AMA Citations

Citing your References

Each reference needs to be cited in the text of your paper wherever you mention the ideas, information, or quotations you gained from them.  This citation mandate pertains to tables, figures, and images as needed.  Identify each reference with a superscript Arabic numeral - that's a regular number not a Roman numeral.  Put those superscript numbers outside of commas, periods, and quotation marks but leave them inside colons and semicolons.  Here are some hypothetical examples using the resources from the Citation Breakdown Tab.

A paper on the effectiveness of acupuncture

Studies show that SCR significantly increases after acupuncture stimulation and that fear of acupuncture-induced pain enhances physiological arousal to acupuncture stimulation.3


A paper on using nutrition to manage diabetes 

Weight management with medical nutrition therapy and increased physical activity are and integral part of the treatment strategies for people with T2DM. Recent studies show that there may be a short term advantage to low-carbohydrate diets.20


A paper on autism 

Twin and family studies strongly suggest that some people have a genetic predisposition to autism.  Identical twin studies show that if one twin is affected, there is up to a 90 percent chance the other twin will be affected.12 


Remember that you number your final Reference List according to where the resource first appears in your paper.  In writing my hypothetical paper on autism, this is the 12th resource I've used so it gets numbered 12 in my Reference List and gets the in-text superscript 12.  It's essentially a circle.

If you are referring to multiple resources, indicate that as a hyphenated series such as 7-10.

Citing Non-Reference List Sources

If it's not your independent thought or if you think up a related idea after reading someone elses work, you need to cite it.  This is true for conversations and unpublished work - say data from an experiment in progress - as well.  It's recommended that you include the date if possible.  Here are a few examples.

Unpublished data 

Similar findings have also been noted by noted by L. M. Ramirez (unpublished data, 2014)...

 Personal communications - a phone or in-person conversation 

According to the manufacturer (D.S. Smith, oral communication, June 2012) this thing is true. 

Personal communication - email or other written form

In an email from R. Xiang (March 1999) the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow was revealed.


In an email from R. Xiang in March 1999, the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow was revealed. 

All 3 of these situations could be credited in either way as under the personal communication - written.  As long as you credit the source, you are citing properly and not infringing upon copyright or intellectual property rights.



It is perfectly acceptable to directly quote from resources within your paper.  Use quotation marks.  If the material is more than 4 lines in length, use a block quotation.  Be sure to cite your resource with the proper in-text citation.