Based on the SAGE Vancouver style in line citations are superscript and should be after puncutations. Also no space is allowed between citations and words. How can I rewrite example this sentence correctly?

In24, the researchers had to generate the synthetic training data manually via image blending operations.

1 Answer 1


The sentence, as you have written it, simply doesn't work well with a superscript citation style. This quite often happens when converting from something like an author-date citation style to a superscript style. It is usual in these cirumstances to re-write the sentence, perhaps along the lines of:

Smith and Jones report24 that they had to generate the synthetic training data manually via image blending operations.

The creators of citation software sometimes give the impression that changing the citation style of a research paper only requires the click of a button and the selection of a new style. In practice, things aren't quite so simple!

It's worth looking briefly at when it is that conversion from one citation style to another will cause problems. Here are a few brief thoughts.

  1. It is unlikely that converting from superscript citation format (e.g., in two reports,18,27 the results were ...) or in-line numerical citation format (e.g., in two reports [18,27], the results were ...) to an author-date system will cause problems. Simply replace the superscript or inline numerals with a parenthetical author-date list (e.g., in two reports (Kelvin, 1880; Wolf, 1927), the results were ...). Your citation software will probably do a good job here without extra help.

  2. To convert from an entirely parenthetical author-date in-line citation, by which I mean an instance where the author names and the dates are all within parentheses such as, in two reports (Kelvin, 1880; Wolf, 1927), the results were ..., replace the author-date list with an appropriate list of superscripted or in-line numerical citations (e.g., in two reports,18,27 the results were ...). Again, citation software is likely to make a sensible change without assistance.

  3. The problematic cases for converting to numerical citations are where the original author-date citation used the author-names as an integral part of the same sentence such as in the following: In 1984, Smith reported that ..., or, ... the discovery by Gauss (1815) of the unique ...). It is in these instances that it is useful to rewrite the sentence slightly if one is converting to a numerical citation system. There are various ways of doing it. The simplest, if it is possible, is to put the numerical superscript (or inline number) directly after the author's name, in exactly the same spot as the original parenthetical year went; e.g., ... the discovery by Gauss71 of the unique ...). But sometimes the sentence needs a bit more adjustment, as in the example sentence you yourself gave above.

  • where can i find similar example senteces like this? Mar 2, 2023 at 15:47
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    I'm not at all sure that you will find examples. However, I have included what I hope are a few useful suggestions at the end of my answer. Mar 3, 2023 at 8:08
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    Regarding your point 1, consider cases such as "In a flurry of papers [18-27] results were rapidly developed...". Author-date style does not deal well with such "block" citations. (Whether such block citations are a good practice, is a separate issue. They are certainly common in literature using numerical citation formats.)
    – TimRias
    Mar 3, 2023 at 9:04
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    @TimRias The same thing is regrettably true in the social sciences with author-date systems. I've read many papers where the initial few words of a sentence are followed by a parenthetical list of 6 or 7 references, each with multiple authors! The real content of the sentence might only resume several lines (!) below where the initial few words appeared. I have no idea how to avoid the problem in many journals. In a private report, lapsing into a mix of author-date and footnote sometimes works, as here ... academia.stackexchange.com/a/191224/104266 Mar 3, 2023 at 23:51

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