In-Text CitationsThe AMA style differs from APA and MLA in that in-text citations are numeric and included in-text as superscript. For example, if my first reference in a paper was to the AMA Manual of Style, 10th edition, I would end the sentence with a period and then the superscript as such.1
Guidelines for in-text citations:
- Depending on the punctuation, the superscript may appear in different places:
- After a period, comma, or mid-sentence word.
- Before a colon or semi-colon.
- For more than one reference, separate superscript numbers with a comma. For example, use 1,2 to cite both references used.
- Do not put superscript after a number. For example, do not say “32 patients…” Instead, say “3 patients2…”
- The number used in the superscript is the order of references used. Your first reference will always be 1, the second one will always be 2, and so on. If you refer to the same source later in your paper, use the number first used to cite that specific source.
- Unpublished materials, such as emails or phone conversations, are cited by parenthetical references instead of superscript since they cannot be retrieved by others. These citations should be placed before the punctuation and include information such as author, type of material, and date.
According to the AMA Manual of Style, this is the accepted format for articles submitted to both JAMA and the Archives.1 Similarly to the APA style, personal communications are put in parentheses as such2: “according to the library director (J. Kearns, oral communication, June 2018), AMA is used by several instructors at VTC…”
Reference ListReferences should be listed in the order they were used in the paper, NOT alphabetically. References in the reference list have to be retrievable information; this means anything that has not been accepted to be published and personal communications should not be included in this list. Instead, refer to the in-text citation guidelines for parenthetical citations. References generally follow this format for articles and books, but check More Citation Examples to see how to cite different types or sources:
Author last name Initials. Article title. Abbreviated Journal Title. Year; Volume number (Issue number): Page numbers.
Author last name Initials. Chapter title (if applicable). Book Title. ed. (if applicable). City, ST: Publisher; year of publication.
- Iverson C, Christiansen S, Flanagin A, et al. AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors. 10th New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Inc; 2007.
- Appelbaum M, Comas-Diaz L, Cooper H, et al. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th Washington, DC: American Psychological Association; 2010.
Oldroyd CK, Walters M, Dani K. Raised intracranial pressure secondary to vitamin overdose. Am J Med. 2016; 129 (6), 9-10.
More Citation Examples
AMA Formatting ResourcesFor a comprehensive overview of AMA paper and source citation format, we recommend you use these style guide websites:
- AMA Reference Citation Format (New York Medical College)
- AMA Quick Reference Citation Format (PDF) (Samford University)
- Citation Style: AMA (PDF) (Ball State University)
- Journal abbreviations (NLM Journal Catalog; search the journal title to find the appropriate abbreviation)