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AMA Referencing Guide: Web

Referencing style guide for 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. 

Web Content

Use this formatting if:

  • The information lives entirely online, and is not a book, journal, drug monograph or other work with its own pattern.  Mostly used for web sites, home pages, information pages in pdf format, video or audio files on the internet and the like.
  • NOTE:  If the pdf has an ISBN, then the work is technically a book, not a web page.

You will need (minimum information in bold):

  • Author(s) (or organisation responsible for the site)
  • Title of page or object (sentence case - not in italics)
  • Name of the website (if different from the page - Title Case, not in italics)
  • URL
  • Published date (at least year, if available) OR
  • Updated date (if different to published date - at least year, if available)
  • Accessed date

 

Standard Web content pattern:

Author AA, Author BB. Title of page or object. Title of web site. URL. Published Month DD, YYYY or Updated Month DD, YYYY. Accessed Month DD, YYYY.

Examples:

  1. Queensland Health. Pharmacy ownership. Queensland Health website. http://www.health.qld.gov.au/health_professionals/pharmacyownership.asp. Updated January 22, 2014. Accessed January 23, 2014.
  2. State Government of Victoria. Anaphylaxis. Better Health Channel. http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Anaphylaxis. Updated July 16, 2013. Accessed January 8, 2014.
  3. Allergy & Anapylaxis Australia. Food allergy or intolerance? Allergy & Anapylaxis Australia website. http://www.allergyfacts.org.au/allergy-and-anaphylaxis/food-allergy/food-allergies-or-intolerance. Published 2010. Accessed December 21, 2013.
  4. Cancer Council Australia. Myths about tobacco control. Cancer Council Australia website. http://www.cancer.org.au/preventing-cancer/smoking-and-tobacco/myths-about-tobacco-control.html. Updated August 11, 2012. Accessed December 21, 2013.
  5. University of California Television. Oncology from top to bottom: A survey of cancers through the gastrointestinal tract. YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bi_zdVQvs0w. Published September 30, 2013. Accessed January 8, 2014.

Notes:

  • Always endeavour to find an author for a web site - there should be an organisation or company responsible for the site.
  • The name of the company responsible for the site and the name of the site may be identical - if the name of the site is the same as the name of the organisation responsible for the site, add the word "website" to the title of the site.
  • If you cannot find an author or organisation responsible for the page, and you must cite it, you may begin the reference with the title of the page.
  • The Updated date takes precedence over the Published date.  You do not need to include both.

Multiple Authors - Rules

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

If there are more than six authors/editors, include the first three names, then shorten with 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.

These rules also apply to editors, translators and other people who need to be cited for the source.

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