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AMA Style: AMA Citations and Writing

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What's a DOI Number?

A DOI (short for Digital Object Identifier) is a unique number assigned to any digital object like an article, a data set, image, etc.  The doi starts with the number 10 and might contain numbers, letters, and often slashes and periods.  

So, for the following article:

The doi number is 10.1037/0003-066x.55.1.68

How to cite an article with a DOI:
AMA (American Psychological Association)
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. Am. Psychol. 2000;55:1. doi:68-78. doi: 10.1037/0003-066x.55.1.68‚Äč

For more information on DOIs, visit 

Annotated Bibliographies

Annotated bibliographies differ from abstracts or summaries of articles. Annotated bibliographies are a list of sources (journal or news articles, books, websites, datasets, etc.) on a particular topic. The list is usually in alphabetical order by author and employs a single citation style. The propose of an annotated bibliography is:

  • To prove you have done some valid research to back up your argument and claims
  • To explain the content of your sources, assess their usefulness, and share this information with others who may be less familiar with them

Some questions to help with your analysis of a source might include:

  • What’s the main point or thesis of this source?
  • Does the author seem to have particular biases or are they trying to reach a particular audience?
  • How does this source relate to your own research and ideas?
  • How does this source relate to other sources you have read? Do they have aspects of the same argument or opposing views?

Here are a few links to help you better understand and construct an annotated bibliography.

Graphic Organizers to help you build an annotated bibliography:

AMA Citations*

In-text Citations

In-text citations are superscript and numbered in consecutive order in the text, tables, or figures of the work. If a reference is used multiple times in one paper, use the same number throughout. 

The Superscript number is inserted:

  • Immediately next to the fact, idea or quotation being cited.  Ex. This drug is used to treat hepatitis.1
  • Outside periods and commas. Ex. Storing latex at high heat may cause degradation, 2,3-5,7  but it is difficult to keep materials cool in a desert environment.
  • Inside colons and semi-colons. Ex. Some physicians choose to store prescription pads in locked cabinets 8; others keep them in their coats at all times. 9
  • When more than 2 references are cited at a given place in the manuscript, use hyphens to join the first and last numbers of a closed series; use commas without space to separate other parts of a multiple citation.  Ex. As reported previously,1,4-7,19,24

You may use author names in your text, as long as these mentions are accompanied by numbered citations. Use last names only.  For items with one or two authors, include both names. For items with 3 or more authors, include the first author's surname and then 'et al' or 'and colleagues'. 

  • Ex. Smith and Jones2 reported on the questionnaire. Ex. Hammersmith et al3 reported on the survey.


Reference List

At the end of the document, include a reference list with full citations to each item. Name it References. Order citations as they appear in your paper (not alphabetically!). The following tabs in this guide provide formatting information for common reference types.


*  Adapted from and AMA Manual of Style

How to Format References from Journal Articles


  • The title of the journal article is in sentence case (only the first letter is capitalized).
  • Abbreviate and italicize names of journals according to the listing in the National Library of Medicine database
  • References that have six authors or less should include all authors names (last name, initial(s). References with more than 7 authors should include the first three authors followed by "et al."
  • Provide the DOI for online journal articles. If there is no DOI listed, include the most direct url possible and the date the article was accessed. It is not necessary to include the access date if the article has a DOI.


Author AA. Title of journal article. Abbreviated Name of Journal. Year;Volume(Issue):Page Information. DOI (or URL & Accessed Date if no DOI is assigned.)


Ex.  Online journal without volume and page information (and with DOI)

Mast CT, DeMuro-Mercon C, Kelly CM, Floyd LE, Ealter EB. The impact of rotavirus gastroenteritis on the family. BMC Pediatrics. 2009;9:11. doi:10.1186/1471-2431-9-11

Ex.  Online journals with volume and page information (and without DOI, but with URL & accessed date)

Kapur VK,  Obstructive sleep apnea: diagnosis, epidemiology, and economics. Respir Care. 2010;55(9):1155-1167.  Accessed November 8, 2011.

Ex. Print journal

Raux H, Coulon P, Lafay F, Flamand A. Monoclonal antibodies which recognize the acidic configuration of the rabies glycoprotein at the surface of the virion can be neutralizing. Virology. 1995;210(2):400-408.


How to Format Reference from Books and Ebooks


  • The title of a book is capitalized per title case rules 
  • The title of a book chapter (if applicable) is in sentence case (only the first letter is capitalized)
  • References that have six authors or less should include all authors names (last name, initial(s). References with more than 7 authors should include the first three authors followed by "et al."
  • For ebooks, include the most direct url possible and the date the article was accessed


Basic Format - General

Author AA. Title of Book. Edition number. Location: Publisher; Year published. 

Basic Format - Edited Book (chapters with different authors)

Author AA. Chapter title. Editor, AA. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher; Year published: Page numbers.


Ex. Single Author Print Book

Herr J. Creative Resources for the Early Childhood Classroom. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth & Cengage Learning; 2013.

Ex. Chapter in a Print Book

Yagyu S, Iehara T. MYCN nonamplified neuroblastoma: Detection of tumor-derived cell-free DNA in serum for predicting prognosis of neuroblastoma. In Hayat MA, ed. Pediatric Cancer Diagnosis, Therapy, and Prognosis. Dordrecht, NY: Springer; 2013:11-17.

Ex. Part of a Monographic Series Print Book

Davidoff RA. Migraine: Manifestations, Pathogenesis, and Management. Philadelphia, Pa: FA Davis; 1995. Contemporary Neurology Series; No 42.

Ex. Online Book

Neinstein L, ed. Adolescent Health Care. 5th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott W&W; 2008.  Accessed November 9, 2011.

Ex. Chapter in an Online Book

Kohn LT. Creating safety systems in health care organizations. In: Kohn, LT, Corrigan, JM, and Donaldson MS, eds. To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System. Washington, DC: Committee on Quality of Health Care in America, Institute of Medicine; 2000. Accessed November 1, 2011.


Personal Communication - References to material not yet accepted for publication or to personal communications (oral, written, and electronic) are not acceptable as listed references and instead should be included parenthetically in the text. The author should provide the date of the communication, as well as the form (oral or written). Highest academic degree to date should also be mentioned. 

Ex. In a conversation with Bart Simpson, Ph.D., (November 2004)...

Ex. According to an e-mail from Bull Winkle, Esq, (B. Winkle [], e-mail, November 6, 2004)... 

Preprint (Ahead of Print)

Ex. van der Hoek L, Pyrc K, Jebbink MF, et al. Identification of a new human coronavirus [published online ahead of print March 21, 2004]. Nat Med

Material accepted for publication but not yet published

Ex. Carrau RI. The impact of laryngopharyngeal reflux on patient-reported QOL. Laryngoscope. In press. 

Theses or Dissertations

Ex. MacKenzie MA. Comparing Heart Failure and Cancer Caregiver Satisfaction with Hospice Care. [dissertation]. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania; 2014.


Government or Agency Bulletins - References to bulletins published by departments or agencies of a government should include the following information, in the order indicated:

(1) name of author (if given); (2) title of bulletin; (3) place of publication; (4) name of issuing bureau, agency, department, or other governmental division (not that in this position, Department should be abbreviated Dept; also not that if an author supplies US Government Printing Office as the publisher, it would be preferable to obtain the name of the issuing bureau, agency, or department, if possible); (5) date of publication; (6) page numbers, if specified; (7) publication number, if any; and (8) series number if given.

Ex. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 75: Management of alloimmunization during pregnancy. Bethesda, MD: The National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2006. 457-464.

Online Reference 

Ex. Amoxicillin. In:DRUGDEX System (Micromedex 2.0). Greenwood Village, CO: Truven Health Analytics; c1974-2013. Accessed October 22, 2013.

Package Inserts - Package inserts (the printed material about the use and effects of the product contained in the package) may be cited as follows:

Ex. BioThrax [package insert]. Lansing, MI: Emergent BioSolutions; 2012

Theses or Dissertations

Ex. MacKenzie MA. Comparing Heart Failure and Cancer Caregiver Satisfaction with Hospice Care. [dissertation]. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania; 2014.

Websites - When citing data from a Website, include the following elements, if available, in the order shown below:

Author(s), if given (often, no authors are given). Title of the specific item cited (if none is given, use the name of the organization responsible for the site). Name of the Website. Published [date]. Updated [date]. Accessed [date]. URL [provide URL and verify that the link still works as close as possible to publication]

Ex. Living With Type 1 Diabetes. Published February 9, 2015. Accessed April 7, 2015.




Secondary Citations:

 The AMA Manual. section 3.13.10 Secondary citations, states:  Reference may be made to one author’s citation of, or quotation from, another’s work. Distinguish between citation and quotation (ie, between work mentioned and words actually quoted). In the text, the name of the original author, rather than the secondary source, should be mentioned. (See also 3.11.12, References to Print Journals, Discussants.) As with citation of an abstract of an article rather than citation of the original document (see 3.11.9, References to Print Journals, Abstracts and Other Material Taken From Another Source), citation of the original document is preferred unless it is not readily available. Only items actually consulted should be listed.
    Ex.  Cauley JA, Lui L-Y, Ensrud KE, et al. Osteoporosis and fracture risk in women of different ethnic groups. JAMA. 2005;293(17):2102-2108. Cited by: Acheson LS. Bone density and the risk of fractures: should treatment thresholds vary by race [editorial]? JAMA. 2005;293(17):2151-2154.

If you (student) are going to recreate/reproduce an image, table or figure from another source and insert it verbatim (exactly as is) into you assignment paper, you do not have to obtain copyright permission from the copyright holder; however, you still have to cite the source. If you are submitting the paper for publications and recreate/reproduce the table or figure, you would need to obtain copyright permissions first.

Images, tables or figures from books or journal articles: Do not cite the image individually but give the citation details for the book/article/etc. Treat it as though it was a direct quote. See 3.11 References to Journal Articles in the AMA Style Guide and the AMA Style blog "How to cite a photograph or illustration."

Ex. Table 14.14-12. Antigens and antibodies of hepatitis B virus.
In: Christiansen S, Iverson C, Flanagin A, et al. AMA Manual of Style:
A Guide for Authors and Editors
. 11th ed. Oxford University Press; 2020.
Accessed August 20, 2020.

Images, tables or figures found online: cite them as a web object:
Author AA, Author BB. Title of page or object. Clarifying information if necessary. Title of web site. Published Month DD, YYYY or Updated Month DD, YYYY. Accessed Month, DD, YYYY. URL. See 3.15.3 Websites in the AMA Style Guide.

If there is a credit for the image found online, use this as your author.  If there is no credit for the image, use the authors of the web site if you believe they are responsible for the image.

Ex. AU Libraries. Data Life Cycle Models. Infographic. University
of Alabama. Accessed September 29, 2021.  https://www.lib.

Citation Managers

Citation managers like RefWorks, EndNote, Mendeley and Zotero help you track and organize your citations, so that when you're writing your paper, you can easily cite your sources. Citation managers also help you insert citations, create endnotes and bibliographies.