AMA manual style of referencing is drastically different from other styles like the ASA or APA. It was developed specifically for medicine-related articles, case studies or essay writing submitted to various medical journals. The American Medical Association manual of style offers a set of important criteria that are used to determine whether a citation meets the standard for AMA formatting or not. This manual guide is an effective tool that sheds more light on these criteria.
What is a citation/reference?
A citation is usually a phrase or sentence that points to the source of information used to project certain ideas in an article. Citations are important as they establish the validity of all ideas being highlighted. Suggestions are considered more valid when they have a tangible source or have been applied elsewhere. In general terms, there are two kinds of citations found in any guide:
- In-text references: appear all through the written piece at targeted points. This is because they point to various sources of information used for specific sentences or ideas. These vary based on the style. For instance, in the APA style dates are included, while they are excluded in a style like MLA. Here’s an example:
“And it was discovered that 50% of ladies who used the Diage sanitary pads were at risk for PID (Marson, 2004, p. 443) and a higher risk for cervical polyps and very rare forms of cervical cancer (Freeman, 2000, p. 304)” OR
“And it was discovered that 50% of ladies who used the Diage sanitary pads were at risk for PID (Marson 443) and a higher risk for cervical polyps and very rare forms of cervical cancer (304) as shown by Freeman (304)”
- Works cited/Reference list: is a compiled list of all sources of information used, usually written at the end of a paper. The AMA style guide, among others, mentions the use of superscripts when using this type of referencing. This aids readers to locate a specific sentence that was cited from a particular source e.g.
- Marson S. “Sanitary pads and cancer: an alliance or a consequence” BMJ 2004; 245(3):2103-2107.
- Freeman K. S “The effect of female hygiene products on gene mutation” RBJ 2000; 342(14): 2305-2406.
Important things to note in AMA style guide
This guide projects a format of specific rules that can guide in AMA formatting. These include the following:
- The AMA references are written in consecutive order, one after the other. This is reinforced by the use of superscript, according to the guide. This superscript should
- Be written at the end of the sentence or ideology being quoted.
- Separated by commas and no spaces if the ideology is found in more than one information source.
Example: “The major effects of butane poisoning are targeted at the CNS1 and are a firsthand source of bone marrow diseases in that community.1, 2, 4-6”
- If a source is used more than once, the same number is used throughout all article wherever the source is used.
- In-text quotations are quite common in the AMA style guide. The AMA citation guideline states that all surnames of the authors be applied along with superscripts. Example:
“…in the town. Johan and Sian2 reported an unusual concentration of …”
- A list of referenced works, according to AMA style guide should be written in the order of their appearance in the article, and at the end of it.
- When an author’s work is cited by another author e.g. the original author, Shoan W. had her writing cited by Andre M, whose article you took up as a reference, the guide states that in the text the reference should be based on the original author, not the one who cited him/her. Example
“4. Shoan W. ‘…’ cited by: Andre M. ‘…’ “.
When checking how to cite AMA, in addition to these guidelines, students can be advised to check samples of this style online. We also have an abundance of AMA style quoted works on our site. Feel free to check them out – we believe they will improve your knowledge of the manual way to use the AMA citation guide.