Referencing Guide

Referencing Guide
Referencing is a standardised method of
acknowledging sources of information and ideas.
Referencing allows the reader to locate the original
source to verify information and facts.
One of the five criteria for the assessment of case
studies is:
Demonstrate appropriate knowledge and use of
references to support decision making
The National Competency Standards Framework for
Pharmacists in Australia 2010 describe the
performance criteria that AACP markers use to
assess a candidate’s competency in this area: Ensures information resources are sufficient
and appropriate for the types of information usually
requested/provided. Applies a standardised referencing technique
to link information to the evidence base
A broad range of information sources should be used
to critically evaluate the efficacy and safety of
medicines when conducting medication reviews.
In general, resources should be relevant and
accessible to general practitioners (GPs); for
example, national guidelines, NPS MedicineWise
materials (including Australian Prescriber), Veterans’
MATES Therapeutic Brief, Australian Medicines
Handbook, AMH Aged Care Companion, Therapeutic
Guidelines, Medical Journal of Australia articles and
reviews, Cochrane reviews and TGA Medicines
Safety Updates.
References should be the current version.
The selection of optimal information sources should
consider the application and limitations of the article
or resource. The cited reference must be applicable
to the individual patient status and presenting
problems in the case study i.e. age, gender, frailty,
condition, medications, comorbidities.
It is not necessary to reference well established facts
e.g. ‘verapamil causes constipation’.
The reference citation should be in sufficient detail
for the marker to locate and consult the reference. It
is preferable to include page numbers.
A consistent style of referencing should be used. The
Vancouver style of referencing is the style most
commonly used in pharmacy and medical literature.
The responses to each of the 3 case study questions
should be referenced separately. This is particularly
important for the GP letter or report (Question 3) as
this should be a stand-alone document.
Vancouver Style
There are different conventions used in Vancouver
Style. A consistent style should be used.
The reference list should appear at the end of each
question containing the full details of all in-text
citations, listed in numerical order.
Citations should appear within the text as Arabic
numbers in round brackets e.g. (2) or as a
superscript number.
The original number to a reference is reused each
time the reference is cited.
As a general rule, reference numbers should be
placed outside full stops and commas, and inside
colons and semicolons.
Commas (without spaces) should be used to
separate non-inclusive numbers in a multiple
citation. A hyphen can be used to join the first and
last numbers that are inclusive.
Journal citations
Authors should be listed by surname then initials. A
comma and one space should be placed between
each name. The last author must have a full-stop
after their initial(s). The first six authors should be
listed followed by ‘et al’.
The journal article title should be written in full, with
only the first word (and words that normally begin
with a capital letter) in capitals. Do not use italics or
A journal title should be abbreviated according to
the style used in Medline. No punctuation marks,
only spaces, should be used.
A list of journal abbreviations can be found at the
National Library of Medicine website
and then search the full journal title to view its
The journal title should be followed by the year of
publication, semi-colon, volume and issue number,
colon, and page numbers.
If a journal has continuous page numbers in a
volume the issue number may be omitted.
Journal citation examples:
Gallagher P, O’Mahony D. STOPP (Screening Tool of
Older Persons’ potentially inappropriate
Prescriptions): application to acutely ill elderly
patients and comparison with Beers’ criteria. Age
Ageing 2008;37:673-9.
Handler SM, Hanlon JT, Perera S, Roumani YF, Nace
DA, Fridsma DB, et al. Consensus list of signals to
detect potential adverse drug reactions in nursing
homes. J Am Geriatr Soc 2008;56(5):808-15.
Book citation
Referencing to a book should contain the following
information in the style described above:
author/editor, title of publication and subtitle (if
any), edition, place of publication, publisher, year of
publication, page numbers.
It is preferable to include the page numbers to help
markers readily find the source to verify
interpretation and application of the information.
Book citation examples:
Rossi S, editor. Australian Medicines Handbook.
Adelaide: Australian Medicines Handbook Pty Ltd;
2014. p. 653-4.
Australian Medicines Handbook Aged Care
Companion. Adelaide: Australian Medicines
Handbook Pty Ltd; 2014. p. 120-2.
Palliative Care Expert Group. Therapeutic guidelines:
palliative care. Version 3. Melbourne: Therapeutic
Guidelines Limited; 2010. p. 43.
Electronic resource citation
Referencing to a website, electronic journals and
databases should follow the same principles for print
resources, described above.
In addition for websites, the URL address should be
included and the date accessed. Ensure that URLs
used as references are active and available.
Electronic resource citation examples:
eTG complete [CD-ROM]. Melbourne: Therapeutic
Guidelines Limited; 2014 Mar.
eTG complete [Internet]. Melbourne: Therapeutic
Guidelines Limited; 2014 Mar. Accessed 2014 July 15
eMIMSCloud or eMIMSDesktop
Prescribing information: xxxx
In Data Version: July 2014. Sydney, Australia MIMS
Australia Pty Ltd; 2014.
MedicineWise News. Older, wiser, safer. NPS
MedicineWise; Sept 2013. Available from:
Further information
f for a detailed “how-to” guide.
referencing guide_v1.5.doc
July 2014

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