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Citation Styles

Learn how and why to cite your sources

AMA Citation Examples

This following explains the general format of in-text (parenthetical) and reference list citations in the social sciences documentation system of the American Medical Association (AMA). 

In-Text Citation Basics

When you paraphrase or directly quote another author’s work in your paper, AMA format requires the use of in-text citations. The author’s last name is not used for in-text citations. Instead, you will number each instance when you are referencing an article, and then order the articles that way in your reference list.  


  • Use commas to separate multiple citation numbers in text.  
  • Use arabic superscript numerals outside periods and commas, and inside colons and semicolons. 
  • When citing the same source more than once, give the number of the original reference, then include the page number (in parentheses) where the information was found.



Diabetes mellitus is associated with a high risk of foot ulcers.1-3
Several interventions have been successful at increasing compliance.11,14-16
The data of Smith et al18 is further evidence of this effect.
As reported previously,1,3-6
The results were as follows4:
Further examination of the data in this study revealed other significant discrepancies.4(p275)


Reference List Basics


  • Order your reference list by the order in which you cite sources in the paper, i.e. the first article cited (and numbered 1) should appear first on the reference list. Do not organize the reference list by alphabetizing by author or title.
  • Authors’ names are inverted, and use only initials for first and middle names. There should be no periods or spaces between initials.
  • If there are more than six authors, only list the first three and add "et al." for the rest.
  • Use accepted Index Medicus abbreviations of journal names (see the List of Journals Indexed in Index Medicus).
  • Unpublished works and personal communications should be cited in the text, but not included on the reference list.




Author AA. Title of Book. Edition if other than first. Publisher; Year.

1. McKenzie BC. Medicine and the Internet: Introducing Online Resources and Terminology. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press; 1997.


Book Chapters

Author AA, Author BB. Title of chapter. In: Editor AA, ed. Title of Book. Edition if other than first. Publisher; Year:pages.

2. Guyton JL, Crockarell JR. Fractures of acetabulum and pelvis. In: Canale ST, ed. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 10th ed. Mosby, Inc; 2003:2939-2984.

3. Pincus D, Guastello SJ. Complexity science in the future of behavioral medicine. In Sturmberg JP, Martin C, ed. Handbook of Systems and Complexity in Health. Springer; 2013:889-909.


Scholarly Journal Articles

Author AA, Author BB, Author CC. Title of article. Abbreviated Journal Title. Year;volume(issue):pages. DOI or URL + access date if applicable.

4. Wormser GP, Ramanathan R, Nowakowski J, et al. Duration of antibiotic therapy for early Lyme disease. Ann Intern Med. 2003;138:697-705.

5. Coppinger T, Jeanes YM, Hardwick J, Reeves S. Body mass, frequency of eating and breakfast consumption in 9-13- year-olds. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2012;25(1):43-49. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-277X.2011.01184.x

6. Hay PJ. Understanding bulimia. Aust Fam Physician. 2007;36(9):708-712. Accessed October 11, 2009.


Web Pages

List as many of the following elements as are available: author, the name of the webpage, the name of the entire website, the URL,the published date, updated date, and the date you accessed it.

Author, AA. Title of document. Name of website. http://Web address. Published date. Accessed date.

7. Mayo Clinic Staff. Organic foods: Are they safer? More nutritious? The Mayo Clinic. Published December 20, 2010. Accessed March 13, 2008.