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An Insight into AMA Citations: Definition, Uses, Format, and Examples

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Did you ever come across superscripts beside a word or term while reading a book? If yes, then you can relate to the topic we are about to discuss today. If not, don’t worry; the blog here will help you learn all about it.

Renowned authors have used superscripts in their books to ensure readers gain a proper knowledge about the things they are writing on. Now, why do authors do that? No one would ever question them about the sources they have used to write their pieces. Yet, they never ignore these details.

For those, who get taken aback with superscripted numbers written beside some words or terms, these are citations. How do they help? They help you learn how the word fits in that particular statement and what value it adds to the text. Also, it helps the author from getting accused of plagiarism.

With that in mind, we will help you learn a lot about AMA referencing and citation style, one of the most popular citation styles for academic writing.

What is AMA Citation Style?

The AMA citation style, developed by the American Medical Association, was originally designed for application in their publications. It is widely used for documenting, acknowledgement, and helping readers gain more information about a topic. The style helps readers understand how the piece of information has helped in the research process and helped reach the finish line.

You will come across two styles of AMA citations, namely references, and citations. Citations are included throughout the text, while the references are included in the full bibliography at the end of the research paper. The in-text citations use superscripts, and the information is provided in the reference list.

So, how do you use it while writing your papers? Let’s take a look.

Ways to Use AMA Citation and Reference Style in Your Papers

You need to follow the steps correctly to cite your sources in the papers. AMA citation follows both in-text and bibliography format, and here’s how you must do it:

· AMA in-text citation

It is wrong to keep things on hold till the end. So, if you are using a piece of information from an external source, use superscript numbers when you do so. For example, if you are using a piece of information like, ‘As per XYZ research institute1, there will be a surge in jobs in technology very soon.’

Also, if you are using data from multiple sources, use a dash to reflect the range of numbers. Suppose you are saying, ‘The ABC company, XYZ institute, and ABC website1-3, the online market is set to reach new heights in the coming years.’

Further, if you are citing a page or pages of books or articles in your paper, write them as parentheses after the citation number. You need to use a ‘p‘ before the page number and ‘pp’ while citing a range or list of page numbers.

Simply put, you have to ensure that the readers understand and find correct information while going through your paper.   

· AMA references

It is crucial to include a reference page at the end of the paper. The reference list must carry all the information about the sources you have used for research. The list must follow the same order you have used for in-text citations. Generally, each source is used once throughout the text. However, if you have used a particular source more than once, use the same number for in-text citations.

References generally have authors’ last names and initials, the title of the source, information about the publisher or larger publication, and the date of publication.

That might be a lot to take in at one go. You can look for AMA citation generator tools to start things off and learn how the references look like.

Adding on to this, you must also know some formatting guidelines before you step forward.

AMA Formatting Guidelines

There are a few formatting guidelines for students using AMA referencing and citation style. While these are not too specific about details, colleges, and universities ask students to follow the same.

  • Use a popular font such as Times New Roman with a font size of 12
  • Add page numbers for all pages at the upper right corner, including the title page
  • Margins need to be of 1-inch with an indent of ½ inch for the first lines of paragraphs
  • Double-space the text
  • Follow a consistent styling (bold, centre alignments, different fonts) for all headings in a text
  • Acronyms must be spelled out when used the first time in a text

Now that you have an idea about AMA citations let’s move forward and understand how to cite each source using this citation style.

Ways to Cite Different Sources Using AMA

You need to know how to cite the various elements using the AMA referencing and citation style. Following are some common elements that you have to cite while writing the text:

· Names of authors

  • Write the author’s surname first, followed by their initials without any periods
    • If you have referred to works of more than three authors, write the names of the first three authors followed by ‘et al.’
    • If the author’s name has a Roman numeral or Jr. or Sr., use them after the author’s initials
    • You should not change the original spelling and capitalisations of names and surnames

· Titles of publication

  •  Do not change the spelling, style, numbers, and abbreviations used in the original title
    • Do not change the capitalisations in the title; retain them while citing
    • If there are digits before the title, spell them out, excluding the ones reflecting a specific year

· Numbering in AMA citations

In case there are two or more numbers in a single reference group, follow these steps:

  • The first and the last number must be joined using hyphens
    • Separate parts of multiple citations using commas
    • If you have too many references for multiple citations, consider using an asterisk while writing and sharing the citation in a footnote
    • The superscript numerals must be put within colons, but they should be outside periods and commas
    • Use superscript references to cite page numbers

There’s a lot more to understand. But the ones mentioned above will give you an idea about the correct ways to cite the different elements. The following section will take you through some examples for a better understanding of AMA referencing and citation style.

AMA Citation Examples

· Book citation format

Author last name, initials, Book Title: Subtitle, Publisher; Year

Conrad P. Gallagher EB. Care and Health Industry in Developing Countries: Environmental Perspectives, Oxford University Press; 1995

· Journal citation format

Author last name initials, Article Title, Journal Name, Year; Volume (Issue): Page Range, DOI or URL

Shim P, Choi D, Park Y. The impact of fatty acid and dietary pattern on the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in patients who went through cholecystectomy. Ann Nutr Metab. 2018;75(5):310–315. doi:10.1159/000475605.

· Website citation format

Author last name Initials. Page title. Website Name. Published Month Day, Year. Accessed Month Day, Year. URL.

Murphy B. 7 tips to survive final-year anatomy lessons in medical school. American Medical Association. Published August 27, 2021. Accessed September 5, 2022.

· Book chapter (online)

Chapter author(s). Chapter title. In: Book author(s) or editor(s). Book title. Volume number and title. Edition number (do not indicate 1st edition). Place of publication: Publisher; Year: Page number(s). URL. Accessed date.

Resnik NM. Geriatric medicine. In: Braunwald E, Fauci AS, Isselbacher KJ, et al, eds. Harrison’s Online. Based on: Braunwald E, Hauser SL, Fauci AS, Kasper DL, Longo DL, Jameson JL, eds. Fauci’s Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. New York, NY: McGrath-Hill; 2001.  Accessed December 8, 2009.

· Book chapter (print)

Chapter author(s). Chapter title. In: Book author(s) or editor(s). Book title. Volume number and title. Edition number. Place of publication: Publisher; Year: Page number(s)

Solensky R. Chemical allergy: desensitizing and treating the reactions to antibiotics and aspirin. In: Lockey P, ed. Allergies and Allergen Therapy. 4th ed. New York, NY: Solomon Dekker; 2008:585-606.

The examples here will help you understand the various ways of using AMA citations in assignments. It is crucial to learn the correct methods to avoid negative markings and score well in the paper. Also, proper citations help avoid plagiarism and ensure you have a 100% authentic paper.

Final thoughts,

AMA citations have become popular with time, and presently, many colleges and universities ask students to use this style. You have to follow the correct methods and formatting styles to ensure the paper is flawless and has all the necessary elements. Designed by the American Medical Association, the citation style is common in the field of medicine. However, various colleges and universities ask students to use this style to cite sources. The points mentioned above will help you learn all about AMA citations and use the style without facing any difficulties.

Most Popular Questions Searched by Students:

How many authors can you cite in AMA?

Ans: AMA citation is widely used by students in their assignments. You can use the style to cite up to six authors. However, there are cases where you have used information from works of more than six authors. In that case, list the first three authors, followed by ‘et al..’ That way, you can cite all the sources correctly.

Do you have to cite every sentence in AMA?

Ans: It is necessary to use in-text citations while writing an assignment. But it is not necessary to cite every sentence in AMA. Instead, use the correct method to cite every source of information in your write-up in numerical order with superscript numbers. You can look for examples online to understand how to use superscript numbers in AMA citations.

Who uses the AMA citation style?

Ans: The AMA citation style is generally used by research students from medicine, health, and other life sciences field. You will come across maximum science research papers following the AMA citation style. If you are pursuing one of these subjects, you must use the citation style, and that is shared in the university guidelines as well.

How do you cite two sources in AMA?

Ans: You will have to use data from more than one source of information. Most students are unable to find the right ways to cite two sources in AMA. You need to separate the two sources with commas, and there must not be any spaces between them. You also need to insert the superscript number next to the fact, idea, or quotation you have cited.

Does AMA need a title page?

Ans: You need a title page while working on a paper using AMA citations. The title page must have the article title, author name/names, the name of the institution, abstract, and keywords. You must check the examples online to understand how to use various elements on the title page. Follow the right arrangement to create a perfect title page using the AMA citation style.

Can you cite the same source twice?

Ans: You can cite the same source twice using the AMA citation style. However, it is not necessary to create the citation again. If you have to cite the same source twice in-text and in the reference list, you can reuse the in-text reference and create a single entry in the reference page at the end. It is wise to refer to examples to understand the correct ways of citing the same source twice clearly.

Are AMA references alphabetical?

Ans: You must know that AMA references follow numerical order and are not alphabetical. There are instances where students confuse AMA with other citation styles and end up using alphabetical order in AMA. Experts suggest students look for examples to understand the correct ways of using the AMA citation style and use it accordingly.

What if there is no author for AMA?

Ans: There are cases where the author’s name is not mentioned in the source. In such cases, consider following the citation style for the specific item and delete the author’s name from the format. But if the source says the author is ‘Anonymous,’ then use the word following the correct AMA citation format.

What is the access date in the AMA citation?

Ans: It is crucial to specify when you accessed an online source for gathering information. You must understand that websites keep changing their content every now and then. So, to make sure readers do not question you about the authenticity of the information, specify the access date while citing the sources.

What if there is no publication date for AMA?

Ans: Reliable sources of information generally have a date. But if you are referring to a book, it might be difficult to find a publication date. In such cases, use ‘date unknown’ in place of year while citing the sources in your paper.   

Ella Thompson

Hi, my name is Ella Thompson, I am 28, and I am a scriptwriter based in Melbourne. I have been passionate about English Literature and drama ever since I was at school and used to participate in the annual programme. My passion lead me to make a career in the same. I have a masters degree in Dramatic Literature. I am living my dream, working as a scriptwriter for one of the top media houses. I also work part-time as a writing expert at, assisting students who have a dream similar to mine. When I am not busy working or helping students grab their goals, I am probably spending some quality time at one of the animal shelters, somewhere in town. I am an animal lover, and I so wish I could just adopt all of them. 

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