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CLINICAL RESEARCH: Research Guide | Cite Your Sources: AMA

Resource suggestions, search tips, and other help resources for clinical research.

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In This Section

quotation mark in a speech bubbleIn this section, you'll find:

  • Resources for citation help, including handbooks and a quick guide, for
    • AMA Style

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American Medical Association (AMA) Style is the standard style for many medical and health sciences fields, including physical therapy. We subscribe to the AMA's online style manual platform for easy access wherever you are - just click the link below.

American Medical Association Manual of Style

Quick Guide: AMA Style

Jump to: In-text Citations

References List

General guidelines

  • 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
  • Journal titles should be abbreviated; to check for the proper abbreviation, search for the journal in the NLM Catalog and look for its NLM Title Abbreviation. A list of core journal abbreviations can be found in the AMA Manual of Style.


Reference examples

Source Type Example
Journal article – one author

Spencer J. Physician, heal thyself – but not on your own please. Med Educ. 2005;39(6):548-549. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2929.2005.02209.x

**In article references, a DOI is preferable to a URL if one is available; a DOI should be available for most journal articles. No accessed date is required for the DOI because it is a permanent identifier; it is presented as the last item in the reference and not followed by a period. If the DOI is not given on the full text article or in the citation, use a DOI lookup tool.

Journal article – 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(2):99-205. doi:10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2005.03.016

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

Journal article – 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. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-132-3-200002010-00002
News article (in print) Schencker L. Peanut allergy relief ? Chicago Tribune. September 22, 2019:C1.
News article (online)

Tevlin J. Minneapolis street doctor dispenses care with a dose of dignity. Minneapolis Star Tribune. January 23, 2016. Accessed January 28, 2016.


Zika travel information. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. January 26, 2016. Updated August 11, 2016. Accessed June 18, 2019.

Charlton G. Internal linking for SEO: examples and best practices. SearchEngineWatch. Accessed January 23, 2024.

International Society for Infectious Diseases. ProMED-mail. Accessed February 10, 2016.


**Dates: Include publication and updated dates, if available. Always include an accessed date.

Book (or ebook)

Modlin J, Jenkins P. Decision Analysis in Planning for a Polio Outbreak in the United States. Pediatric Academic Societies; 2004.

Etzel RA, Balk SJ, eds. Pediatric Environmental Health. American Academy of Pediatrics; 2011.

Patterson JW. Weedon’s Skin Pathology. 4th ed. Churchill Livingstone; 2016.


Guyatt G, Rennie D, Meade MO, Cook DJ. Users’ Guides to the Medical Literature: A Manual for Evidence-Based Clinical Practice. 3rd ed. McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. Accessed August 15, 2016.


**If you accessed a book as an ebook, include an accessed date and a URL.

Book chapter Solensky R. Drug allergy: Desensitization and treatment of reactions to antibiotiics and aspirin. In: Lockey P, ed. Allergens and Allergen Immunotherapy. 3rd ed. Marcel Dekker; 2004:585-606.

In-Text Citations

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 in the reference list). 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.


…Of the respondents, 95% felt that discharge arrangements were adequately explained to them.  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.