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APA, MLA, Chicago/Turbian, AMA - Citation Styles: AMA

This resource guide was designed to provide you with assistance in citing your sources when writing an academic paper. Popular citation styles are explained with examples.

American Medical Association (AMA) Manual of Style 11th edition

When viewing the Manual online, look for the "Table of Contents" on the right side of the screen to find information on particular citations.

Please note only 5 users have access at a time in the electronic version.

Basics of In-text Citations with Examples

References are numbered in consecutive order in the text, tables, or figures.

Use superscript Arabic numerals to cite material, e.g.,1. The first reference used in a written document is listed as 1 in the reference list.

Where to place the superscript? The superscript number1 is inserted into the document immediately next to the fact, concept, or quotation being cited. If citing more than one reference at the same point, separate the numbers with commas and no spaces between.

The Superscript number is inserted:

  • Immediately next to the fact, idea, or quotation being cited. Ex. This drug is used to treat hepatitis.1
  • Outside periods and commas. Ex. Storing latex at high heat may cause degradation,2,3-5,7 but it is difficult to keep materials cool in a desert environment.
  • Inside colons and semicolons. Ex. Some physicians choose to store prescription pads in locked cabinets8; others keep them in their coats at all times.9
  • When more than 2 references are cited at a given place in the manuscript, use hyphens to join the first and last numbers of a closed series; use commas without space to separate other parts of a multiple citation. Ex. As reported previously,1,4-7,19,24

If a reference is used multiple times in one paper, use the same number throughout.

At the end of the document, include a reference list with full citations to each item. Name it References. Order citations as they appear in your paper.

Using author's names in-text: You may use author names in your text, as long as these mentions are accompanied by numbered citations. Use last names only. For items with one or two authors, include both names. For items with 3 or more authors, include the first author's surname and then 'et al' or 'and colleagues'.

Ex. Smith and Jones2 reported on the questionnaire. Ex. Hammersmith et al3 reported on the survey.

Secondary Citations:

The AMA Manual, section 3.13.10 secondary citations, states: Reference may be made to one author’s citation of, or quotation from, another’s work. Distinguish between citation and quotation (ie, between work mentioned and words actually quoted). In the text, the name of the original author, rather than the secondary source, should be mentioned. (See also 3.11.12, References to Print Journals, Discussants.) As with citation of an abstract of an article rather than citation of the original document (see 3.11.9, References to Print Journals, Abstracts and Other Material Taken From Another Source), citation of the original document is preferred unless it is not readily available. Only items actually consulted should be listed.

Ex. Cauley JA, Lui L-Y, Ensrud KE, et al. Osteoporosis and fracture risk in women of different ethnic groups. JAMA. 2005;293(17):2102-2108. Cited by: Acheson LS. Bone density and the risk of fractures: should treatment thresholds vary by race [editorial]? JAMA. 2005; 293(17):2151-2154.



Finding treatments for breast cancer is a major goal for scientists.1,2 Some classes of drugs show more promise than others. Gradishar evaluated taxanes as a class.3 Other scientists have investigated individual drugs within this class, including Andre and Zielinski2 and Joensuu and Gligorov.4 Mita et al.'s investigation of cabazitaxel5 seems to indicate a new role for this class of drugs.


1. Cancer Research Funding. National Cancer Institute. Publication date unavailable. Updated June 6, 2011. Accessed November 3, 2012.

2. Andre F, Zielinski CC. Optimal strategies for the treatment of metastatic triple-negative breast cancer with currently approved agents. Ann Oncol. 2012;23(Suppl 2):vi46-vi51.

3. Gradishar WJ. Taxanes for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. Breast Cancer (Auckl.). 2012;6:159-171.

4. Joensuu H, Gligorov J. Adjuvant treatments for triple-negative breast cancers. Ann Oncol. 2012; Suppl 6:vi40-45.

5. Mita AC, Figlin R, Mita MM. Cabazitaxel: more than a new taxane for metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer? Clin Cancer Res. 2012;18(24):OF1-OF6.

Adapted from USC Norris Medical Library, AMA: Citing Your Sources. Includes content adapted with permission from the New York Medical College.

Print Examples from AMA Manual of Style, 10th edition.


Shepard TH. Catalog of Teratogenic Agents. 7th ed. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press; 1992.

Baselt RC, Cravey RH. Disposition of Toxic Drugs and Chemicals in Man. 4th ed. Foster City, CA: Chemical Toxicology Institute; 1995.

  • more than one author
  • (list all authors if six or less, otherwise list first three followed by "et al.") 

Armitage JO, Antman KH, eds. High-dose Cancer Therapy: Pharmacology, Hematopoietins, Stem Cells. Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins; 1995.

Chapter from a Book

Degner LF, McWilliams ME. Challenges in conducting cross-national nursing research. In: Fitzpatrick JJ, Stevenson JS, Polis NS, eds. Nursing Research and its Utilization: International State of the Science. New York, NY: Springer; 1994:211-215.

Monographic (Book) Series

Davidoff RA. Migraine: Manifestations, Pathogenesis, and Management. Philadelphia, Pa: FA Davis; 1995. Contemporary Neurology Series; No 42.

Article from a Journal 

Moldofsky H. Sleep, neuroimmune and neuroendocrine functions in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Adv Neuroimmunol. 1995;5(1):39-56.

Raux H, Coulon P, Lafay F, Flamand A. Monoclonal antibodies which recognize the acidic configuration of the rabies glycoprotein at the surface of the virion can be neutralizing. Virology. 1995;210(2):400-408.

Capitalization of Titles in References

  • Capitalize all major words.
  • Do not capitalize the, an, a, in, for, or but, unless this word begins the title.
  • Book chapter titles: capitalize only the first word.
  • Journal titles: capitalize all major words. Do not capitalize the, an, a, in, for, or but, unless this word begins the title.
  • Journal article titles: capitalize only the first word.

Electronic Examples from AMA Manual of Style, 10th edition.

Online journals with volume and page information

Kapur VK,  Obstructive sleep apnea: diagnosis, epidemiology, and economics. Respir Care. 2010;55(9):1155-1167. Accessed November 8, 2011.

Online journals without volume and page information*

Mast CT, DeMuro-Mercon C, Kelly CM, Floyd LE, Ealter EB. The impact of rotavirus gastroenteritis on the family. BMC Pediatrics. 2009;9:11. doi:10.1186/1471-2431-9-11

*When a DOI is provided it is preferable to supply it and no accessed date is needed.

Journal article with DOI

Bouwmeester C, Kraft J, Bungay KM. Optimizing inhaler use by pharmacist-provided education to community-dwelling elderly. Respir Med. 2015;109(10)1363-1368. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2015.07.013.

Web site

King MW. The Medical Biochemistry Page. Updated July 14, 2009. Accessed July 14, 2009.

Online book

Neinstein, L, ed. Adolescent Health Care. 5th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott W&W; 2008. Accessed November 9, 2011.

Chapter from an online book

Creating safety systems in health care organizations. In: Kohn, LT, Corrigan, JM, and Donaldson MS, eds. To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System. Washington, DC: Committee on Quality of Health Care in America, Institute of Medicine; 2000. Accessed November 1, 2011.

Online reference

Amoxicillin. In:DRUGDEX System (Micromedex 2.0). Greenwood Village, CO: Truven Health Analytics; c1974-2013. Accessed October 22, 2013.

Locating journal title abbreviations

These sources will help you find abbreviations for journal titles. They will also help you find complete journal titles when you have only the title abbreviations.