AMA format dictates that every outside text included in your writing—meaning any idea that is not your own—must be cited with superscript numbers, e.g., “I have a dream.”1 These superscript numbers will correspond to a full citation in your reference section. This way, your reader knows which ideas are not yours and can easily trace them back to their original source.
To create a superscript number in Microsoft Word, click on the “X2” icon in the toolbar (as seen below):
When Should I Use Superscript Numbers?
Place the superscript number on the outside of the second quotation mark, after you paraphrase, and after you use someone else’s idea or information. For example:
- Smith showed that “the study proved no substantial change in the patient.”1
- The treatment was effective in people who ate corn.1
- Martin found that 34% of the adults in his study were not affected,1 which conflicted largely with earlier trials.2,4
AMA Reference Section
Every in-text citation must have a corresponding full citation in the reference section of your paper. These citations will correspond to all the texts you used throughout your essay. Here are some general AMA rules for structuring your reference page:
- 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 newspapers) should have abbreviated titles. To check for the proper abbreviations, search the PubMed journal database.
- Use proper citation format for each reference. Below is a guide to help you.
AMA Citation Guide
Use the templates below to format the citations in your reference section:
Author last name First Initials. Article title. Journal Name. Year;volume(issue No.): inclusive pages. doi: xxxxx.
- Pfeiffer JA, Wickline MA, Deetz J, Berry ES. Assessing RN-to-RN peer review on clinical units. J Nurs Manag. 2012;20(3):390-400. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2011.01321.x.
Online Journals without a “doi”
Author last name First Initials. Article title. Journal Name. Year;volume(issue No.): inclusive pages. URL. Published date. Updated date. Accessed date.
- Pfeiffer JA, Wickline MA, Deetz J, Berry ES. Assessing RN-to-RN peer review on clinical units. J Nurs Manag. 2012;20(3):390-400. Published 2012. Accessed March 5, 2018.
Author last name First Initials. Book Title. Edition number (if 2nd or higher) ed. Place of publication: Publisher’s name; copyright year.
Print Books with more than 6 authors
First three authors’ names, et al. Book Title. Edition number ed. Place of publication: Publisher’s name; copyright year.
Books with Editors
Author last name First Initials, eds. Book Title. Edition number (if 2nd or higher) ed. Place of publication: Publisher; year.
eBooks or Online Books
Author last name First Initials. Book Title. Edition number (if 2nd or higher) ed. Place of publication: Publisher’s name; copyright year. URL. Published date. Updated date. Accessed date.
Chapter/Article from a Book
Author(s) of article. Title of article. In: Editor’s name, ed. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher; Year: Chapter or page number.
Author (or, if no author is available, the name of the organization responsible for the site). Title (or, if no title is available, the name of the organization responsible for the site). Name of the Web site. URL. Published [date]. Accessed [date].
- Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. Health IT Career Development. HIMSS website. http://www.himss.org/health-it-career-services/career-development. Accessed March 23, 2017.
Author last name First Initials. Title. Name of the Publication. URL. Published date. Updated date. Accessed date.
Author last name First Initials. Title [Format of Media]. Place of publication: Publisher; Year.
Text (First Initials. Last name, oral communication, date of communication).
- According to the drug manufacturer (C. E. Beaton, oral communication, December 2011), the drug became available in France in May 2010.
Tables and Figures
Tables and figures are vital to writing in the health sciences and are a powerful and convenient way to present data or information. A table contains information in columns and rows, while a figure is any non-table graphic that displays information, such as an image, photo, map, graph, chart, or illustration. Proper format is essential to presenting visual data/information, so all tables and figure must contain the following:
- All tables/figures should be labeled as such should be numbered in the order they appear in the document, e.g., Table 1, Table 2, Table 3, etc.
- When discussing the table/figure in the document, refer to them by their label, e.g., “As seen in Table 1, the data support the findings.”
- If necessary, use an algebraic superscript to create a footnote
- All table/figures should have titles that accurately describe the information within them
- Citation (unless data is original)
Sample AMA Paper with Reference Section
Last Updated May 15, 2018