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University of Washington Health Sciences Library

AMA Style Guide

Key AMA Style Features

In-Text Citations

  • Use superscript numbers to cite material, e.g., 1
  • The superscript number is inserted into the document immediately next to the fact, concept, or quotation being cited.
  • If a reference is used many times in one paper, use the same number throughout.
  • See the In-Text Citations tab for more information.

 

References

  • Number references consecutively with arabic numerals in the order in which they are cited in the text.
  • If the citation extends to a second line, do NOT indent (as in APA).
  • Journal titles are abbreviated and in italics. 
    • Use PubMed abbreviations for journal titles.  See Journals referenced in the NCBI Databases.
    • If no PubMed journal abbreviation exists, use standard abbreviations in the AMA Manual of Style to construct an abbreviated title. 
    • Single word titles, such as Pediatrics, are not abbreviated.
    • In journal titles, capitalize all major words (Do not capitalize the, an, a, in, for, or but, unless this word begins the title.)
  • Title of journal article: capitalize only the first word.
  • Journal page numbers and dates: Format is the year followed by a semicolon; the volume number and the issue number (in parentheses) followed by a colon; the initial page number, a hyphen, the final page number followed by a period and are set without spaces.

Example:

Hunter RH, Sykes K, Lowman SG, Duncan R, Satariano WA, Belza B. Environmental and policy change to support healthy aging. J Aging Soc Policy. 2011;23(4):354-371. doi:10.1080/08959420.2011.605642

  • Citing online journals:  The DOI number is preferred over the URL link.
  • Books:
    • In Book Titles, capitalize all major words (Do not capitalize the, an, a, in, for, or but, unless this word begins the title.) and put in italics.
    • In Book Chapter Titles: capitalize only the first word.
  • See the Citing Print Resources and the Citing Electronic Resources tabs for more information and examples.

When to Cite

You need to cite when:

  • using a direct quotation, even if it is in quotation marks
  • using facts that are not common knowledge (what the reader can reasonably be expected to know)
  • paraphrasing or rewriting the author’s ideas
  • summarizing the data or argument of an author
  • using the key words or phrases from the author or using synonyms
  • mentioning the author’s name in your text
  • writing a sentence that mostly consists of your own thoughts, but you have made a reference to another author’s ideas

 When in doubt, err on the side of caution, and cite.

 

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