What is the AMA format?
AMA format of citation is used by those working in the field of medical or biomedical sciences. The first AMA style guide was published in October 1962 which was 68 pages long. Since then several editions of guide have been published with an increasing number of guidelines. Recently 11th edition of the citation guide has been released which is 1200 pages long. It is practically impossible to go through such vast guidelines while preparing manuscripts. Here we present a simple and quick reference to the AMA citation guidelines to the readers. This article is based on 10th edition published in 2007 which is 1032 pages long. The objective is to provide a straightforward, quick and standard method to understudies to cite their sources
Basics of AMA citation style
When using the AMA citation style, an indication of and information about a cited work must appear in two places: In-text citations and list of references. You must insert a note within the text of your paper when you make use of a borrowed piece of information and/or idea. These notes are called in-text citations.
In-text citations are numbered sequentially in the order that they appear within the text of your paper and are identified as superscripts in Arabic font.
These superscript numbers must appear outside the commas, periods, and quotation marks and should appear inside of colons and semicolons.
If multiple sources are cited within a single passage or sentence, superscripts must be separated by commas and must not have space between them.
Personal communications (personal interviews, letters, emails) must be cited in parenthesis within the text of your paper and should not be assigned a superscript number.
For personal communications, name of the person and type and date of communication must be given within the text.
At the end of the paper, you are to compile a comprehensive list of references that features prescribed information about each of the sources.
List of references
Your list of references should appear on a fresh page at the end of your paper. The page should feature the header: References.
The entries in your list of references should be single-spaced and should not be indented.
Never insert a comma between the last name and the first initials of an author, editor or director.
The names of all authors should be given unless there are more than 6, in which case the names of the first 3 authors are used, followed by “et al.”.
When you identify a page number(s) in an entry in your list of references, be sure to insert the numbers in full (for example: use 111–112, not 111–2).
Citing Journal Articles
Step 1 Start with Last name of author, first initial and middle initial followed by comma and second author’s name and so on. Place a full stop after all authors have been mentioned.
Beran RG, Braley TJ, Segal BM, Chervin RD.
Step 2 Write the title followed by a full stop.
Beran RG, Braley TJ, Segal BM, Chervin RD. Sleep-disordered breathing in multiple sclerosis.
Step 3 Mention the name of the Journal in abbreviated form and italicize it. An authoritative list of journal-title abbreviations can be found online in the National Library of Medicine Catalog: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nlmcatalog/journals. One word journal titles are not abbreviated.
Beran RG, Braley TJ, Segal BM, Chervin RD. Sleep-disordered breathing in multiple sclerosis. Neurology.
Step 4 Add Year of publication followed by semicolons and then volume with issue number in parenthesis. After that add colons followed by page numbers.
Braley TJ, Segal BM, Chervin RD. Sleep-disordered breathing in multiple sclerosis. Neurology. 2012;79(9):929‐936.
Step 5 Include the DOI in last if it is available. The use of DOI is highly encouraged by several journals nowadays.
Braley TJ, Segal BM, Chervin RD. Sleep-disordered breathing in multiple sclerosis. Neurology. 2012;79(9):929‐936. doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e318266fa9d
Citing Internet sites
Authors (if indicated). Organization responsible for the site. Title of page or document. Available at: URL. Accessed Month day, year.
Citing a Book
Editor’s Last Name First Initial Middle Initial followed by “eds”. Title of Book. Edition number. City of publication, State Abbreviation: Name of Publisher; Year.
Citing Book Chapters
Chapter Author Last Name First Initial Middle Initial. Title of chapter. In: Name of Book. Edition Number. Editors Last Name First Initial Middle Initial, eds. City of publication, State Abbreviation: Name of Publisher; Year.
There are also some sites available that may put your citation information in AMA style automatically.