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Citing Sources of Information: Writing for the Health Sciences: AMA Style

This LibGuide was designed to provide you with assistance in citing your sources when writing an academic paper.

About AMA Style

The style recommended by the American Medical Association (AMA) is often used for scholarly writing about medicine or health-related topics, or about other subjects in the sciences. In the AMA style, references to a work or parts of a work inside the text of a paper take the form of numbered citations. Only the number appears in the text itself; the reference preceded by the same number is included in a list at the end of your paper.

In EndNote, the AMA Style is under JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA.ens which is ordered below J Zoology. If you don’t find it in the EndNote Styles folder, you may download that style at http://endnote.com/support/enstyles.asp and save it in your EndNote Styles folder 

AMA Manual of Style

AMA Style in EndNote (JAMA Style)

AMA General Guidelines

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.

Key AMA Features

NOTE:  Unfortunately the AMA Manual of Style is not very specific on formats to use, including a format for the Title Page. Be sure and check with your instructor or the publisher to whom you are submitting a paper for more specific formatting rules.

Formatting a paper means using proper references within the text and bibliography, but also using the stylistic matters laid out in the AMA Manual of Style to format the text. This includes such factors as using headings and capitalizing them appropriately, line spacing, margins, text style issues (such as using "one" or "1", using AM or a.m. or A.M.), placement of page numbers, preferred font and spacing for graphs, preferred size and shape for tables, etc. This guide includes some basic help on manuscript style, but it is not extensive.

Consult the AMA Manual of Style for detailed information on manuscript style.

Acronyms, abbreviations, initialisms:

Acronyms, abbreviations, and initialisms are discouraged from use, except for well-known and accepted units of measurement and some well-recognized terms. 

  • If used, spell out at the first use, even if the acronym or initialism is well-known. Do not place periods between the letters of an acronym, abbreviation or initialism.
  • State names should always appear as full names in the text of a manuscript. If included in references, use the two-letter abbreviation.

Numbers:

Numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.) should be used in all writing, except when:

  • The number begins the sentence or title
  • Common fractions
  • Ordinals: first through ninth
  • Number spelled out in quotations or titles of works cited.
  • One number may be spelled out, if the sentence requires multiple numbers to be placed next to each other. e.g., "If 12 16-year-olds had this reaction..." should be changed to "If twelve 16-year-olds..."

Time:

  • To indicate a time of day, use AM or PM in small capitals. (18.5.3)
  • Conventional 12-hour clock time is preferred. However, 24 hour or military time convention can also be used to convey precise timing when needed, such as when describing drug dosage regimens.

Dates:

  • When dates are provided in the text, use numerals for day and year, and write out the month, e.g., April 2, 2010.
  • If using dates in a table, you may use numerals for the month (e.g., 4/2/2010).

Measurements:

  • Use SI (Le Système International d'Unitiés) standards for writing measurements. Numbers are always written in plain text, there is a space after the number and prior to the unit, and never a period after the unit (unless it ends a sentence).
  • Do not include commas in longer numbers (e.g., 1600 km, not 1,600 km).

Formatting a Paper in AMA Style

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