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How to Cite Your Sources

A guide to some of the citation styles

AMA Manual

AMA Quick View

AMA (Vancouver) Skeleton Guide

The following guidelines are based on the minimum requirements for AMA citations.  AMA style requires this core information for each citation.

Pay close attention to punctuation use in the examples – including case, italics, the order of dates and spaces.

Journal article

With DOI

  1. Author(s). Article title: subtitle. Journal Abbreviation. Year;vol(issue no.):inclusive pages. DOI

A DOI is preferable to a URL if one is available. No accessed date is required for the DOI because it is a permanent identifier.

With URL

  1. Author(s). Article title: subtitle. Journal Abbreviation. Year;vol(issue no.):inclusive pages. Accessed date. URL

Print journal article

  1. Author(s). Article title: subtitle. Journal Abbreviation. Year;vol(issue no.):inclusive pages.


  1. Yazigi JA Jr, Anauate Nicolao F, Archetti Netto N, et al. Magnetic resonance imaging reproducibility for rotator cuff partial tears in patients up to 60 years. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2019;20:383-8. doi:10.1186/s12891-019-2760-4
  2. Moore Y, Shotton E, Brown R, Gremmel J, Lindsey S, Pankey J. Effects of incentive spirometry on perceived dyspnea in patients hospitalized with pneumonia. Medsurg Nursing. 2018;27(1):19-23. Accessed August 6, 2020.
  3. Economopoulos KJ, Brockmeier SF. Rotator cuff tears in overhead athletes. Clin Sports Med. 2012;31(4):675-692.
  4. Laver  KE, Adey‚ÄźWakeling Z, Crotty M, Lannin NA, George S, Sherrington C. Telerehabilitation services for stroke. Cochrane Database of Syst Rev. 2020;(1):CD010255. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD010255.pub3

Books (whole book)

  1. Author(s) or Editor(s) [if editors, include ed or eds]. Book Title. Edition number [if not the first edition]. Publisher’s name; Copyright year.  Accessed date [only if using URL]. DOI or URL [if online]


  1. Drake RL, Vogl W, Mitchell AWM, Gray H. Gray's Anatomy for Students. 4th ed. Elsevier; 2020.
  2. Cameron P, Little M, Mitra B, Deasy C, eds. Textbook of Adult Emergency Medicine. 5th ed. Elsevier; 2020.
  3. Vieira AR.Genetic Basis of Oral Health Conditions. Springer International Publishing; 2019. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-14485-2
  4. World Health Organization. Health Worker Roles in Providing Safe Abortion Care and Post-abortion Contraception. World Health Organization; 2015. Accessed August 12, 2020.

Book chapter

  1. Author(s) of chapter. Title of chapter. In: Editor(s), ed. or eds. Title of Book. Edition number [if not the first edition]. Publisher’s name; Copyright year:inclusive pages. Accessed date [only if using URL]. DOI or URL [if online]


  1. Smith JV. Shoulder dislocations. In: Fowler GC, ed. Pfenninger and Fowler's Procedures for Primary Care. Elsevier; 2020:1163-1167. Accessed August 6, 2020.!/content/book/3-s2.0-B9780323476331001745
  2. Shaparin N, Shah A, Gritsenko K. Pharmacological agents: opioids. In: Urman RD, Vadivelu N, eds. Perioperative Pain Management. Oxford University Press; 2013:29-37. Accessed November 25, 2012.
  3. Trabulsy P. Complementary and alternative medicine. In: Stein GS, Luebbers KP, eds. Cancer: Prevention, Early Detection, Treatment and Recovery. 2nd ed. Wiley Blackwell; 2019:499-530. doi:10.1002/9781119645214.ch27

Web pages

  1. Author(s). Title of page or object. Name of website. Date published. Updated date. Accessed date. URL


  1. Hughes GRV, Erb N. The Antiphospholipid (Hughes) Syndrome. LUPUS UK. Accessed May 5, 2021.
  2. Department of Health & Human Services. Anaphylaxis. Better Health Channel. Updated August, 2014. Accessed August 31, 2020.
  3. Hand hygiene: Why, how & when. World Health Organization. Updated August, 2009. Accessed August 12, 2020.

AMA notes

AMA Style is a variation of the Vancouver system that is used by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and other publications by the AMA.  We are currently following the 11th edition of the AMA style guide.

AMA is a documentary-note style, which means you put a number in your text to cite sources of information and the reference list is in numerical order.

In text citations are in superscript1 and in order of citation (the first citation is 1 the next is 2).  If you use the same source again, you keep the same number (the source you used for the first citation is always 1, even if you use it again after 6).

See the page on In Text Numbering for more detail.

If you are using EndNote, the style to chose is AMA 11th.

General Notes:

  • The major parts of a reference are Authors. Title of part. Title of Whole. Publication details (including copyright/publication year). Online details.  Each section is separated by a full stop.
  • The authors follow the pattern of Surname Initials (e.g. Brown JA) and are separated by a comma.
    • If there are more than six authors, only list the first three names, then shorten with et al. (e.g. Smith AA, Jones BA, Bloggs JC, et al.)
  • The title of the part (journal article, book chapter or web object) is always in sentence case and not in italics.
  • The title of the whole (book or journal) is usually in Title Case and in italics - except for web sites and unpublished material.
  • The publication details change for the type of source you are citing (journal article, book chapter, etc).  See the full details in the guide for more information.
  • Online details:  with electronic sources, you always use the DOI if you have one.  If not, use a URL if it is relevant.
  • If you use a URL, you must include an Accessed date.