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AMA Referencing Guide: In-Text Citations

Referencing style guide for AMA Style

AMA Style

In text numbering

Superscript numbers

The numbers in text are in superscript1 and occur at the end of the clause in which you used the information.  They occur outside “quotation marks,”2 commas,3 (parentheses)4 and full stops.5 However, they occur inside semicolons6; and colons7:

Do not leave a space between the last letter or punctuation mark and the number.

Re-use numbers for the same citation

Citations should be numbered sequentially – that is, the first source you cite is 1, the second source is 2 and so on.

However, once you have given a source a number, it will keep that number throughout your paper. So, if you use your first source again, no matter how often you use it, it is still 1.

Citing more than one work at a time

Use commas to show that more than one work is being cited, and use hyphens for several works that would be numbered sequentially:

These side effects can have implications for the patient's mental health, as numerous studies have shown.1,3,6-9

Relationship between in-text citations and reference list

Your reference list follows the order of the numbers used in the text. The first source you cite in the text is 1 and the reader will look for number 1 in the reference list to find the full citation; the fifth source you use is 5 and the full citation is listed at number 5 in the reference list (and so on).

Using author's names in-text:

If including an author in the text of a sentence, use the surnames of authors and add the citation number after the author’s surname. 

  • For one or two authors list all names
    • Smith1 reported on the survey.
    • Smith and Watson2 reported on the survey.
  • For more than two authors list the first author and follow by et al
    • Smith et al3 reported on the survey. 

Using page numbers for direct quotes

In the medical sciences, you should only use a direct quote if the exact wording is important.  You should be paraphrasing the information as much as possible. When paraphrasing, it is not standard practice to use page numbers, but they can be used if you feel it is necessary for clarification.

However, if you do need to refer to the exact wording used by the authors, you must put the quote in "quotation marks" and use a page number next to the in-text citation.

You put the page number in brackets directly after the reference number, with no space: 1(p6). This all goes in superscript.

Example

Rey's support of the Mad Dog theory is equivocal, and he states "I’m not defending Mad-doggery because I believe it."3(p125)

Figures, Tables and Boxes

Figures, Tables and Boxes

Figures, Tables and Boxes are given a number and a header in AMA. You number them sequentially, according to their order of appearance in the text and the type of figure (e.g.: Box 1, Box 2, Table 1, Table 2, Figure 1, Figure 2...)

Table is used for any data arranged in tabular format.
Figure is used for graphs, diagrams and images (like illustrations or photographs).
Box is used for textual information like lists, dot-points, side-bars and the like.

An example of a table with a heading - a line is above the heading, and the table number (Table 1) is in bold.An example of a figure with a heading - a line is above the heading, and the figure number number (Figure 1) is in bold.An example of a box with a heading - a line is above the heading, and the box number (Box 1) is in bold.

Referencing

Continue numbering based on what has been used in the main text. If the last number used in the text was 3, then the first number in your table/figure/box will be 4 (unless it is the same source, in which case it will be 3 again).

If the entire table, figure or box has been taken from (or represents information taken from) the same source, place the superscript number at the end of the header

Table 1. Leading causes of mortality in Australia in 2018.4

Males Heart disease
Females Alzheimer disease

If the information has been taken from various sources, place the superscript number after the relevant piece of information:

Table 2. Incidence of asthma in Queensland and Tasmania 2018

Queensland Tasmania
11% of children 0-4 years.7 12.2% of children and young people.8
10.6% overall population.9 12.6% overall population.10

The sequence of numbers within a table should be logical and consistent.

Layout

When setting out tables, figures and boxes in your document, you should put a line above the header and put the type and number of the figure in bold. The header should be in sentence case.

See this attached Word document for examples of the format (machine readable):

We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.Acknowledgement of Country