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AMA Style

A quick overview of how to use the American Medical Association (AMA) Style and examples of note and in-text citations and references for a variety of different sources.

How to Use AMA Style

This page includes formatting guidelines for in-text citations and your reference list. Use the specific example pages (books, articles) for unique formatting of in-text citations and references.

Placement of the Reference Number (In-text Citations)

  • Use superscript numbers.
    Example
    The 2 largest studies to date included 26 patients2 and 18 patients.3
  • Place the numbers at the point of reference in text, figures, tables, or boxes.
  • Each source is numbered in the order it is cited.
  • Within the sentence, the number is after a comma and before colons and semicolons.
    Example
    Previous research shows,4
    The derived data were as follows5:
  • At the end of a sentence, place the number after the period.
    Example
    The study states … for the best results.17
  • When citing the same source more than once, use the original number but include the specific page you are referencing. Include a lowercase p and no period.
    Example
    Cortez's6 initial research provided greater insight into college student drinking patterns. Smith7 reported that the alcohol consumption of college students decreased in their senior year which supported Cortez's6(p33) and King's8 earlier findings.
  • Use commas without spaces to separate two sources cited at the same point.
    Example
    The case study indicated participants resisted negative change.15,16
  • For three or more references in numerical order and cited at the same point, use a hyphen to join the first and last numbers.
    Example
    Meta-analysis of current research shows,9–14
  • When using a direct quote, place the numerical citation after the closing quotation marks and include the page number.
    Example
    The study concludes that “without knowledge of the T-cell receptor, most immunologists will find it difficult to advance their research.”21(p6)
  • When using authors names in a sentence, use the last name only. Use the word ‘and’ for two authors. Use ‘et al’ for three or more authors.
    Example
    One author: Cortez6 reported…
    Two authors: Gilbert and Reed2 reported…
    Three authors: Harris et al3 reported…

Reference List

  • References are listed numerically in the order they are cited in the text.
  • Each reference is listed separately.
  • If the reference wraps to a second line, do not use a hanging indent.
  • Each author is listed by last name and first & middle name initials without periods or spaces.
  • For seven or more authors, include the first 3 authors and then follow with “et al.”
  • Do not use ‘and’ between authors’ names.
  • Book Titles: capitalize all major words (Do not capitalize the, an, a, in, for, or but, unless this word begins the title.) and italicize.
  • Book Chapter Titles: capitalize only the first word.
  • Journal Article Title: capitalize only the first word.
  • Journal Titles: abbreviate and italicize.
    • Use the NLM Journal Abbreviations list to find the correct abbreviations.
      TIP: if the full journal name isn’t available search specific words
      An alternative list for abbreviations is available from Web of Science.

Quick Abbreviation Table

Full Spelling

Abbreviation

Administration

Admi

Adolescent

Adolesc

American

Am

Association

Assoc

Child(ren)

Child

Family

Fam

Injury

Inj

Health

Health

International

Int

Journal

J

Kinesiology

Kinesiol

Prevention

Prev

Medicine

Med

Nurse(s)/Nursing

Nurs

Obesity

Obes

Occupation(al)

Occup

Park(s)

Park

Physical

Phys

Public

Public

Recreation

Recreat

Review

Rev

Science

Sci

Sport

Sport

Sports

Sports

Tourism

Tour