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University of Newcastle Library guides

Vancouver Referencing Style:  Messages, email (Personal comm)

UON Library guide to Vancouver Style for UON students

General Rules and Examples

Personal communication

 

Personal communications may cover the following examples:

  • conversations (whether face-to-face or by telephone)
  • private letters
  • private contracts
  • wills
  • email or text messages
  • private messages shared through social media and received by the author.

Personal communications are usually run into the text only, not as formal end references. Include the nature and source of the cited information, using a term or terms to indicate clearly that no corresponding citation is in the reference list. Place the source information in parentheses.

For example:

… and most of these meningiomas proved to be inoperable (2003 email from RS Grant to me; unreferenced, see "Notes") while the few that …
 

An email address or the like belonging to an individual should be omitted. Should it be needed in a specific context, it must be cited only with the permission of its owner.

For private letters, unless the letter resides in a library or other public archive, the author of a publication citing a letter must provide written permission from the cited person (if living) to the publisher or from the cited organization if it is carried in a document such as in internal memorandum that is not accessible to the public.

It is highly recommended that any cited personal communications be saved to disk or in print because not all  systems use a standard method of saving or archiving messages.

Reference list entries are not needed.

Be sure to check with your lecturer if these kinds of resources are suitable for use in your assignments.

Online theses and dissertations 

 

Personal communications are usually run into the text only, not as formal end references. Include the nature and source of the cited information, using a term or terms to indicate clearly that no corresponding citation is in the reference list. Place the source information in parentheses.

The following are some examples of placing references to personal communications within the running text. 

See the general rules for personal communication for more details. 

 

Conversation example

In a conversation with the author on January 6, 2009, lobbyist Ann Adams (unreferenced) admitted that . . .

 

Email example

… and most of these meningiomas proved to be inoperable (2003 e-mail from RS Grant to me; unreferenced) while the few that …

 

Facebook message example

...produced the same result (Facebook direct message from Jonathan Lee to author, May 5, 2017, unreferenced) ...

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