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AMA Style Guide: Other Sources

Created by Health Science Librarians

Comments on a Journal Article

Comments on publications are becoming increasingly commonplace. With this new avenue for critical commentary on the literature, you may need to cite a comment in a paper or manuscript. Take for example this comment left in PubMed.


Use following elements where applicable:

Author AA. Title of the paper [Title of the forum]. Title of the Journal Abbreviated. Year; volume(issue). URL. Published Month, Day, Year. Updated Month, Day, Year. Accessed Month, Day, Year.

Example:
Keller DL. Enough is enough [PubMed Commons]. Ann Intern Med. 2014; 160(11). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24887626#cm24887626_4774. Accessed July 28, 2014.

Conferences Posters / Proceedings

There are two types of conference materials that you may be interested in citing: Presented papers/posters and proceedings. The key difference between the two is that proceedings are published, typically in a journal.


Use following elements where applicable:

Presented paper/poster: Author AA, Author BB. Title of the poster or paper. Paper/Poster presented at Conference Name; Month Year; City, State Abbreviation.

Published Proceedings: Author AA, Author BB. Title of the poster or paper. Title of the Journal Abbreviated; Volume(Issue):Abstract number/Page Numbers.

Examples:
Liu S. Defending against business crises with the help of intelligent agent based early warning solutions. Paper presented at the Seventh International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems; May 2005; Miami, FL.
Herculano-Houzel S, Collins CE, Wong P, Kaas JH, Lent, R. The basic nonuniformity of the cerebral cortex. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.; 105: 12593-12598.

Dictionary

For dictionaries, it is generally bad practice to cite dictionary definitions in academic papers. But you may be discussing different uses of a word, in which case, you would need to cite a dictionary. Dictionaries often have no authors present for individual entries, but generally have editors who edit the work.


Use following elements where applicable:

Entry name. In: Editors , ed(s). Title of the dictionary. Edition (if applicable). Publisher's location (city, state, or, for Canada, city, province, country, or, all others, city, country): publisher's name; year of publication and /or last update.

Examples:
Cimex lenticuaris. In Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 31st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2007.
Collusion. In: Sauber S, L'Abate L, Weeks G, Buchanan W, eds. The dictionary of family psychology and family therapy. 2nd ed. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc; 1993.

 

Dissertations

Use following elements where applicable:

Unpublished Dissertation: Author AA. Title of dissertation [dissertation]. City: University; Year.

Example:
Fenster, SD. Cloning and Characterization of Piccolo, a Novel Compontent of the Presynaptic Cytoskeletal Matrix [dissertation]. Birmingham: University of Alabama; 2000.

Drug Inserts

Use following elements where applicable:

Name of drug. [package insert]. Manufacturer's Location (Town, State): Manufacturer's Name; Year

Example:
Lamasil [package insert]. East Hanover, NJ: Sandoz Pharmaceuticals Corp; 1993.

Drug Databases

For databases, they can be broken down into databases with and without authors. For some databases, like UpToDate, the author(s) of the section is/are listed. You should cite the author and name the editor if available; note for UpToDate that Denise S. Basow is the editor for UpToDate so cite her rather than the section or deputy editors for the entry you are citing. For database entries without authors, you can cite the database as the author.


Use following elements where applicable:

Author(s). Title of the database [database online]. Publisher's location (city, state, or, for Canada, city, province, country, or, all others, city, country): publisher's name; year of publication and /or last update. URL [provide URL and verify that the link still works as close as possible to publication]. Accessed [date].

Examples:
Facts & Comparisons eAnswers. Drug Facts and Comparisons. Indianapolis, IN: Wolters Kluwer Health; 2021. http://online.factsandcomparisons.com/. Accessed January 2, 2021.
 
Micromedex Healthcare Series. DRUGDEX System. Greenwood Village, CO: Truven Health Analytics, 2021. http://www.thomsonhc.com/. Accessed March 20, 2021.
 
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research Faculty; 2021. http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com/. Accessed September 17, 2021.

Electronic Book

Electronic books are handled very similarly to print books, except with the addition of a URL and date accessed.


Use following elements where applicable:

Full books:

Authors(s) (or Editors eds. after name). Book Title. Edition. (city, state, or, for Canada, city, province, country, or, all others, city, country): publisher's name; year of publication. Accessed [Month Date, year].

Example:
Brown K, Simpson E. Obesity and breast cancer. New York, NY: Springer; 2014. URL: http://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-1-4899-8002-1. Accessed January 22, 2014.

Chapters:

Author(s). Chapter title. In: Editors, ed(s). Book Title. Edition. Publisher's location (city, state, or, for Canada, city, province, country, or, all others, city, country): publisher's name; year of publication. URL: [provide the URL and verify that the link works before submission]. Accessed [Date]. Pages.

Example:
Murphy F, Fawcett S, Schultz J, Holt C. Fundamental Core Concepts in the Community Engagement, Organization, and Development Process. In: Murphy F, ed. Community Engagement, Organization, and Development for Public Health Practice. New York, NY: Springer; 2013. URL: https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=478522&site=ehost-live. Accessed January 22, 2014.1-24.

Government/Organization Reports

Use following elements where applicable:

Reports with named authors: Author AA. Title of the report. URL. Series Name and series number. Published Month, Day, Year. Updated Month, Day, Year. Accessed Month, Day, Year.

Institutional authors: Name of the organization. Title of the report. URL. Series Name and series number. Published Month, Day, Year. Updated Month, Day, Year. Accessed Month, Day, Year.

Example:
American Psychological Association, Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls. Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls. http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/girls/report.aspx. Accessed July 26, 2014.

Graphs

In papers or manuscripts you shouldn't cite or reproduce a specific graph from a paper, so there isn't a formal rule regarding how to give attribution when reproducing a graph in a presentation. It is generally recommended to attribute the graph as you would anything else. So let's say you want to attribute this graph:

Graph from New Zealand's National Institute for Communicable Diseases' Monthly Surveillance Report

Which was taken from the Graph from New Zealand's National Institute for Communicable Diseases' Monthly Surveillance Report available here: http://www.nicd.ac.za/assets/files/Monthly%20NICD%20Surveillance%20Report%20-%20January%202013.pdf


Attribute it with a number and then cite the report as you would any other report. If you need help with how to do that, see our section above on citing Organization or Government reports.

Authors (or Organization). Title of table or description of data. Journal/original publisher. Publication year; issue: pages.

Example:

1. National Institute for Communicable Diseases'. Number of Salmonella cases by month in South Africa, 2012 and 2013. National Institute for Communicable Diseases' Monthly Surveillance Report. http://www.nicd.ac.za/assets/files/Monthly%20NICD%20Surveillance%20Report%20-%20January%202013.pdf Accessed 11/21/2014.

Images

In papers or manuscripts you shouldn't cite or reproduce a specific image from a paper, so there isn't a formal rule regarding how to give attribution when reproducing a image in a presentation. It is generally recommended to attribute the image as you would anything else. So let's say you want to attribute this image:

Graph from Children’s Food Environment State Indicator Report, 2011

This was taken from the State-Specific Trends in Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Among Adults --- United States, 2000--2009 report from the CDC available here: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5935a1.htm?s_cid=mm5935a1_w


Attribute it with a number and then cite the report as you would any other report. If you need help with how to do that, see our section above on citing Organization or Government reports.

Example:
Author of image (if given). Title of image. In:Author of electronic resource (if given). Electronic Resource Title [medium]. Version number (if given). Place of publication: Publisher; date of publication.

In Process

In Process is the designation for manuscripts which have been submitted, but not accepted for publication. The reasoning for specifying the year the manuscript was written rather than when it was submitted is that the publication process may take enough time to cause a disparity between the year it was submitted to the publisher and the year it is published. You should not name the journal it was submitted to because the manuscript may be rejected by the journal and resubmitted to another journal which would cause your citation to be misleading and inaccurate.


In AMA, material submitted for publication but not accepted is considered unpublished data.

Use following elements where applicable in text:

A.A. Author, Degree abbreviated (unpublished data, year manuscript was written)

Example:
Similar findings have been noted by Roberts6 and H.E. Harman, MD (unpublished data, 2005) .

In Press

In Press is the term used for articles which have been accepted for publication by a journal, but not formally published. There may be advanced copies of the article available from the publisher's website, but since it has been formally published is no volume or page numbers. In cases of an article being available on the publisher's website, you may need to include some additional information to complete the citation.


Use following elements where applicable:

Author AA. Title. Journal (Abbreviated). In press.

Example:
Brown JE. The relation between citations and references. J Med Style. In press.

Issue Briefs

Use following elements where applicable:

Name of Instutiton or Organization. Title of the issue brief. Journal. Year of publication: Issue Brief Number.

Example:
Employee Benefit Research Institute. Sources of Health Insurance and Characteristics of the Uninsured: Analysis of the March 1994 Current Population Survey. 1995: 158.

Legal Documents

Note that legal cases can be varied. They can include: court cases (opinions) and legislative materials such as Congressional Hearings, US Federal Bills and Resolutions, US Federal Reports, US Federal Statues, US Federal Administrative Regulations, US State Bills and Resolutions, and US State Statutes.

They can be broadly grouped into the categories or: court cases, legislation, and legal journals.

Legislation may include enacted laws, which are entered into the US Code (USC) or state statutes and given a section number (§), and debated laws.

Legal references gathered online will include all the information listed below plus the URL and accessed date, as any other online reference.


You may need to consult section 3.16 of the AMA manual for a full elaboration of the item you are citing, but briefly here are the basics.

Use following elements where applicable:

For legal cases: First party v Second party, Reporter Volume & Number Official reporter abbreviation & First page of the case or specific case used. (Deciding court and year of decision).

For legislation:

  • Enacted laws/Statues: Official name of the act, title number, the abbreviation of the code cited, the section number (the date the code edition cited).
  • Laws under debate but not enacted: Name of the bill, abbreviated name of the chamber (S) for Senate or (HR) for House of Representatives, number of the legislative body, session number (if available), year of publication.
  • Law Journals: Cited like any other journal entry.
Examples:
Bradley v University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Ctr, 3 F3d 922, 924 (5th Cir 1993).
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 USC §9601-9675 (1988).
Medical Error Reduction Act of 2000, S 2038, 106th Cong, 2nd Sess (2000).

Personal Correspondence

Personal correspondence is not listed in the references in either AMA or APA. You should cite it in-text, but refrain from putting it into your reference list. Personal correspondence includes:

  • lectures
  • conversations
  • letters
  • emails

While not all journals require permission from the source of the correspondence, it is good form to request permission from the source before citing them.


Note the highest academic degree where appropriate. If the affiliate of the communicator is important to the author of the message, then note it, for example if the communication came from a drug manufacturer.

Use following elements where applicable:

Name, Form of the communication, and Date, using the Month and Year.

Examples:
In a conversation with J. Doe, MD (July 2013) ...
According to a letter from J. Doe, MD in July 2013 ...
According to J. Doe, MD (oral communication, July 2013)
There have been no subsequent reactions to the exposed groups (J. Doe, MD, e-mail communication, July 13, 2013)

Tables

In papers or manuscripts you shouldn't cite or reproduce a specific table from a paper, so there isn't a formal rule regarding how to give attribution when reproducing a table in a presentation. It is generally recommended to attribute the table as you would anything else. So let's say you want to attribute this table:

Table from WHO's Weekly epidemiological record Leprosy Update, 2011

This was taken from the Leprosy update 2011 report from the WHO's Weekly epidemiological record available here: http://www.who.int/wer/2011/wer8636.pdf?ua=1


Attribute it with a number and then cite the report as you would any other report. If you need help with how to do that, see our section on citing Organization or Government reports.

Authors. Title of table or description of data. Journal/original publisher. Publication year;issue:pages.

Theses

Use following elements where applicable:

Thesis Dissertation: Author AA. Title of master's thesis [master's thesis]. City: University; Year.

Example:
Undeman, C. Fully Automatic Segmentation of MRI Brain Images Using Probabilistic Diffusion and a Watershed Scale-Space Approach [master's thesis]. Stockholm, Sweden: NADA, Royal Institute of Technology; 2001.

Unpublished Meeting Items

Unpublished meeting items can include conferences which do not publish posters or briefs, oral or poster presentations.


Use following elements where applicable:

Name. Title of the item. Paper or poster presented at: Meeting of organization name; Month, Year; Location.

Example:
Durbin D, Kallan M, Elliott M. Risk of injury to restrained children from passenger air bags. Paper presented at: 46th Annual Meeting of the Association for the Advancement for Automotive Medicine; September 2002; Tempe, AZ.

Web Pages / Web Sites

Use following elements where applicable:

Author/Website Title. Article title/page title. URL. Published Month Date, year. Updated Month Date, Year. Accessed Month Date, Year. 

Example:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website. CDC in the 21st Century. http://www.cdc.gov/about/organization/mission.htm. Updated April 14, 2014. Accessed July 25, 2014.