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AMA 10th Referencing Guide: Pharmacopoeia

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. 


Use this format if:

  • You are using an entry from a Pharmacopoeia, encyclopaedia, medical dictionary or similar reference work
  • N.B. This is the same pattern used for a book chapter (EndNote Users: use "book section" and leave the author field blank)

You will need (minimum information in bold):

  • Author(s) (if available)
  • Chapter Title (in sentence case - not in italics)
  • Editor(s) (if available)
  • Pharmacopoeia/Encyclopaedia title (in italics - in Title Case)
  • Volume number and title (if there is more than one volume).
  • Edition number (if it is not the first edition)
  • City of Publication and state abbreviation (if published in America) or country (if not published in America)
  • Publisher's name
  • latest copyright year
  • Inclusive page numbers
  • DOI or URL (if online)
  • Accessed date (if online - only if using URL)


Pharmacopoeia entry (also used for encyclopedia and dictionary entries)

Author AA, Author BB. Title of entry. In: Editor AA, Editor BB, eds (if available). Title of Pharmacopoeia. Vol no (if more than one volume). City, State Abbreviation (if American) or Country of publisher: Publisher’s name; Year of publication:page numbers. URL. Accessed Month DD, YYYY.


  1. Ceylon cinnamon bark oil. In: British Pharmacopoeia 2013. Vol 5. London, England: The Stationery Office; 2012:3659-3660.
  2. Carbamazepine tablets. In: The Pharmocopeia of the United States of America. Vol 2. 31st  ed. Rockville, MD: the United States Pharmocopeial Convention; 2007:1631.
  3. Antihistamines. In Andrews A, Boden E eds. Black's Veterinary Dictionary. London, England: Bloomsbury; 2015. Accessed July 20, 2015.


  • You may not have a named author for the entry, or a named editor for the book.
  • Contributors to encyclopedia and dictionaries are sometimes indicated by initials at the end of the entries - always try to find an author rather than assuming there isn't one simply because you cannot see a name in an obvious location.
  • Online books may not have page numbers.

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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