. . . Skip to main content

AMA Style: Citing Your Sources: Citing Print Materials

Use AMA Style (American Medical Association Style) to format papers.

Citing and Writing Handouts

Tips for Citations

Capitalization of titles in references:

For all titles in citations, retain the original spelling, abbreviations, and capitalization as originally published.

If no original capitalization is available, follow these rules:

Book titles: capitalize all major words. Do not capitalize the, an, a, in, for, or but, unless this word begins the title. Acronyms (NIH, HIV, etc.) should be shown in all caps. 

Chapter titles within books: capitalize only the first word. Acronyms (NIH, HIV, etc.) should be shown in all caps.

Journal titles: capitalize all major words. Do not capitalize the, an, a, in, for, or but, unless this word begins the title. Acronyms (NIH, HIV, etc.) should be shown in all caps. 

Journal article titles: capitalize only the first word. Acronyms (NIH, HIV, etc.) should be shown in all caps. 

Personal communications:

AMA Style states that personal communications such as phone calls, emails, conversations, etc. are not included in the reference list. However, you should cite these materials parenthentically within the text. Provide the name and highest academic degree of the author, type of communication, and date sent. If this would compromise patient anonymity, replace the name with a title and remove the day of communication.

Examples:

Individuals on this new experimental drug should not take aspirin. (Sara P. Norris, M.D., email communication, November 3, 2012.)

For all five patients I have seen with this rare disorder, I have prescribed Interferon. (Physician at LAC + USC Healthcare Network, phone call, October 2012).

Anonymous works:

Follow the citation style for book, journal, web site, etc., and omit the author name. 

Non-scholarly materials appearing in journals (editorials, letters to the editor, comments, interviews, etc.):

Include the article type in [brackets] after the title.

Example:

Boden WE, Roberts WC. Williams Edward Boden, MD: a conversation with the editor [Interview]. Am J Cardiol. 2012;110(1):145-159.

How to cite information when there is no guidance on this website:

Read the AMA Manual of Style, section 3, to find guidance for citing many other types of publications and information.

If there is no guidance on your specific type of information, adapt an existing AMA citation style.

Print materials

Print journal article:

Towfighi A, Markovic D, Ovbiagele B. Utility of framingham coronary disease risk score for predicting cardiac risk after stroke. Stroke. 2012;43(11):2942-2947.

Print book:

Wasserman K, Hansen JE, Sue DY, et al. Principles of Exercise Testing and Interpretation: Including Pathophysiology and Clinical Applications. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott William and Wilkins, 2012. 

Entire edited print book:

Alldredge BK, Corelli RL, Ernst ME, et al., eds. Koda-Kimble and Young’s Applied Therapeutics: The Clinical Use of Drugs. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2013.

Chapter within an edited book:

Relling MV, Giacomini KM. Pharmacogenomics. In: Brunton LL, Chabner BA, Knollmann BC, eds. Goodman and Gilman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. 12th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2011: 145-168.