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AMA Style Guide

The documentation style recommended by the American Medical Association (AMA) is widely used for writing in the biomedical sciences.

The current 11th edition of the AMA Manual of Style is available:


  • In AMA style, the list of works cited is called “References.”
  • Number your references in the order they first appear in the text; do not alphabetize.
  • List all authors if six or less, otherwise list the first three followed by “et al.”
  • Journal titles are abbreviated as shown in the National Library of Medicine Catalog.

In Text Citations

Superscript numbers

In text, tables, and legends, identify references with superscript numbers. The number should correspond to the order in which the source was first cited. Place superscript numbers after a comma or period, but before a semicolon or colon. Use the same superscript number each time you refer to that same source.


Flexibility is key to pain management. 3

Author’s name is used in the sentence

If you are including the author’s name in the sentence, you should put the superscript number right after their name.


According to Smith,1 students become more comfortable with AMA style after repeated use.

Direct Quote

When using a direct quotation and inserting author’s name in the sentence, put a superscript after the author’s name, then the page number after the quoted material.


Smith2 claims “without knowledge of AMA style, most medical scholars will find it difficult to publish.” (p21)

References Examples

How citations should appear in the bottom references section of your paper

Article From a Journal, Magazine or Newspaper

Online Journal Article with DOI

Kitajima TS, Kawashima SA, Watanabe Y. The conserved kinetochore protein shugoshin protectscentromeric cohesion during meiosis. Nature. 2004;427(6974):510-517. doi:10.1038/nature02312.

Note: When the DOI is provided, it is preferable to cite it rather than the URL. No accessed date is required when using a DOI.

Online Journal Article without DOI

DeMattei R, Cuvo A, Maurizio S. Oral assessment of children with an autism spectrum disorder. J Dent Hyg. 2007;81(3): 65-75. Accessed January 7, 2015.

Print Journal Article

Rainier S, Thomas D, Tokarz D, et al. Myofibrillogenesis regulator 1 gene mutations cause paroxysmal dystonic choreoathetosis. Arch Neurol. 2004;61(7):1025-1029.

Online Newspaper Article

Perez-Pena R. Children in shelters hit hard by asthma. New York Times. March 2, 2004. Accessed March 2, 2004.

Print Newspaper Article

Goode E. Study finds jump in children taking psychiatric drugs. New York Times. January 14, 2003:A21.

E-books and Print Books

Chapter in an Online Version of a Print Book

Malouf JF, Edwards WD, Tajik AJ, Seward JB. Functional anatomy of the heart. In: Fuster V, Walsh RA, Harrington RA, eds. Hurst’s The Heart, 13th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2011. Accessed January 7, 2015.

Note: If using an entire e-book, omit the chapter author and chapter title.

Print Book by Single Author

Bain K. What the best college students do. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press; 2012.

Print Book by Two or More Authors

Pratt-Johnson JA, Tilson G. Management of Strabismus and Amblyopia. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Thieme Medical Publishers; 2001. Note: include the edition statement (ex: 3rd ed. or Rev ed.) between the title and place if it is not the first edition.

Chapter in an Edited Print Book

Solensky R. Drug allergy: desensitization and treatment of reactions to antibiotics and aspirin. In: Lockey P, ed. Allergens and Allergen Immunotherapy. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker; 2004:585-606.

Audiovisual Media


Ayers S. Terrorism: Medical Response [DVD]. Edgartown, MA: Emergency Film Group; 2002. TRANSCRIPTION OF A TV OR RADIO BROADCAST Mental illness in children—part 1 [transcript]. Morning Edition. National Public Radio. September 22, 2003.

Graphs, Maps, Illustrations, Images, Photos & other figures.

Acknowledge a figure directly beneath it. If you do not include the source in your reference list, then provide all the information in the acknowledgement below the figure.

A figure reference should include as much of the following information as is applicable and/or possible:

  • Artist’s name
  • Title of figure
  • Institution where held
  • Title of article or book
  • Author of article or book
  • Title and date of journal
  • Database name
  • Date of access if online
  • Date of publication if originally from print material
  • URL, if applicable.
A.  Varus knee with osteoarthritis. 
In: Brunicardi FC, ed. Schwartz's Principles of Surgery, 10th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. 2014. Accessed: November 06, 2017.
A. Varus knee with osteoarthritis. 
In: Brunicardi FC, ed. Schwartz’s Principles of Surgery, 10th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. 2014. Accessed: November 06, 2017. 
Right total knee replacement. 
Reprinted from Schwartz's Principles of Surgery, 10th Edition6
B. Right total knee replacement. 
Reprinted from Schwartz’s Principles of Surgery, 10th Edition6 

Other Sources


Interim guidance for clinicians on identifying and caring for patients with swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus infection. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Updated May 4, 2009. Accessed July 1, 2009.

Note: if there is an author, list first

Government Report or Corporate Author

World Health Organization. Equitable access to essential medicines: a framework for collective action. Published March 2004. Accessed December 6, 2005.

Questions & Help

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