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AMA Style

Good Stuff to Know

Details... details... details...

When to Cite:

  • Every time you use someone else's information or ideas.
  • Every time you summarize someone else's information or ideas.
  • Every time you quote someone else's information or ideas.
  • Every time you paraphrase someone else's information or ideas.
  • In other words, all the time when you are writing about other people's work or ideas.

When not to Cite:

  • Your own creative output, such as new conclusions, research findings, description of your method.

In-Text Citations

  • Use superscript numbers to cite material.¹
  • Insert the superscript number into the document immediately following the information being cited.
  • Place numbers outside periods and commas    "As previously reported,¹-³..."
  • Place numbers inside colons and semi-colons  "The derived data were as follows²:..."
  • Superscript numbers are assigned consecutively beginning with ¹ and continuing in order as information is cited.
  • Re-use the number first assigned to a source throughout the paper.

In-Text Citations with Authors' Names

  • It's acceptable to use authors' names in the text.
  • Use last names only. 
  • For sources having one or two authors, include both.   "Smith and Jones² reported..."
  • For items with 3 or more authors, include the first author's name and then 'et al.' or 'and colleagues'.   "Smith et al.¹ reported..." or "Smith and colleagues¹ found..."


  • List references in the order they are cited in the text.

Acronyms & Abbreviations:

  • Avoid their use, except for well-known and accepted units of measurement and well-recognized terms.
  • Spell it out at the first use. Don't place periods between the letters.
  • State names should always appear as full names in the text of a manuscript. In references, use the two-letter abbreviation.

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

  • The number begins the sentence or title  "Twenty percent of..."
  • Common fractions   "Nearly three-fourths were..."
  • Ordinals: first through ninth   "The third patient..."
  • Number spelled out in quotations or titles of referenced works.
  • Consecutive numerical expressions    "The group of fifteen 65 year-olds..."


  • Express dates as January 22, 2017 in the text.
  • Numbers are acceptable 1/22/2017 in tables

Journal Title Abbreviations for AMA References

Use this search to locate official journal abbreviations. It's better than making up your own!

NLM Catalog: Journals

AMA Citation Tutorial

Add the American Medical Association Style to Zotero