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AMA Format and Style Guide

AMA Style for Sources in PRINT format

Delta College Library - AMA Style for Print Sources

The following examples represent some of the more common citations requested at Delta Library.  When in doubt, please access the AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th Edition) (Call number (Reference section): R 119 .A533 2007), or ask your teacher.


Book (unknown author)

Physical Therapy Assistants. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott; 2009.

Book (one author)

Bottomley JM. Geriatric Rehabilitation: A Textbook for the Physical Therapist Assistant.
Thorofare, NJ: SLACK Inc.; 2010.

Book (more than one author, but less than six) 

Nosse LJ, Friberg DG, Kovacek PR. Management and Supervisory Principles for Physical Therapists. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2010.

Book (more than six authors)

List first three authors followed by “et al”.

Bandy W, Morris T, Williams TH, et al. Therapeutic Exercise. Philadelphia, PA:
Lippincott; 2009.


Book (with an editor)

Cameron M, ed. Physical Agents in Rehabilitation: From Research to Practice. St. Louis, MO: Saunders/Elsevier; 2009.

Book (with edition number)

Cowen PS, Moorhead S. eds. Current Issues in Nursing. 7th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier; 2006.

Book (with a corporate author)

World Health Organization. Older Persons in Emergencies: An Active Ageing Perspective. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2008.

Chapter in a book

Dolter KJ. Educational challenges: the crisis in quality. In: Cowen PS, Moorhead S. eds. Current Issues in Nursing. 7th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier; 2006:68-85.

Journals and Magazines

Authors’ surnames and initials follow the same rules as seen with books. Abbreviate and italicize names of journals.  Abbreviate the titles of journals according to the listing within the PubMed Journals database. The following link will take you to PubMed where you can input the title of the journal and then the database will present the abbreviation: The opposite is true, also. You can type the abbreviation and you will be able to determine the full title of the journal.  Popular, general-interest magazines and newspapers may not be contained within the PubMed database. You can type the full title of magazines and newspapers if they are not within PubMed. Following are examples on how to cite articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers in print form (not electronic).

Here are some general rules for the AMA format. Please try to include:

  • Authors’ last name and initials.
  • Title of article and subtitle.
  • Abbreviated name of the journal in italics.
  • Year that the article was published.
  • Volume number of the journal.
  • Issue number of the journal.
  • Part or supplement number when appropriate.
  • Page numbers.

Foster RL, O'Driscoll M. Current concepts in the conservative management of the frozen shoulder. Phys Ther Rev. 2010;15(5):399-404.

Please note in the example above that Foster and O’Driscoll are the authors of the article. The title of the article is “Current concepts in the conservative management of the frozen shoulder.” Phys Ther Rev is the abbreviated journal title for Physical Therapy Reviews. 2010 is the year that the article was published. 15 is the volume number. 5 is the issue number. This article can be found between pages 399 and 404.

More examples:

Thomas JL, Wilk JE, Riviere LA, McGurk D, Casatro CA, Hoge CW. Prevalence of mental
health problems and functional impairment among active component and National Guard
soldiers 3 and 12 months following combat in Iraq. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010;67(6):614-623.

Brady K, Pearlstein T, Asnis GM, et al. Efficacy and safety of sertraline treatment of
posttraumatic stress disorder. JAMA. 2000;283(14):1837-1844.

Seppa N. New drug offers relief for arthritis. Science News. 2009;176(3):8.

Superficial heat.  Physiother Can. 2010; 62(5): 47-54.


Health agencies offer numerous programs. Saginaw News. February 18, 2009:6H.

Wade N. Agency proposes U.S-paid research on stem cells from early human egg. New York Times. February 20, 2010:A8.

Government Documents or Agency Bulletins

National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health and Human Services. Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research: A Report to the NIH Obesity Research Task Force. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health; 2004. NIH publication 04-5493.

Johnston LD, O’Malley PM, Bachman JG. Monitoring the Future: National Survey Results on Adolescent Drug Use: Overview of Key Findings. Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2003.

DVD, Audiotape, or Videotape (VHS)

Fuller JR. Surgical Technology: Principles and Practice [DVD]. St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier; 2010.

Personal Communication

The tenth edition of the AMA Manual of Style states “Do not include personal communications in the list of references.” However you can cite a personal communication “in text.” For example:

  • In a conversation with Professor Duley (September 2011)…
  • According to the company spokesperson (Randy Jones, oral communication, August 2010), the physical agent will be available soon.


The AMA Manual of Style states about email that, “References to e-mail and e-mail list messages, like those to other forms of personal communications should be listed parenthetically in the text rather than in the reference list and should include the name and highest academic degree(s) of the person who sent the message and the date the message was sent.”

For example:

  • There have been no subsequent reports of toxic reactions in the exposed groups (Joan Smith, MD, email communication, March 29, 2004).

Email Listserv Thread

How authors learn writing skills. WAME listserv discussion. October 19-22, 2005. Accessed February 20, 2006.