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AMA Style

American Medical Association style, or AMA style, refers to the styling of journal manuscripts described in the AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors.

Now in its 10th edition, the manual is a comprehensive guide of more than 1000 pages. The 1st edition was published over 40 years ago by the editors of the Journal of the American Medical Association.1

Many biomedical journals, in their instructions for authors, ask that authors use AMA style to prepare the scientific writing style, grammar, punctuation, and references of their manuscripts. These journals and other medical publishers use the style as is or modify it for their publication.

Journals often follow, in addition to AMA style, the formatting guidelines in Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals.2 Participating journals agree to accept manuscripts that have been prepared in accordance with these instructions.

See Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts for more details about these guidelines.

Sample AMA References and Citations

The examples shown in Tables 1 and 2 will help you visualize AMA reference style and AMA citation style (AMA Manual of Style, 10th ed., 2007).

Refer to chapter 3 (pp 39-79) of the AMA manual for details on many other types of references and citations.

To compare reference formatting in other styles, please visit the Vancouver style and APA style pages.

Table 1. Sample AMA Style References by Publication Type

No. of Authors Sample
Journal Article
1 author 12. Brown JE. AMA and Vancouver style: how to format references. J Med Style. 2007;78(5)(suppl): 516-528.
2-6 authors 13. Brown JE, Smyth PT. AMA and other styles: how to format references. J Med Style. 2007;83(3):1-15.
>6 authors 16. Brown JE, Smyth PT, Xu Y-C, et al. AMA reference style. J Med Style. 2007;26(1, pt 2):98-103.
Entire Book
1 editor
51. Thomas ABC, ed. AMA Reference Style: A History. New York, NY: Z&E Publishers; 2007.
Article or Chapter in a Book
2 authors 89. Bjork CE Jr, McLeod RD. AMA and other styles: how to format citations. In: Laurent B III, Cool JR, eds. A History of Citations and References. Vol. 1. 5th ed. Geneva, Switzerland: Tangelo Press; 2006:3-16.
Presentation (Not Published)
>6 authors 95. Thomas ABC, Sato T, Ferdinand AB, et al. AMA writing style for authors and students. Paper presented at: 25th Annual Meeting of the Association for Scholarly Styles; April 2005; London, England.
Manuscript Accepted for Publication
1 author 98. Brown JE. The relation between citations and references. J Med Style. In press.
Web Site
1 author 99. Thomas ABC. Survey of AMA references and citations. MedStyleRefs Web site. Updated January 11, 2008. Accessed February 19, 2008.

Abbreviation: AMA, American Medical Association.
aAll references are fictitious.

Table 2. Sample AMA Style Citations

No. of




Brown and Smith13


Brown et al.16
Brown and associates16
Brown and colleagues16

Abbreviation: AMA, American Medical Association.


  1. Iverson C, Christiansen S, Flanagin A, et al. AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors. 10th ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2007.
  2. International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publications. Updated October 2008. Accessed November 9, 2009.

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