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AMA 11: In-Text Citations

Basic Principles of AMA In-Text Citations

AMA Style uses a superscript Arabic numeral system to refer readers to the reference list entry.

  • Cite using superscript numbers (e.g. 1,2 )
    • Number references in the order they appear in your paper 
    • Place numbered superscripts:
      • Immediately next to the fact, idea or quotation being cited
      • Outside commas and periods; inside colons and semicolons
  • Using author names in the text of your paper
    • Using author names is optional in AMA 
    • To use an author name:
      • Only use the authors’ last names
      • To refer to studies with one or two authors, include both names
      • For studies with 3 or more authors, include the first author's last name and then et al.

A recent study1 reported...
Given low levels of health literacy in the United States,2,3...
Yang et al.4 reviewed...
Other studies confirmed these findings.5-8
Multiple studies have proven that…9,12-15

Summarization, Paraphrasing, & Quotation

  • Paraphrases, quotations, adapted or reprinted tables and figures, and data sets require citations.
    • Only cite works you have read. Reading the abstract doesn't count!
  • Provide citations for facts and figures that are not common knowledge.
  • Avoid citing secondary sources (i.e. information first reported in another source).
  • Use research to support your claims:


Diabetes is an important issue in the United States.


Diabetes is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States.3,9-10

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