How to Use AMA Citation Format?

How to Use AMA Citation Format?

AMA (American Medical Association) citation style was developed for the writers, preparing to write medical publications. This article may help if you are looking for a guide to make a citation or are willing to find various AMA style reference examples. Check out our ultimate guide to find the answer to the wide range questions.

Creating AMA Citations

AMA citation style involves writing the superscripted number in the text. The superscripted number in the text should correspond to the specific number in the bibliography. This allows the readers to find the full reference in the bibliography at the paper or report ends with the Arabic number. You need to always begin the citations in the bibliography with the number. Make sure the order of their presence in the text is corresponding to the one in the bibliography.

AMA Reference Style Specialties

While creating the reference list in AMA style, you should bear in mind the following peculiarities

  • record the references in the bibliography in the order of use in the text
  • book or article title should be italicized
  • for books written by two to six authors mention all the authors’ names
  • for books written by more than six authors use the term “et al.”
  • in an article or in the title of a book capitalize only the first word, a proper name or an abbreviation
  • follow the author’s last name by the initials without using any periods after them; separate the authors’ names with commas
  • abbreviate the journals’ names according to the National Library of Medicine requirements (
  • for letters or editorials place the type in brackets [ ]
  • if page numbers unavailable in an online article, use other kinds of identifiers, such as an article or document number.
  • if you refer to the article, which is not printed yet, include all the known information after the title of the journal and year.

Making book references

To make a book reference, you need to follow all these requirements

Formatting: Author’s name. Book heading (italicized). Publication place: publisher; year: page numbers (inclusive).


  • Book of one author. Smith PA. Clinical Endocrinology. 3rd ed. Chicago: Appleton & Lange; 1992.
  • Book of two to six authors. Smith, PA, Williams FG. Clinical Endocrinology. 2nd ed. Chicago: Appleton & Lange; 1990.
  • Book of six and more authors. Smith PA, Williams FG, Brown PC, et al. Clinical Endocrinology. 1st ed. New York: Appleton & Lange; 1988.
  • A chapter from a book. Smith, PA, Williams FG. Brown PC, et al. Clinical Endocrinology. 1st ed. New York: Appleton & Lange; 1988:56-63

Electronic books

Format: Author’s name. Chapter heading. In: Editor(s). Book Title. [Edition number, if republished; mentioning the first edition unnecessary] ed. City, State (Country) of publisher: Publisher’s name; copyright year. Link: [provide the link and make sure the link is still working as nearly as possible to the time of publication]. Accessed [date].

Example: Williams NJ, Conwell DL, Smith, PA. Chapter 12. Pancreatic Disease Treatment. In: Fauli AC, Kasner GL, Jameson ML, Longo CL, Haumer SL, eds. Internal Medicine. 15th ed. San Francisco: McGraw-Hill; 2014. Accessed November 15, 2015.

A printed journal article reference

The journal article reference needs to involve the following:

Format: Author’s name. Article heading. Journal name (italicized). Year; vol: page numbers (inclusive)


  • Article of one author. Hudson JB. A tale of two cardiologists. Cardiology. 2013;112:116-118.
  • Article of two or six authors. Hudson JB, Gregor PC. A tale of two cardiologists. Cardiology. 2016;132:136-139.
  • Article of more than six authors. Hudson JB, Gregor PC, Williams FG. A tale of two cardiologists. Cardiology. 2014;156:134-138.
  • Supplements. Gregor PC. Cardiology. Am J Health Syst Pharm; Suppl 4:S21-33
  • Letters or editorials. Williams FG. A new approach to Cardiology. [editorial]. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2013;60(34):2553.
  • No author. Recurrent glioblastoma. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 1997; 54(12):1407-1412.

Creating an electronic journal article reference

Online articles with DOI available.

Format: Author’s name. Title of the article. Journal name. Year; vol (issue No):paging. doi: number

Example: Barney. PC. Pharmacotherapy for anemia. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2016;7:397-407. doi:10.2147

Articles with DOI unavailable.

Format: Author’s name. Title of article. Journal Name. Year; vol(issue No.):inclusive pages. Link Published [date]. Updated [date]. Accessed [date].

Sample: Smith PA, Williams FG, Brown PC. Lipids and lipoproteins in US Adults. Am J Health Pharm. 2013;17:456-478. Accessed December 17, 2015

Electronic articles with no page numbers

Sample: Smith PA, Williams FG, Brown PC. Preventing urinary tract infections. Cochrane Database Rev.2002; (14): CD001321. DOI: 10.1002/14652558.CD001521.pub3.

Website pages

Format: Author(s), if mentioned any (frequently authors not mentioned). Heading of the specific item cited (if unavailable, the organization’s name, which is responsible for the site). The Web site Name. Page link [attach URL and make sure the link is still valid as close as possible to publication date]. Published [date]. Updated [date]. Accessed [date].

Sample: Compounding Pharmacists’ Academy. IACP. Pharmacy compounding. Published 2013. Accessed September 18, 2015.

In-text References Guide

Besides making a good reference list, you should be confident to make proper in-text citations according to the AMA style requirements. You should take into account the following things.

You should make a citation of the reference in parenthesis only if it corresponds to the inclusion criteria. Moreover, such reference is available only for news columns and obituaries, which don’t require the bibliography. Example: (Am J Pediatry. 1998;132:656-678).

You shouldn’t include the author’s name and article heading, only journal name, and page numbers. If you abbreviate the journal-title, write it in parenthesis. If not, don’t use the parenthesis—example: … as mentioned in the Journal of Pediatry (1998;132:656-678).

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