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AMA 10th Referencing Guide: Drug Databases

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. 

Drug Databases and similar resources

Use this if:

  • You are citing an entry in an online drug information database.

You will need (minimum information in bold):

  • Author(s) (if available)
  • Entry title (in sentence case - not in italics)
  • Editor(s) (if available)
  • Database title (in italics - in Title Case)
  • City of Publication and state abbreviation (if published in America) or country (if not published in America)
  • Publisher's name
  • URL
  • Published date (at least year, if available) OR
  • Updated date (if different to published date - at least year, if available)
  • Accessed date


Standard database pattern:


Author AA, Author BB. Title of entry [type of entry, if applicable]. In: Editor AA, Editor BB, eds (if available). Title of Database. City, State Abbreviation (if American) or Country of publisher: Publisher’s name. URL. Published (or Updated) date (at least year, if available). Accessed date.


  1. Paracetamol. In: Brayfield, A ed. Martindale: the Complete Drug Reference. London, England: Pharmaceutical Press. Updated October 31, 2014. Accessed February 20, 2014.
  2. Opioid analgesics and paracetamol (Systemic) [drug monograph]. In: AusDI database. St Leonards, Australia: Phoenix Medical Publishing. Updated December 17, 2013. Accessed March 3, 2014.
  3. Abrams TR, Barrette E-P, Basch E, et al. Ginger (Zingiber officinale). In: Natural Standard: the Authority on Integrative Medicine.  Somerville, MA: Natural Standard. Published 2013. Accessed March 12, 2014.
  4. Liquid paraffin. In: Australian Medicines Handbook. Adelaide, Australia: Australian Medicines Handbook Pty Ltd. Updated January 2014. Accessed April 10, 2014.
  5. Prevention of endocarditis: genitourinary and gastrointestinal tract procedures. In eTG Complete. Melbourne, Australia: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited. Updated October 2014. Accessed 30 April, 2015.
  6. Pevaryl for athlete’s foot [product information]. In: MIMS Online. St Leonards, Australia: MIMS Australia. Updated August 11, 2011. Accessed May 1, 2014.

If you were referring to the database as a whole, rather than an individual entry in the database, you would skip the reference to the authors and title of the entry and begin with the Editors (if there are any) or the title of the database.

  1. MIMS Online. St Leonards, Australia: MIMS Australia; 2014 Accessed May 1, 2014.


  • If there are no authors, begin with the title of the entry.
  • If you cannot find a place of publication, use the city in which the head offices of the company are located.

NB: This pattern is based on a combination of the formats for databases and book chapters, as the AMA manual recommends citing databases as a whole but at JCU it is preferred practice to pinpoint the entry used.

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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