Skip to Main Content

Citation Guide


This guide is based on the AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors, the BUCOP standard for citation and reference format. Complete online access to the Manual is provided by Bunch Library through the link. This guide will give examples to common questions about AMA, but the Manual should still be consulted for more detailed information. 

This guide has been updated based on the 11th edition of the Manual.

The template for this guide was provided by AH Sheehan and VJ Killion, Purdue University,
revised by GL Engle May 2021

General Guidelines

Where do the superscripts go?

List references as superscripts at the end of sentences or phrases immediately next to the fact, concept, or quotation being cited. Example.1,3-5,8

  • Superscripts should be OUTSIDE periods and commas and INSIDE colons and semicolons

    • As reported previously,1,3–8,19

    • The derived data were as follows3,4:

    • Some physicians choose to store prescription pads in locked cabinets4; others keep them in their coats at all times.5

  • In the Reference List, references should be numbered consecutively with arabic numerals in the order in which they are cited in the text.

The exact rules in the AMA Manual of Style can be found here.

Should quotation marks be used in a citation?

Quotation marks should NOT be used in the citation. 

The exact rules in the AMA Manual of Style can be found here.

What are the rules for capitalization in citations?

For JOURNAL ARTICLE TITLES and CHAPTER TITLES in books, capitalize only:

  1. The first letter of the first word
  2. Proper names
  3. Names of clinical trials or study groups (eg, Ramucirumab plus erlotinib in patients with untreated, EGFR-mutated, advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (RELAY): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial)
  4. Abbreviations that are ordinarily capitalized (eg, DNA, EEG, VDRL).


  1. All MAIN words

The exact rules in the AMA Manual of Style can be found here.

How should the authors/editors be listed in the citation?

Authors should be listed in the order of appearance on the published work. NOT alphabetically.  

List author names with the author’s last name followed by initials, no periods.

  • Example: Ficzere CH, Ness GL. 

The full last name of the author should be spelled out.

  • Example:
    • Author's name: Karen Sarah Engle Plake
    • Citation: Engle Plake KS.

Standard Rule for Listing Authors/Editors

The exact rules in the AMA Manual of Style can be found here.

Belmont University Copyright Policy