i know how to use the vancouver citation style with bibtex, but i use biber in my project, but i don't know how to use the vancouver citation style there?

i configured my tex file like this and added my bib file:



I tried it with the commands but did not work:


I got only an error that the \cite command is not defined. So it seems that the citation style could not be found or loaded. So can someone help me to get the vancouver style working?


  • 1
    As far as I know there is no fully-fledged "Vancouver" style for biblatex out there. There is a BibTeX (.bst) style (here on CTAN). See also Vancouver citation style in LaTex. If you don't have a .bbx/.cbx pair the style=vancouver option cannot help you.
    – moewe
    Jan 31 '16 at 14:05
  • Here are the bibtex style: ctan.org/tex-archive/biblio/bibtex/contrib/vancouver?lang=de and here general information about the vancouver style: blackboard.swan.ac.uk/bbcswebdav/institution/…
    – Opa114
    Jan 31 '16 at 14:10
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    The style you link to cannot be used with biblatex it is a BibTeX style. Note also that what is considered Vancouver style may vary quite a bit from institution to institution.
    – moewe
    Jan 31 '16 at 14:24
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    If with "it" you mean the .bst style the answer is you cannot use it with biblatex, if you refer to the general concept of the "Vancouver style", then my comment above applies that I don't know about a full implementation of that style for biblatex. The pre-defined numeric style might come close to what you want, but you will probably have to apply (quite) some modifications. You could of course stop using biblatex and go for good old BibTeX and use vancouver.bst.
    – moewe
    Jan 31 '16 at 14:54
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    Normally, I recommend biblatex over BibTeX, but if you have a .bst style that suits your needs (and you are mainly writing in English), you can stick to BibTeX. If you want to use biblatex you need to accept that currently there is no ready-to-use Vancouver style out there, so you will have to roll your own (starting from numeric I suppose).
    – moewe
    Jan 31 '16 at 15:24

The term "Vancouver style" or "Vancouver system" seems to be slightly more variable than say, APA style or Chicago style. Often institutions have their own modifications to the general idea of the style. (Much like "Harvard style" often just means an author year style.)

According to Wikipedia the home of the "official Vancouver style" is the NLM's Citing Medicine.

From what I can see there, it is essentially a numerical style.

For BibTeX there is vancouver.bst.

For biblatex a quick search on the web only turned up https://github.com/fluffels/biblatex-vancouver, the styles there haven't been updated in years though and the redefinitions of the drivers are indeed quite rough. See also Vancouver citation style in LaTex.

I think your best bet with biblatex is to start from a numeric style and modify it as needed. One prominent feature is the name format which can be reproduced with terseinits=true, firstinits=true and


As Johannes_B points out in the comments, there is Biblatex style file for New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) which lead to biblatex-nejm. And indeed what Marco Daniel implements there seems quite close to the Vancouver style requirements linked to above.

The package has been last updated in November 2011 though, and so some of the code might not work that smoothly. From what I could see most of it is still absolutely the right code for the job. The \renewbibmacro*{name:last-first} block, however, can be replaced by the code above.

  • I didn't look at the pdfs that explain the style, but i just came across Biblatex style file for New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) Seems to be a good start.
    – Johannes_B
    Feb 4 '16 at 12:48
  • @Johannes_B Good call, indeed the NEJM's Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals is about the Vancouver style, so I'm quite confident that this is more or less what the NEJM uses. biblatex-nejm is, however, more than four years old, so I'm not sure if it still works smoothly. Most of the suggestions in the answer are definitely still good to use.
    – moewe
    Feb 4 '16 at 17:44
  • M'arco hasnt been online for a while. Maybe Stefan can ping him, if somehing doesn't work. Or just opening a github issue would be fine.
    – Johannes_B
    Feb 4 '16 at 18:09
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    @Johannes_B I have left an issue at github.
    – moewe
    Feb 4 '16 at 18:21
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    @daviewales Indeed, also \DeclareNameAlias{default}{last-first} should be \DeclareNameAlias{default}{family-given}. See biblatex 3.3 name formatting
    – moewe
    May 27 '17 at 12:30

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