Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

AMA 10th Referencing Guide: Journal article

Referencing guide for the 10th Edition 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. 

Journal Article

Use this format if:

  • You have an article in a publication that is produced on a regular basis (a "serial" publication), such as a journal or magazine.

You will need (minimum information in bold):

  • Author(s)
  • Article title (in sentence case - not in italics)
  • Journal Abbreviation (in italics, in Title Case)
  • Year
  • Volume number
  • Issue number
  • Part or supplement (if relevant)
  • Inclusive page numbers
  • DOI or URL (if online)
  • Accessed date (if online - only if using URL)


Standard article pattern (print):

Author AA, Author BB. Title of article. Journal Abbreviation. Year;volume(issue):pp-pp.


  1. Nejad AG, Kheradmand A. Five rare psychiatric syndromes co-occurring together. Neurosciences. 2009;14(1):91-93.
  2. Voigt C, Grasse P, Rex K, Hetz S, Speakman J. Bat breath reveals metabolic substrate use in free-ranging vampires. J Comp Physiol B. 2008;178(1):9-16.

Standard article pattern (electronic):

Author AA, Author BB. Title of article. Journal Abbreviation. Year;volume(issue):pp-pp. DOI or URL. Accessed Month DD, YYYY.


  1. Economopoulos KJ, Brockmeier SF. Rotator cuff tears in overhead athletes. Clin Sports Med. 2012;31(4):675-692. doi:10.1016/j.csm.2012.07.005.
  2. Finnan RP, Crosby LA. Partial-thickness rotator cuff tears. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2010;19(4):609-616. Accessed April 26, 2012.
  3. Chiang HC, Huang V, Cornelius LA. Cancer and itch. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2011;30(2):107-112. doi:10.1016/j.sder.2011.05.003.
  4. Ho DTN, Le TPT, Wolbers M, et al. Risk factors of Streptococcus suis infection in Vietnam: a case-control study. PLoS One. 2011;6(3):e17604. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017604.


  • There are no spaces between the year, volume, issue number and page numbers.
  • If there is a DOI you should always include it at the end of the reference. 
  • If there is a DOI, you don't include a URL - and you only need to include an Accessed date if you have used a URL.
  • Did you notice the PLoS article did not include page numbers?  For some electronic journals, the articles are never published in a print format, and do not get meaningful page numbers.  Use the article's identifier in the place of page numbers.
  • Italics are always used for genus and species components of the binomial 2-word term for species (also called binary or binominal) eg, Homo sapiens. Initial capitals are used for all taxa, except for the second portion of the binomial. For more detail on styles for biological nomenclature, please see the AMA Manual.

What's a DOI?  Read this explanation from Citing Medicine.

Journal abbreviations for AMA

Journal Abbreviations:

  • The Journal Abbreviations can be found by looking at the Journal Record in the NLMA catalogue (PubMed).  If your title is not in the PubMed catalogue, the AMA Handbook offers advice for abbreviating journal titles in Chapter 14.  For words that aren't in Chapter 14's list, you can look up the keywords from the title in the NMLA catalogue or the CASSI search tool to see how other titles with the same word have been abbreviated.
  • The ISSN Center maintains a List of Title Word Abbreviations (LTWA) which you can search for words from other languages (TIP: search for parts of the word, like "educ" or "biomed" if it is not finding your complete word).

NB: One word titles are never abbreviated, and the complete word in a title can always be used if an abbreviation cannot be found.

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.

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