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Citing Sources using AMA Citation Style: Home

University of Jamestown Library - Fargo Branch General Rules from the 10th edition

Why should we cite?

Using proper citation style allows us to give credit to the creators of the material we are using.  It is how we use information responsibly and respectfully.  By using citations, our claims and theories become more authorized and credible because we are providing supporting evidence from other sources.  Citations also allow us to be honest about our contributions and avoid plagiarism. 

AMA Citation Style

Citing Sources using AMA Citation Style, General rules from the 10th edition

University of Jamestown – Fargo Branch

  • Items are listed numerically in the order they are cited in the text
  • Include up to 6 authors
  • For more than six, provide the names of the first three authors and then add “et al”
  • If there is no author, start with the title
  • Periodicals (journals, magazines, and newspaper) should have abbreviated titles; to check for the proper abbreviation, search for the Journal Title through LocatorPlus at the National Library of Medicine website.  Abbreviations can also be found in the AMA Manual of style (pp.473-479).


Citation Type                                                                              Example

Journal article – in print – one author                                    Spencer J. Physician, heal thyself – but not on your own please. Med Educ. 2005;89:548-549.

Journal article – in print – 2-6 authors                                   Salwachter AR, Freischlag JA, Sawyer RG, Sanfey HA. The training needs and priorities of male                                                                                                        and female surgeons and their trainees. J Am Coll Surg. 2005;201: 99-205.

Journal article – in print – more than 6 authors                    Deyle GD, Henderson NE, Matekel RL, et al. Effectiveness of manual physical therapy and                                                                                                         exercise in osteoarthritis of the knee. A randomized controlled trial. Ann Intern Med.                                                                                                         2000;132:173-181.

Journal article- online**                                                            Wang HK, Lin KH, Wu YK, Chi SC, Shih TT, Huang  YC. Evoked spinal reflexes and force                                                                                                        development in elite athletes with middle-portion Achilles tendinopathy. J Orthop Sports Phys                                                                                                        Ther. 2011;41:785-794.


Journal article – online from a library database                    Calhoun D, Trimarco T, Meek R, Locasto D. Distinguishing diabetes: Differentialte between type                                                                                                          1 & 2 DM. JEMS [serial online]. November 2011;36(11);32-48. Available from: CINAHL Plus with                                                                                                          Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed February 2, 2012.


Newspaper article – in print                                                  Wolf W. State’s mail-order drug plan launched. Minneapolis Star Tribune. May 14, 2004:1B.


Newspaper article – online                                                    Pollack A. FDA approves new cystic fibrosis drug. New York Times. January 31. 2012.                                                                                                                                                                                                  Accessed February 1, 2012.


Websites                                                                                 Outbreak notice: Cholera in Haiti. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site.                                                                                            Published October 22, 2010.                                                                                                    Updated January 9, 2012. Accessed February 1, 2012.


Entire Book – in print                                                              Modlin J, Jenkins P. Decision Analysis in Planning for a Polio Outbreak in the United States. San                                                                                                     Francisco, CA: Pediatric Academic Societies; 2004.


Book Chapter – in print                                                           Solensky R. Drug allergy: desensitization and treatment of reactions to antibiotiics and aspirin.                                                                                                         In: Lockey P, ed. Allergens and Allergen Immunotherapy. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker;                                                                                                      2004:585-606.


**Articles in Online Journals                                                   The preferred citation style for an electronic journal uses a DOI (digital object identifier). The DOI                                                                                                       provides a persistent link to the electronic item and is considered to be more stable than a URL.                                                                                                       If the DOI is not given on the full text article or in the citation, use a DOI lookup tool to locate it                                                                                                        ( or use the format for an article without a DOI.



Example Article

1.        Zoellner J, Krzeski E, Harden S, Cook E, Allen K, Estabrooks PA. Qualitative application of the theory of planned behavior to understand beverage consumption behaviors among adults. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012;112(11):1774-1748. Doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2012.06.368.


Citing Sources using AMA Citation Style


Citing Sources within your paper

Unlike APA or MLA, you will not use the author’s last name for the in-text citations. Instead, you will number each instance when you are referencing an article. The order of numbering will be contingent on the order in which you use that reference within your paper. In the example below, the first article referenced is given the number one in superscript. In the References section, you will find the matching articles listed as number 1.

In-text Citation Example

Large increases in Americans’ Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) have been a topic of concern. Between 1977 and 2002, the intake of “caloric” beverages doubled in the United States, with most recent data showing that children and adults in the United States consume about 172 and 175 kcal daily, respectively, from SSB.1  It is estimated that SSB account for about 10% of total energy intake in adults. 2,3  High intake of SSB has ........

References Section Example


1.      Duffey KJ, Popkin BM. Shifts in patterns and consumption of beverages between 1965 and 2002. Obesity. 2007;15(11):2739-2747.

2.      Nielsen SJ. Popkin BS. Changes in beverage intake between 1977 and 2001. Am J Prev Med. 2004:27(3);205-210.

3.      Drewnowski A, Bellisle F. Liquid calories, sugar, and body weight. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85(3):651-661.









Use commas to separate multiple citation numbers in text, like you see between references 2 and 3. Unpublished works and personal communications should be cited in the text (and not on the reference list).1 Superscript numbers are placed 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. Unpublished works and personal communications should be cited parenthetically (and not on the reference list). See pages 41-44 of the AMA Manual of Style for more information.


…Of the respondents, 95% felt that discharge arrangements were adequately explained to them.4   Further examination of the data in this study revealed other significant discrepancies. 4(p275)


4. Cleary M, Horsfall J, Hunt GE. Consumer feedback on nursing care. J Adv Nurs. 2003;42:269-277.



Citing AMA guide website.$sid=749106. Updated April 2011. Accessed October 24, 2012.


University of Jamestown Library – Fargo Branch