How to Do a Reference Page in AMA Format: Step by Step Guide

How to Do a Reference Page in AMA Format

AMA reference style is a particular form of formatting used widely in medical-related studies. American Medical Association format involves a list of full citations corresponding to in-text references throughout a document. This particular documentary-note style utilizes superscripts that make it easier for the readers to locate their chosen references.

AMA reference style is considered one of the most flexible citation styles as it has no fixed formatting. However, when there are no provided regulations to be used, general guidelines should be followed.

There are a few specifics to follow when citing in AMA format.

AMA Citation: Reference Page

An AMA style reference list is a compilation of sources cited in a research paper. We can find the reference page at the last portion of our text numerically arranged according to an order of citation. A single space is necessary within citations, while double spacing is used between sources. This part of a document is essential because it helps us differentiate between our original ideas and concepts derived from other studies, journals, thesis, and books. Aside from this, the AMA style reference list gives necessary evidence to support your claims and allows your readers to view your sources.

AMA Format: Reference Page

The AMA reference guide has no concrete formatting, regarding headers, the font used, and margins. As such, we should ask instructors’ preferences and particular guidelines before creating the reference page. Some prefer the latest eleventh edition of AMA citation, while others lean towards the tenth edition.

When a professor has not provided specified formatting, follow general guidelines of AMA style:

  • 1-inch margins and 0.5-inch indention
  • Use single spacing for everything, except for the main text, which requires double spaces
  • For font, use Times New Roman size 12
  • Page numbers are located in the top right corner, including title page
  • Page headers are on the opposite top left-hand corner

AMA Reference Format: Authors

AMA reference page format has various specifications on how to create citations depending on the number of authors or organizations involved. Each in-text citation should trace to matching full citation on a reference page. Here are the general AMA rules we follow:

  • Identify authors by including their last names and initials only
  • Up to six authors or editors from the material should be cited on a reference page
  • If there are more than 6 authors, provide the first three names and add “et al” for remaining ones.
  • If no author name is available, begin your citation with a source title. This also applies to a group or organization.

AMA Reference List: Title

How do you include an author’s title in an AMA reference? Titles should be cited according to the original publication format, including abbreviations and spelling. However, if the original capitalization is not available, AMA edition has guidelines to follow:

  • Book and journal titles should have important words capitalized. Include acronyms written in all capitals.
  • The chapter title’s first word of sections of books and journals cited should be capitalized. Acronyms should also be referenced using all caps. Journal names should also be italicized.
  • If there are available official journal abbreviations, use them instead of a full name. You can find it in NLM Catalogue or listed in AMA Manual of Style.
  • Government bulletins, gazettes, pamphlets, and other document sources should follow this AMA reference list’s general format.

AMA Reference Page: Example

AMA sample reference page should correspond to the matching in-text citations marked with superscript numerals. These superscript numbers should be positioned after a sentence being tagged. It also should be located outside periods and commas. But put before colons and semicolons.

There is a specific reference format to follow when listing the materials cited to provide uniformity in the list of information. Here are some examples of different MLA references:


Here is the formula of book citation:


Author’s Last Name, Initials. Book Title. Edition number (if it is the second edition or above). Publisher’s name; copyright year.

Example: Use Title Case for Titles and create a table with 2 columns

Melhorn, J.M. AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Disease and Injury Causation. Chicago: American Medical Association; 2014.

Here is the formula of book citation with multiple authors (with DOI):


Authors’ Last Names, Initials., et al. Book Title. Edition number (if it is the second edition or above). Publisher’s name; copyright year. DOI (for e-books).


Christiansen, S., Cintron, M., Desai, A., et al. AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors. Oxford University Press; 2007. DOI: 10.1093/jama/9780195176339.001.0001

We provide you with a general format on how to cite a specific chapter:


Author’s Last Name and Initials. Chapter title. Editor, eds. In: Author, Title. edition. Publisher; Year: pages. Accessed Month Date, Year. URL.

Example of citing a specific chapter:

Frey T, Young RK. Correct and preferred usage. In: Christiansen S, Iverson C, Angeles A,et al. AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors. 11th ed. Texas University Press; 2020:345-365. Accessed September 3, 2021.



Let’s look at this format of citing a journal for a reference page:


Author Last Name First Initial. Article Title. Journal Title. Publication Year; Volume Number (Issue): Inclusive Pages. doi: #. [Or URL. Published or Updated or Accessed Month Day, Year.]

Here is an example of citing a journal for a reference page:

Rondinelli R. Commentary on the reliability of the AMA Guides to the evaluation of permanent impairment. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2015;52(12):1204-1205. DOI: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31820061f3

Without DOI:

Barclay W. AMA welcomes Dr. Soffer. Archives of Internal Medicine, 1976;136(7):755-755. Published 1976. Accessed September 9, 2021.

With Abbreviated Title:

Florez HR, Samantha RL. Outdoor exercise minimizes the risk of hypovitaminosis in the obese. J Steroid Chem Mol Bio. 2007;103(3-5):679-681. doi:10.1016 /j.jsbmb.2006.12.032.

Here is a format for journal citation with no author:


Article Title. Journal Title. URL. Publication Year. Accessed Month Date, Year.

Here is an example:

Research guides. USC Libraries. 2020. Accessed September 9, 2021.

Government organizations

Let’s look at how to cite government organizations:


Organization Name. Article Title. URL. Publication Year. Accessed Month Date, Year.

Here is an example of how to cite government organization:

World Health Organization. Equitable access to essential medicines: a framework for collective action. Published March 2004. Accessed September 3, 2021.


Here is a general formula for citing a web page with the author:


Author Last Name First Initial [or Responsible Body]. Webpage or document Name. Website Name. URL. Published Month Day, Year. Updated Month Day, Year. Accessed Month Day, Year.

Example of citing web pages with the author:

Carlson S. Step up Your Activity to Help Lower Risk of Diabetes. Mayo Clinic website. Published June 4, 2015. Accessed September 3, 2021.

Here is also a formula for citing a web page with no author:


Webpage or document Name. Website Name. URL. Updated Month Day, Year. Accessed Month Day, Year.

Citation of web pages with no author:

Citation Styles: APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, IEEE. University of Pittsburgh. Updated August 11, 2021. Accessed September 3, 2021.

Final Thoughts on AMA Style Reference Page

The reference list AMA format is used primarily when creating materials related to the field of Science. As such, formatting references according to the general or specified guidelines is necessary. This is to ensure that the original sources are organized and arranged for easier verification.

American Medical Association style is a variant of Vancouver style similarly used in science fields. AMA is unique because it incorporates superscript numerals in its in-text citation. This makes it easier for your readers to locate specific sources for further viewing. This is a fresh style of formatting, not arranging its references alphabetically. Which eases the burden of scrolling through a variety of sourcing materials.

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