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Citation Guide

Discover and explore the basics of why and how to cite.

Eleventh EditionAmerican Medical Association logo


The American Medical Association (AMA) citation style is used by health and medical professionals and scientific researchers.

General Rules for the AMA Reference List:

  • Provide a "Reference List" at the end of the paper with a list of all the sources you cite in the paper.
  • References on the "Reference List" should be listed numerically, left-justified, and in the order in which they are cited in the text (not alphabetically). Single-space the Reference List.
    • See the examples in the sections below.
  • Authors: Use initials of first and second names with no spaces or punctuation.
  • Include up to six authors. If there are more than six, include the first three, followed by et al. If no author is given, start with the title.
  • Capitalization Rules for Journal, Magazine, & Website Citations: Capitalize the 1) first word of an article title, 2) the first word of the article subtitle (the part after a colon), 3) proper nouns, 4) acronyms, 5) Journal Titles.
  • Capitalization Rules for Books: Capitalize all the nouns, adjectives, and verbs in the book title and other parts of the citation (as with MLA)
  • Abbreviation: Abbreviate and italicize the names of journals. For example, abbreviate Journal of the American Medical Association as JAMA.
  • URLs and the DOI: Include the name of the webpage, the name of the entire website, the full date of the page (if available), and the date you looked at it. Provide the URL that works as close as possible to the date of publication. When a DOI is available, include the DOI.
  • Unpublished Sources: Do not include unpublished sources, such as personal communications and manuscripts, on the Reference List. Instead, only cite unpublished sources in-text (see below). 

AMA In-Text Citation

AMA uses a superscript method of citation (Example1), unlike MLA or APA. To cite a source, include the number (in sequential order) as a superscript after the citation. In Word, type the number and then choose superscript.

General Rules for AMA In-text citation:

  • Cite all references in the text or in a table or figure in numerical order using superscript Arabic numerals
    • A recent report1 questioned common practice . . . 
  • The superscript is included directly after source is referenced (as above) not at the end of the sentence (as in some other styles)
  • Put superscript Arabic numerals outside periods and commas and inside colons and semicolons:
    • According to a recent survey,1 most doctors recommend . . . 
    • According to a recent survey1: most doctors recommend . . . 
  • Multiple sources may be cited together, if necessary by using a comma or hyphen:
    • For a series of references, use a hyphen: Example1-5
    • For two or more than three non-sequential references, use a comma: Example1,5
  • For a direct quotation, place the superscript after the close quotation mark:
    • "Preliminary findings suggest . . . new research will follow."1
  • Avoid putting the superscript after a number or abbreviated unit of measure (so it doesn't look like an exponent)

AMA Academic Journal and Magazine Citation

AMA Academic Journal or Magazine Reference List Template:

Author(s). Article title. Journal Name. Year;vol(issue No.): inclusive pages. URL/doi. Accessed [date].

  • AMA style requires that journal titles to use the abbreviations according to the National Library of Medicine. Use the National Library of Medicine abbreviations directory to find the correct journal title abbreviation.
  • Include an "Accessed date" with a URL. Omit the "Accessed date" when an article has a doi or if you are citing the print form of the article
  • For the article title, only capitalize the first letter of the title, the first letter of the subtitle, proper nouns, and acronyms. 


Reference List

  1. Glass SM, Schmitz RJ, Rhea CK, Ross SE. Potential mediators of load-related decreases in movement quality in young, healthy adults.  J Athl Train. 2019;(1):81-89. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-529-16.
  2. Rafiei S, Arab M, Rashidian A, et al. Factors influencing neurosurgeons’ decision to retain in a work location: a qualitative study. Global J Health Sci. 2015;7(5):333–351. doi:10.5539/gjhs.v7n5p333.

AMA Book Citation

Book Reference List Template:

Author(s). Book Title. Edition number (if 2nd edition or later). City, State (or Country) of publisher:Publisher's name; copyright year. URL Accessed [date].

* Only include a URL and accessed date if you are citing an electronic book.


Reference List

  1. Silva AC, Bastos JH. Athlete Performance and Injuries. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc; 2012. Accessed January 17, 2019.
  2. Miller MD, Chhabra A, Konin JG, Mistry DJ, Griffin JW. Sports Medicine Conditions: Return to Play: Recognition, Treatment, Planning. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health; 2014.
  3. Doyle J, Ryan AJ. Trends in Nursing Research. 2nd ed. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc; 2009.

AMA Website Citation

Website Reference List Template:

Author (if given). Title of specific item cited (if none is given, write the name of the organization responsible for the webpage). Name of the Web site. URL. Published [date]. Updated [date]. Accessed [date].

  • Authors and publication dates are often not included on websites. Include as much information as available.


Reference List

  1. Education overview. National Athletic Trainers' Association Web site. Accessed January 16, 2019.
  2. Becoming an athletic trainer. Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education Web site. Accessed January 16, 2019.
  3. Story S. What it means to be a student athlete: What does the hard work really mean?. Odyssey. Published May 24, 2016. Accessed January 16, 2019.

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