AMA Reference Page | Guidelines & Example
The AMA reference page appears at the end of your paper and lists full information about all the sources you cited. The heading “References” appears at the top, usually centered and bold.
The references are presented as a numbered list, appearing in the order in which they were first cited in the text.
Example references for common source types
AMA presents rules for how to reference each type of source so that you can present the right information in a consistent way.
You’ll usually include the author’s name, the source title, information about the publisher or container, and the publication date. The specifics, and the exact formatting, vary by source type. Examples of the most commonly cited types are shown below.
AMA book citation
|AMA book citation format||Author last name Initials. Book Title: Subtitle. Publisher; Year.|
|AMA reference||Alaszewski A. COVID-19 and Risk: Policy Making in a Global Pandemic. Policy Press; 2021.|
AMA journal article citation
|AMA journal article citation format||Author last name Initials. Article title. Journal Name. Year;Volume(Issue):Page range. DOI or URL.|
|AMA reference||Paul CL, Carey ML, Sanson-Fisher RW, Houlcroft LE, Turon, HE. The impact of web-based approaches on psychosocial health in chronic physical and mental health conditions. Health Educ Res. 2013;28(3):450–471. doi:10.1093/her/cyt053.|
AMA website citation
|AMA website citation format||Author last name Initials. Page title. Website Name. Published Month Day, Year. Accessed Month Day, Year. URL.|
|AMA reference||Pelc C. Prescription steroids affect brain structure, study finds. Published September 6, 2022. Accessed September 8, 2022. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/prescription-steroids-affect-brain-structure-study-finds.|
Numbering and ordering the references
Sources on the reference page are numbered based on the order they were first cited in the text.
Sources that were cited more than once still only have one reference entry; you use the same number for them in each AMA in-text citation. Never create multiple references for the same source.
It’s important to check that the numbering of your in-text citations still lines up with the numbering of the references themselves after you make any edits.
General formatting guidelines for AMA references
The specifics of AMA references (the exact information included and how to format it) vary by source type. But some general principles apply across source types:
- Author names are presented with the last name followed by the initial(s). There’s no comma after the last name and no periods or spaces between the initials. For example, “Ursula P. Ellington” would become “Ellington UP.”
- Up to six author names are included in a reference, separated by commas. For a source with seven or more authors, list the first three followed by “et al.”
- The titles of journal articles, web pages, and book chapters are presented in sentence case, with no italics.
- The names of books, journals, websites, and other self-contained sources are italicized and presented in title case.
- A DOI should always be included when available, presented like this: “doi:10.1093/her/cyt053.” When you include a DOI, you don’t need a URL.
- An access date is always included with a URL. For example, “Accessed September 8, 2022.”
Frequently asked questions
- How do I create AMA references?
An AMA reference usually includes the author’s last name and initials, the title of the source, information about the publisher or the publication it’s contained in, and the publication date. The specific details included, and the formatting, depend on the source type.
References in AMA style are presented in numerical order (numbered by the order in which they were first cited in the text) on your reference page. A source that’s cited repeatedly in the text still only appears once on the reference page.
- When should I use “et al” in AMA citation format?
The names of up to six authors should be listed for each source on your AMA reference page, separated by commas. For a source with seven or more authors, you should list the first three followed by “et al”: “Isidore, Gilbert, Gunvor, et al.”
In the text, mentioning author names is optional (as they aren’t an official part of AMA in-text citations). If you do mention them, though, you should use the first author’s name followed by “et al” when there are three or more: “Isidore et al argue that …”
Note that according to AMA’s rather minimalistic punctuation guidelines, there’s no period after “et al” unless it appears at the end of a sentence. This is different from most other styles, where there is normally a period.
- How do I cite the same source multiple times in AMA style?
This means you’ll always use the same number for the AMA in-text citation for that source, not a different number each time. You can add different page numbers to the citations to talk about specific parts of the source in each case, e.g. 1(pp13–15)