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Citation Help: AMA

Learn how to cite sources in APA, Chicago, MLA and other styles accurately!

AMA Citation Quick Reference (11th edition)

Use superscript numbers to add in text citations.

Jones2 wrote… or ...as research shows.2   

Do not use the endnote function in Microsoft Word or Word for Mac to create these.  These are not endnotes that appear at the end of the paper.  This is particularly important when you want to refer to a source more than once.

These numbers correspond to the Reference List.  The first source in the reference list is the first source you cited in text.

Jones1 wrote...

References

1. Jones F.

If citing more than one source in the same sentence, separate the superscript numbers with a comma and without a space after the comma.

....as research shows.2,5

If referring to consecutive references in text, connect them with a hyphen.

....as research shows.2-4

Superscript numbers should be placed after commas and periods:

....as research shows,2,5

....as research shows.2,5

But before colons and semi-colons.

....as research shows2,5:

....as research shows2,5;

In text, refer to authors by last name only.  For works with two authors, use both names in text.

Jones and Smith proved....

For more than two authors, use only the first author's last name followed by et al.

Jones et al stated...

If a source has no author, refer to it in text by title.

National Library of Medicine

 

This quick reference box is based on the 11th edition of AMA Manual of Style. Refer to the online version of the AMA Manual of Style available on this page for more information.

Formatting

Begin the list on a separate page with the heading References aligned left.

References are single spaced and aligned left, there is indentation of the second line.

References are listed in the order that they appear in text.  The first source cited in text is the first source in the reference list.

  1. Jones F.
  2. Smith J.

These are not superscript numbers.  Use Microsoft Word or Word for Mac's numbering library and select the numbers with periods after them.  This will automatically align the text of the reference so that both lines of text are in line with one another.

  1. Smith JL, Jones TL. Myocardial infarction and defibrillators. Acute Card Care. 1994; 2(45): 30-45. doi: 10.142.7/a
  2. Smith JL. Cancer drugs [published online ahead of print March 3, 2016]. Oncol Rev. doi: 10.457/152

See additional tabs on how to format reference list entries for particular source types.

Authors

Author names are formatted with last name and initials.  There is no punctuation between the last name and initials and no periods after the author's initials.

Frank L. Jones would be:

Jones FL.

AMA states that up to 6 authors should be listed for a source in the reference list.  Each is separated by a comma.

Jones FL, Smith PT, Doe JT, Frank L, Jenkins MP, Clark B.

For 7 or more authors, list the first 3 and refer to the rest with et al.

Jones FL, Smith PT, Doe JT, et al.

If no author is listed, begin the citation with the work's title.

  1. Tips to help you quit smoking. National Library of Medicine. http://nlm.gov/smoking. Accessed May 1, 2016.
Authors

Follow author rules on Reference List tab.

Article Titles

Capitalize only the first word, proper nouns, and common abbreviations.

Proper nouns include personal names, business names, place names, product names, etc.,

For example:

Use of Harvey® the Cardiopulmonary Patient Simulator in physician assistant training.

Do not capitalize the subtitle, often appearing after a colon, unless it starts with or contains proper nouns or abbreviations.

Publication date, volume, issue, and page numbers

Include just the year, month is not necessary.

There are no spaces between these items in the reference list citation

Provide the full page range if available

DOI Number

DOI is the preferred item to include over a URL for locating the article so if an article has both, go with the DOI.  See below for what to do for articles that don't have a DOI number.

DOI numbers should be formatted as doi: 10..... and not https://doi.org...  Convert the latter to doi: 10... by copying and pasting the number from the URL.

Do not put a period after the DOI number.

Journal Titles

Journal titles are abbreviated according to National Library of Medicine (NLM) rules and in italics.  Articles found in PubMed will already have the title abbreviated in NLM format.  Search for the proper abbreviation of a journal title in the NLM catalog.

For example:

JAAPA

J Physician Assist Educ

For journals not found in the NLM Catalog, refer to the National Library of Medicine's guidelines for abbreviating titles below:

Online Journal Article (from Journal's or Journal Publisher's website)

Article with a DOI 

  1. Author last name author initial(s). Article title: article subtitle. Journ Titl. Publication Date;volume number(issue number):page numbers. doi
  1. Smith JL, Jones TL. Myocardial infarction and defibrillators. Acute Card Care. 1994;2(45):30-45. doi: 10.142.7/a

Article without a DOI (ONLY TO BE USED FOR ARTICLES WITHOUT A DOI!!)

When using a URL instead of a DOI, provide the URL that connects the reader with the article most directly, don't use long search result URLs or a link to the journal's main website.

  1. Author last name author initial(s). Article title. Journ Titl. Publication Date;volume number (issue number):page numbers. URL. Accessed Month Day, Year.
  1. Smith JL, Jones TL. Myocardial infarction and defibrillators. Acute Card Care. 1994;2(45):30-45. http://www.acutecardcare/1994/2/5/article5. Accessed May 3, 2015.
Epub Ahead of Print Journal Article

Articles published ahead of print often do not have page numbers, volume number or issue number assigned to them.

  1. Author last name author initial(s). Article title. Journ Titl. Publishe online Month Day, Year. doi or URL
  1. Smith JL. Cancer drugs. Oncol Rev. Published online March 3, 2016. doi: 10.457/152
Electronic Only Articles

Some journals are only available online and don't have page numbers, but instead have document numbers, preceded by the letter "e" that are used in place of page numbers.

  1. Author last name author initial(s). Article title. Journ Titl. Publication date;volume number(issue number):edocument number. doi or URL
  1. Smith JL. Cancer drugs. Oncol Rev. May 2016;5(1):e1620. doi: 10.457/152
Print Journal Article
  1. Author last name author initial(s). Article title. Journ Titl. Publication Date;volume number(issue number):page numbers.
  1. Smith JL. Diabetes mellitus and you. JAAPA. 1999;500(22): 11-12.
  2. Smith JL, Jones T. Diabetes. JAMA. 2004;3(4):550-554.
Authors

Follow author rules on Reference List tab.

Titles

Italicize the title.  Capitalize major words.

For example:

Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine

Book with one author
  1. Author last name author initial(s). Title of Book. Publisher; Publication Date.
  1. Smith T. Decision Making for the Physician Assistant. Publisher Publishing House; 2009.
Book with an edition number
  1. Author last name author initial(s). Title of Book. ed. number. Publisher; Publication Date.
  1. Smith T. Decision Making for the Physician Assistant. 4th ed. Publisher Publishing House; 2009.
Book with an editor
  1. Editor last name editor initial(s), ed(s). Title of Book. Publisher; Publication Date.
  1. Smith JL, Jones T, eds. Cancer and the Liver. Publisher Publishing, 2009.
Book with 7 or more authors
  1. Author last name author initial(s), author last name author initial(s), author last name author initial(s), et al. Title of Book. Publisher; Publication Date.
  1. Jones TL, Smith J, Franks AN, et al.  Cancer and the Liver. Publisher Publishing House; 1985.
Authors

Follow author rules on Reference List tab.

Titles

Italicize the title.  Capitalize major words.

For example:

Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine

 
eBook with one author
  1. Author last name author initial(s). Title of Book. Edition number (if provided). Publisher; publication date. Accessed date. URL.
  1. Smith J. Cancer Drugs. 2nd ed. Publishers Publishing Company; 2004. Accessed June 4, 2015. http://marist.idm.oclc.org/ebookcentral.com/1247897 
eBook with editors
  1. Editor last name editor initial(s), ed(s). Title of Book. Edition number (if provided). Publisher; publication date. Accessed date. URL
  1. Smith JT, Jones TL, eds. Cancer Drugs. 4th ed. Publishing Publisher; 2008. Accessed April 28, 2016. http://marist.idm.oclc.org/book/324823094890384
eBook with 7 or more authors
  1. Author last name author initial(s), author last name author initial(s), author last name author initial(s), et al. Title of Book. Publisher; Publication Date. Accessed date. URL
  1. Jones TL, Smith J, Franks AN, et al. Cancer and the Liver. Publisher Publishing House; 1985.  Accessed April 28, 2016. http://marist.idm.oclc.org/book/324823094890384
Authors

Follow author rules on Reference List tab.

Chapter titles

Capitalize only the first word, proper nouns, and common abbreviations.

Proper nouns include personal names, business names, place names, product names, etc.,

For example:

Use of Harvey® the Cardiopulmonary Patient Simulator in physician assistant training.

Chapter in a print book
  1. Chapter author last name author initial(s). Chapter title. In: Editor last name editor initial(s), ed(s). Title of Book. Publisher; Publication Date:chapter page numbers.
  1. Smith JL. Healthcare in the United States: issues and challenges. In: Jones TL, ed. Careers in Healthcare. Publisher Publishing House; 2002:15-45.
Chapter in an eBook
  1. Chapter author last name author initial(s). Chapter title. In: Editor last name editor initial(s), ed(s). Title of Book. Publisher; Publication Date:chapter page numbers. Accessed date. URL
  1. Smith JL. Healthcare in the United States: issues and challenges. In: Jones TL, ed. Careers in Healthcare. Publisher Publishing House; 2002:15-45. Accessed April 23, 2016. http://marist.idm.oclc.org/ebookcentral/78978970978907
Authors

List an author if one is available, follow author rules on Reference List tab.

Titles

Cite websites by title if no author is available.

Capitalize only the first word and proper nouns in titles of a page from a website.

For website names, capitalize the major words, much like titles for books.

If citing an entire website and not a single page from it, cite the website name as the first item in the citation.

Page from a Website
  1. Author last name author initial(s) (if named). Web page title. Website Name. Published date (if provided, if not omit this). Updated date (if one is provided, if not omit this). Accessed date. URL
  1. Smith TL. Health tips. National Library of Medicine. Updated April 4, 2016. Accessed May 2, 2016. http://nlm.gov
  2. Tips to help you quit smoking. National Library of Medicine. Accessed May 1, 2016. http://nlm.gov/smoking
Entire Website
  1. Author last name author initial(s) (if named). Website Name. Published date (if provided, if not omit this). Updated date (if one is provided, if not omit this). Accessed date. URL
  1. American Liver Foundation. Accessed May 2, 2016. http://www.liverfoundation.org/

There are many different types of government and organization documents and the AMA Manual of Style offers examples on reports and working papers, but the examples below can be used to cite more than reports and working papers.

Determine the author.

Include information that is available.  If an individual author is not listed, lead with the organization or government department name.

             World Health Organization

List individuals named as authors first followed by a semi-colon then the name of the organization or government departments.

                     Smith TF; World Health Organization.

Titles

Capitalize only the first word, proper nouns, and common abbreviations. (this applies only to shorter article length works, if a monograph, use book title rules).

Proper nouns include personal names, business names, place names, product names, etc.,

For Government Documents:
  1. Author last name author initial(s)/Organization Name or Government Department. Document/Report Title. Issuing bureau/agency; Publication/Effective/Updated Date. Access Date. URL

 

  1. National Library of Medicine. Risks of Smoking. National Institutes of Health; 2019. Accessed January 3, 2021. https://nlm.gov
For Organization Documents with a named author:
 
  1. Author last name author initial(s). Document/Report Title. Publication/Effective/Updated Date. Access Date. URL

 

  1. Smith TF.  Core competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative PracticeInterprofessional Education Collaborative. Updated 2016. Accessed March 28, 2019. https://nebula.wsimg.com/2f68a39520b03336b41038c370497473?AccessKeyId=DC06780E69ED19E2B3A5&disposition=0&alloworigin=1

 

For Organization Documents without a named author:
  1. Organization Name. Document/Report Title. Publication/Effective/Updated Date. Access Date. URL
  1. Interprofessional Education Collaborative. Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative PracticeUpdated 2016. Accessed March 28, 2019. https://nebula.wsimg.com/2f68a39520b03336b41038c370497473?AccessKeyId=DC06780E69ED19E2B3A5&disposition=0&alloworigin=1

UpToDate recommends that UpToDate topics should be cited as chapters in an ebook entitled UpToDate.

Authors

Follow author rules on Reference List tab.

Titles

The name of the UpToDate topic is capitalized in the same manner as journal article titles, capitalize the first word, proper nouns and abbreviations.

Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitors for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

 

  1. Author last name author initial(s). Topic title. In: Post, TW, ed. UpToDate. UpToDate; Publication Date (last update date for topic). Accessed date. URL
  1. Dungan K, DeSantis A. Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitors for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. In: Post, TW, ed. UpToDate. UpToDate; 2016. Accessed May 2, 2016. www.uptodate.com

 

Authors

Follow author rules on Reference List tab.

Cochrane Review Titles

Capitalize only the first word, proper nouns, and common abbreviations.

Proper nouns include personal names, business names, place names, product names, etc.,

For example:

Use of Harvey® the Cardiopulmonary Patient Simulator in physician assistant training.

Cochrane Library Abbreviations

Much like journal titles, Cochrane Library databases are abbreviated and italicized. 

Cochrane Library contains 6 databases

  • Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
  • Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials
  • Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects
  • Cochrane Methodology Register
  • Health Technology Assessment Database
  • NHS Economic Evaluation Database

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews is abbreviated as follows:

                   Cochrane Database Syst Rev

All other Cochrane Databases will need abbreviations created for them as they are not in the NLM Catalog. Follow the rules at the link below to create these abbreviations.

Cochrane Review Example
  1. Author last name author initial(s). Review title. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Publication Year;(Issue Number):Article Number [begins with CD]. DOI or URL

 

  1. Smith TM, Jones FJ. Blood group identification. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;(4):CD1089425a. www.cochranelibrary.com/CD1089425a

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