties for whom maternal food intake data was available also provided evidence that maternal intake could be a driver of intrauterine programming(6). Adult blood pressure was associated with maternal intakes of animal protein and sugars, but the relationship was complex and non-linear.

1. Godfrey KM, Redman CW, Barker DJ et al., (1991) The effect of maternal anaemia and iron deficiency on the ratio of fetal weight to placental weight. BJOG 98, 886-891.

2.Gillman MW, Rifas-Shiman S, Rich-Edwards J, et al., (2003) Maternal calcium intake and offspring blood pressure. Circulation 107, E7016.

3. Camargo CA, Rifas-Shiman SL, Litonjua AA, et al., (2007). Maternal intake of vitamin D during pregnancy and risk of recurrent wheeze in children at 3 y of age. Am J Clin Nutr. 85, 788-795.

4. Oken E, Kleinman KP, Belfort B, et al., (2009) Associations of gestational weight gain with short- and longer-term maternal and child health outcomes. Am J Epidemiol 170, 173-180.

5. Normia J, Laitinen K, Isolauri E, et al.,  (2013) Impact of intrauterine and post-natal nutritional determinants on blood pressure at 4 years of age. J Hum Nutr Diet 10.1111/jhn.12115

6. Campbell DM, Hall MH, Barker DJP, et al., (1996) Diet in pregnancy and the offspring’s blood pressure 40 years later. BJOG 103, 273-280.

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5 thoughts on “Jumping from Harvard to Vancouver

  1. The author instructions, linked in the text, give totally different reference samples….hasn’t this been noticed for three years?

    1. Thanks for the heads up- I can’t quite see the problem though. The instructions on referencing are as below and are all the Vancouver style:

      h) References (new guidelines effective from October 2014): Number references consecutively in the order in which they first appear in the text using superscript Arabic numerals in parentheses, e.g. ‘These findings are consistent with previously published data (1,2–4)’. If a reference is cited more than once the same number should be used each time. Any references that are cited only in tables and figures or their legends should be numbered in sequence from the last number used in the text and in the order of mention of the individual tables and figures in the text.

      References should be listed in a separate section at the end of the paper, in numerical order using the Vancouver system. If an article has more than three authors only the names of the first three authors should be given followed by ‘et al.’ Do not include issue in the reference. Titles of journals should appear in their abbreviated form as listed at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/projects/linkout/journals/jourlists.fcgi?typeid=1&type=journals&operation=Show.

      References to books and monographs should include the town of publication and the number of the edition to which reference is made. References to material available on websites should include the full Internet address, and the date of the version cited. Examples of correct forms of references are given below. Authors using Endnote or Reference Manager to generate reference lists may find it useful to use their template files for British Journal of Nutrition.

      Journal articles
      1. Steele JR, Meskell RJ, Foy J et al. Determining the osmolality of over-concentrated and supplemented infant formulas. J.Hum Nutr Diet. 2013;26:32-37.
      2. Nelson M, Margetts BM & Black A. Letter to the Editor. J Hum Nutr Diet. 1993;6: 79-81.
      3. Dixon N. Writing for publication- a guide for new authors. Int J Qual Health Care. 2001;13: 417-421.

      Books and monographs
      4. Kim J. Factors analysis. In: Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. pp. 468-514 [Nie K. Steinbrenner K & Brent DH, editors]. New York: McGraw-Hill; 1975.

      Sources from the internet
      5. Public Health England (2014) Public Health England Obesity Statistics. http://www.noo.org.uk (accessed October 2014).

      i) Figure legends: Figure legends should be provided separately to illustrations and must include the Figure title, description of figure content, definition of any abbreviations and, if necessary, statistical information.

  2. Hello, thank your for that reply!

    you are surely right, the author instructions also show a Vancouver style, but when it comes to the sample references it gets confused, at least in my eyes;-)
    See:

    “Examples of correct forms of references are given below. Authors using Endnote or Reference Manager to generate reference lists may find it useful to use their template files for British Journal of Nutrition.

    Journal articles
    1. Steele JR, Meskell RJ, Foy J et al. Determining the osmolality of over-concentrated and supplemented infant formulas. J.Hum Nutr Diet. 2013;26:32-37.
    2. Nelson M, Margetts BM & Black A. Letter to the Editor. J Hum Nutr Diet. 1993;6: 79-81.
    3. Dixon N. Writing for publication- a guide for new authors. Int J Qual Health Care. 2001;13: 417-421.”

    The samples given here show a totally different reference style than your journal acutally uses.
    Correct me if I am wrong, but this:

    1. Godfrey KM, Redman CW, Barker DJ et al., (1991) The effect of maternal anaemia and iron deficiency on the ratio of fetal weight to placental weight. BJOG 98, 886-891.

    is different from the samples.

    The samples do more look like the reference style as NIH/NLM recommends it,
    I am looking forward to your reply.

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