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Useful AMA Citation Guide for Academic Success

When it comes down to writing of a medical research assignment, AMA citation style is one of the most common format requirements. Developed by the American Medical Association, this format was created with a medical research paper in mind. This particular style has unique rules that can be confusing for novice medical students not familiar with the writing mechanics. In order to assist you with the heaps of assignments and citing challenges, we provide an AMA Citation Generator that is both fast and easy to use. Still, the AMA citation maker alone cannot teach you how to achieve excellence, therefore, our expert writers provide you with a short guide. From in-text citations and up to Reference page and formatting, one can easily combine AMA citation machine with examples below for the best results!

Basic AMA In-text Citation Rules

Note: Unlike APA or MLA format styles, in AMA the author’s last name is not used with the in-text citations. For this style, each instance is numbered in Arabic superscript each time source is referenced. An order of numbering depends on the reference order within one’s paper. As a result, each reference has its own individual number assigned.

  • AMA single author

When there is only one author, their surname is listed. As in example:

Landsbury1 reported in a survey…

  • AMA multiple authors

When there is a reference to more than one author, both surnames are listed:

Lansbury and Higgins2 reported in a survey…

If you have to use more than two authors or group behind source, the first author’s surname is included and followed by “et al” phrase. Alternatively, one can use “and colleagues” or “and research assistants”.

For example:

Landsbury et al3 discovered that…

  • No author or organization as author citation

In such cases, use title of specific item cited. If none is available, use name of an organization or source’s name.

  • No page number sources

If there is no page number in a source, information is omitted. Page numbers are optional. However, if absolutely necessary, follow this example:

According to research by Dr. Phelps, “90% of healthcare students in Victoria have struggled with stress management issues” 4 (p16)

Note: Remember that page number always comes after citation order number as shown above. You can use our AMA citation generator for help.

  • Combining multiple sources in one AMA referencing
  1. List each source in order as used in superscript citing, separated by comma.
  2. Separate the range with a hyphen for an inclusive range of references.

For example:

As reported by community research 1,3-8,16

This survey proves that… 3-4

  • Different authors with the same name

In such case, just add a number that follows in order to specify difference.

  • Multiple works from the same author

If there are multiple works, use the next coming number for each work even for same author.

  • Two or more works by same author in the same year AMA citing

In AMA citing, this issue is resolved by adding new number in your in-text citation, as well as in References page.

  • Electronic sources with unknown date

For in-text citations, there is no difference between electronic or print sources, no matter how much information is available. However, make sure that you use same numbering each time a particular source is mentioned. It is crucial for navigation through research and Reference page. Read on further to know of reference requirements for electronic sources.

Important AMA Reference Page Rules

Note: In Reference page, sources are NOT listed alphabetically, but are numbered in Arabic superscript each time a source is referenced!

  • AMA Book Citation

If there is one author:

1. Andrews NW. Relation between Vaccination and Autism in Pre-School Children. Los Angeles, CA: Milton University Press; 2017.

If there are 2-6:

1. Jones RV, Williams KL. Ethics in Contemporary Nursing Practices. 7th ed. Washington, DC: Cengage Learning; 2013.

If there are 7 or more:

1. Larsson N, Stevenson M, Flanders C, et al. Heart failures in Rural Population in Perth Adjacent Territories. Perth University Press; 2016.

Books with medical authors and editors:

1. Sterling CL, Winter JB, eds. Truth about Emergency Calls: Psychology of Stress Management. Washington, DC: Long & Jones Publishing; 2014.

Books with organizations as authors:

1. World Health Organization. Social Determinants of Healthcare Access in Burkina Faso. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2013.

Books with second or later book edition:

1. Jones RV, Williams KL. Ethics in Contemporary Nursing Practices. 7th ed. Washington, DC: Cengage Learning; 2013.

Chapter or article from a book citing:

1. Sutherland R. Asthma Treatment: Acute reactions to antibiotics. In: Lindsay D, ed. Immunotherapy Challenges. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Sterling Books Publishing; 2007:222-234.

Electronic books:

1. Sanders BA. Our Children’s Safety: Common Rules of Public Health. New York, NY: Syracuse University Press; 2015. http://site.source.au/lib/ Accessed April 3, 2017.

  • Journal Referencing

Note: All journal titles in AMA style referencing format are abbreviated according to US National Library of Medicine’s Current Fact Sheet.

Printed Journal Article:

1. Nash HN. Baccalaureate Nursing Careers: From Theory to Practice. Med Care. 2017;22(3):961-1003.

Online Journal Article:

1. Miranda A, Vilms B, Standford S, Apfeldorn O. Nursing theorists and nursing discipline. Public Health Enferm. 2017;12(5):256-266. doi: .

Journal Article with 2-6 authors:

1. Banks K, Downes R, Austin NV. Shortage of Nursing Personnel in Rural Australia. AUM J. 2016; 104(1):113-126.

Article with more than 7 authors:

1. Ford H, Carnings S, Saunders VN, et al. Changes in psychiatric treatments of autistic patients. Mental Disorders Guide Dept. 2005; 122(2):100-104.

Journal article with no author or a group’s name:

1. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccines Registration Rules, 2010. Med Research Wkly Rep. 2011; 34(2):124.

  • Electronic Sources Citation

For electronic sources of any kind, cite author, if available, and title of what is cited. If not available, use name of an organization. Specify website’s name, URL, and a publishing date with an access date.

As in example:

1. Oldridge J. Five nursing theorists share their experience. Nursing Helpdesk Web site. http://www.site.au. Published September 1, 2014. Accessed June 2, 2017.

  • Medical databases Citation

For databases, these elements should be cited in a following order (if available):

Author(s). Database Title [database online]. Publisher’s location (city, state, province, country): publisher’s name; publication’s year and/or last update. URL [provide URL and verify that specified source still works]. Accessed [date].

For example:

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data.CDC.gov: NNDSS. New Influenza Tendencies in Northern Africa. Atlanta, GA. CDC;2015. https://URL.com. Accessed April 2, 2015.

  • Lecture Notes

The lecture notes are cited, depending on whether they can be accessed online or were distributed on paper. As an example:

1. Downes S. Introduction to Healthcare Theorists [PDF lecture notes]. Perth University. https://link.edu.au/ Updated February 1, 2017. Accessed March 12, 2017.

Note: For handouts given in classroom, refer to it as to personal communication.

  • Images in AMA citing.

If an image comes from online source, it is treated as a Web Object. Follow this formatting example for images citing:

Author XY, Author YZ. Page or Object Title. Website Title. URL. Published Month DD, Year or Updated DD, Year. Accessed Month, DD. Year.

Key & Peculiar AMA Style Rules

These basic AMA citations formatting rules will help you to understand this style at greater depth:

  • As noted before, AMA citation uses documentary-note style for citing – number is put in a text and in order of citations used (your first citation is 1, the next is 2).
  • If the same source is used, it maintains the same number, even if it is used again after 6th source.
  • Each section is separated by a full stop.
  • Journal article, book or web object partial titles are always in sentence case, not in italics.
  • Full book titles are usually in Title Case and placed in italics. Only exceptions are websites and materials that were not published.
  • If electronic sources are used, DOI must be specified, if available.
  • If an URL is used, an “Accessed date” part has to be added.
  • If middle name of an author is not available, omit it.

Note: Remember that in AMA citation, each reference should be divided with a help of periods into appropriate bibliography groups. It means that each such group contains elements of bibliography, separated by these punctuation marks:

  1. If items represent sub-elements of a bibliographic element or are closely related, a comma is used. As an example: names of the authors.
  2. In a case of different elements used like publisher’s name and a publication date, a semicolon is used. Likewise, in a case when there are elements that are logically related within the same group occurring more than once.
  3. Colon is always placed before publisher’s name, as well as between titles and subtitle, and after the phrase that has connective purpose.

For example: “Presented at”.

Note: In AMA 10th edition, issued by JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), there is no specific reference to font, spacing, and style. Below are the most common formatting guidelines:

  • Margins

Use one-inch margins. Right margin is unjustified.

  • Line Spacing

All paper sections are single-spaced. Double spacing is used between paragraphs and text sections.

  • Fonts

Times New Roman, point 12. For diagrams and charts, Arial is a good option.

  • Indents

By standard, half-inch indents should be used.

  • AMA Headers

Use a short title header at the page’s top. Align it with a page number of left margin.

  • Reference Page Spacing

AMA reference format entries are numbered the way as they were cited in text. Single-spaced within citation, but double-spaced between citing entries.

Make Paper Writing Faster with AMA Citation Generator

While not as challenging in reality as it may seem to a novice medical student, AMA format can easily become confusing with a complex numbering and a necessity to keep to a same order no matter how often a source is mentioned. Knowing of this fact, our writing experts at EduBirdie worked hard to present you with a unique AMA Citation Generator. Here are some of its main benefits:

  • AMA citation maker allows you to save time. It’s free and an easy way to get your AMA sources sorted within minutes.
  • Choose AMA citation from the pull-down menu, select book, journal or web type of source, type in the title, if available, click “Generate”.
  • Enter available information manually to let AMA citation generator automatically format a reference.
  • Use AMA format citation generator as a search engine by entering DOI number or keywords related to your assignment.
  • AMA citation generator is available 24/7 and it is a good way to convert available book or journal sources between formats.

However, using AMA citation generator, it is crucial to remember of in-text citing and a numbering order that should be kept accurate. This is where you can turn for help of skilled proofreading and writing experts at EduBirdie that can help you check, proofread and edit your essay.

AMA Citation Format Questions & Answers

  • What if I don’t know journal’s abbreviation?

In most basic cases, look for help at the Journal Record in the NLMA catalogue (PubMed). Alternatively, use NMLA catalogue or look through CASSI search tool. We advice to look at the other titles to identify a required abbreviation and see how other titles with the same word have been abbreviated.

  • What to do in AMA citation if an author has complicated name or it starts from “van” or “von”?

Complex initials are hyphenated. Like Sanders Maria-Annette is written as “Sanders M-A”. With “von”, Ludwig von der Blick is written as “von der Brick L”. Finally, Michael Van Basten will become “Van Baasten M”.

  • Are page numbers obligatory in AMA citation?

No, page numbers in AMA citation format are optional.