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AMA 11th Referencing Guide

Referencing guide for the 11th Edition of AMA Style

Authors - format and numbers

Author formats in the Reference List

The authors follow the pattern of Surname Initials (e.g. Brown JA) and are separated by a comma.

If there are six authors/editors or less, include the names of all authors/editors.

If there are more than six authors/editors, only list the first three names, then shorten with et al. (e.g. Smith AA, Jones BA, Bloggs JC, et al.).

  1. Hallal AH, Amortegui JD, Jeroukhimov IM, et al. Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography accurately detects common bile duct stones in resolving gallstone pancreatitis. J Am Coll Surg. 2005;200(6):869-75.

Mentioning the authors by name in text

In narrative citations in text, you mention the author's names as part of the sentence. Place the reference number next to the author's names. For example:

Research conducted by Smith7 showed a correlation between...

When you have only two authors, you will always mention both authors in the sentence:

Research conducted by Smith and Green7 showed a correlation between...

If you have three or more authors, give the first author and et al (note that for AMA you do not put a full stop after al in et al):

Research conducted by Smith et al7 showed a correlation between...

No author

In certain instances, an article may not have an author. Start the reference with the title, in these cases. In other instances, the author may remain anonymous. However, the word “Anonymous” should not be used in a reference unless that word was published in the article’s byline. Note: There is no need to repeat the word “Anonymous” to represent a first name and a surname.

  1. Incorrect percentages in the abstract. JAMA Oncol. 2017;3(12):1742. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2017.4368

  2. Anonymous. Care can’t get better until complaints are heard. BMJ. 2012;345:e4511. doi:10.1136/bmj.e4511


Corporate author

If a group or corporation is acting as the author of a work, and there are no individually listed authors, use the name of the group as your author.

  1. Department of Health. Iron and iron deficiency. State Government of Victoria.  Reviewed January 6, 2022. Accessed May 30 2022.

Corporate authors and abbreviations

In text, if you are referring to a coporation that has an official abbreviation, the first time you refer to them you must write the name in full, but then you can establish the acronym and refer to them using the shortened form from then on.

e.g.: The World Health Organization (WHO)1 noted that a lack of iron can be a cause of poor productivity. ... The WHO advises avoiding coffee and tea during meals to counter iron deficiency.2

In the reference list, each entry should be considered independent of all other entries, as it is unlikely that anyone will read through the entire reference list in order. Therefore, do not use abbreviations for corporate authors, but write their name in full every time.

  1. WHO Guideline on Use of Ferritin Concentrations to Assess Iron Status in Individuals and Populations. World Health Organization; 2020.
  2. Global Anaemia Reduction Efforts among Women of Reproductive Age: Impact, Achievement of Targets and the Way Forward For Optimizing Efforts. World Health Organization; 2020.


  1. The use of "WHO" in the first example is in the title, and you do not alter the title of the work. Note that World Health Organization is written in full whenever it appears in the reference otherwise.
  2. AMA does not typically use the publisher as an author if there are no individual authors for a work, so while WHO is the "author" of these works and is referred to as such in the text, in the reference list the citation skips the author and starts with the title. However, this is not specifically outlined in the current AMA Manual, and it would not be "incorrect" to use World Health Organization as the author - be consistent with your use of authors for such material (and consult your lecturer to see if they have a preference).

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