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Pharmacy School Research Guide: AMA Style Guide

Learn how to use databases like PubMed and ClinicalKey to find guidelines, or find links to guidelines through society websites..

Please note: This guide is no longer being updated and will be removed on Oct. 1, 2019.
Please use this guide instead, Pharmacy Resources, and update your bookmarks to the new URL:

All information in this guide has been adapted from the AMA Manual of Style (10th ed.).

AMA Manual of Style

Things to Note

  • In your bibliography, references are listed in the order they are cited. 
  • In-text citations use superscript numbers in numberical order. 1
  • Use the NLM catalog to find journal title abbreviations. 
  • In your references, authors should appear in the order they appear in the item. Don't use punctuation between the last name and initials. 
  • When there are more then 6 authors, include only the first three authors followed by et al. 
  • If you can't find a specific example of the reference you are trying 

Citations & Plagiarism

Learn why it is important to cite your sources and how to avoid plagiarism. 

Reference Examples

Find examples of how to cite electronic and print journals articles, electronic and print books, and online resources like LexiComp and UpToDate.

Instructions on how to cite additional sources not included in this list can be found in the AMA Manual of Style, available in the reference section at any of the MCW Libraries locations. 

Journal Articles

Notes: When the DOI is given for a journal article, AMA style prefers that the DOI is cited instead of the URL. If not DOI is given, include the URL. Do not cite both. If there are more than 6 authors listed, include the first three followed by et al.


  1. Author(s). Article title. Abbreviated Journal Name. Year;volume(issue):pages.

Online, DOI

  1. Author(s). Article title. Abbreviated Journal Name. Year;volume(issue):pages. doi:.

Online, URL

  1. Author(s). Article title. Abbreviated Journal Name. Year;volume(issue):pages. URL. Publication date. Updated date. Accessed date.

Online, Epub Ahead of Print

  1. Author(s). Article title [published online ahead of print, date].  Abbreviated Journal Name. doi:.


  1. Culshaw J, Kendall D, Wilcock A. Off-label prescribing in palliative care: a survey of independent prescribers. Palliat Med. 2013;27(4):314-319.
  2. Bouwmeester C, Kraft J, Bungay KM. Optimizing inhaler use by pharmacist-provided education to community-dwelling elderly. Respir Med. 2015;109(10)1363-1368. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2015.07.013.
  3. Hummer J. Lean process in pharmacy renewal. AAACN Viewpoint. 2010;32(1)1-11.,ip,cpid&custid=s6945693&db=c8h&AN=105302731&site=ehost-live&scope=site. Accessed August 1, 2017.
  4. Park BK. Ultrasound-guided genitourinary interventions: principles and techniques [published online ahead of print May 29, 2017]. Ultrasonography. doi: 10.14366/usg.17026.


Note: When referring to an entire book, rather than pages or a specific section, use the Print or Online formats.  When citing an entire book, all major words in the title should be capitalized. If you are citing pages from a print book, include the page numbers at the end of the citation. e.g. copyright year:xxx-xxxx.


  1. Author(s) or Editors(s) {If you are listing the editors, include .eds. after the list of editors}. Book Title. Edition number (do not indicate 1st edition). City, State (or, Province or Country) of publication: Publisher name; copyright year.


  1. Author(s) or Editors(s) {If you are listing the editors, include .eds. after the list of editors}. Book Title. Edition number (do not indicate 1st edition). City, State (or, Province or Country) of publication: Publisher’s name; copyright year. URL. Accessed date.

Book Chapter, Online

  1. Author(s) of chapter. Chapter title. In: editor(s), ed. Book Title. Edition number (do not indicate 1st edition). City, State (or, Province or Country) of publication: Publisher name; copyright year. URL. Accessed date.


  1. Bertino JS. Pharmacogenomics: An Introduction and Clinical Perspective. New York: McGraw-Hill Medical; 2013.
  2. Abbas AK, Lichtman AH, Pillai S. Basic Immunology: Functions and Disorders of the Immune System. 5th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2016.!/browse/book/3-s2.0-C20140041366. Accessed August 1, 2017.
  3. Moores KG, Kee VR. Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines. In: Malone PM, Kier KL, Stanovich JE, Malone MJ. eds. Drug Information: A Guide for Pharmacists. 5th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2013. Accessed August 01, 2017.

Online Resources & Websites


Note: The AMA Manual of Style does not have a specific example for referencing UpToDate.  This example has been taken from the UpToDate website.

Cite the UpToDate topic review as a chapter in a book titled UpToDate, edited by T.W. Post, published by UpToDate in Waltham, MA.  As an online service, there are no page numbers to cite.  Since UpToDate is updated every four months, the publication year for any topic review should be the current year.


  1. Townsend, RR. Major side effects of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers. In: Post T, ed. UpToDate. Waltham, MA.: UpToDate; 2016. Accessed August 1, 2017.



Drug Name. In: (Specific database title). Publication City, State/Province: Publisher. [drug updated (if not given, then use date published); access date]. URL.

Example from Lexicomp:

  1.  Valbenazine. In: Lexi-Drugs.  Hudson, OH: Lexi-Comp, Inc. [Updated July 27, 2017; Accessed August 1, 2017].


Epocrates Mobile App

Note: The AMA Manual of Style does not have a specific example for referencing mobile apps. 

Authors (if specified). Content accessed. Database Name and Version (when applicable) [device or platform]. Database vendor city, state. Accessed Month day, year.


  1. Warfarin [monograph]. Epocrates Version. 17.7.1 [iPad]. Epocrates, Inc, San Francisco, CA. Available from  Accessed September 5, 2017.


Johns Hopkins ABX Guide

Article author(s).  Title of the topic. Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University; 2017. Available from Accessed date. 


  1. Dzintars K, Pham PA. Docosanol. In: Auwaerter PG, Bartlett JG. eds. Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University; 2017. Available from Accessed June 18, 2018.  

Note:  Only cite what information is available (e.g. author name, updated date, etc.).

Author(s). Title of specific item cited (or, if unavailable, give the name of the organization responsible for the site). Name of Web Site. URL. Publication date. Updated date.  Accessed date.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship. Updated September 24, 2018. Accessed January 14, 2019.
  2. Warfarin: Generic. Epocrates Online. 2017. Accessed September 5, 2017.


Grateful acknowledgement to Caitlin Carter, MLIS, Liaison Librarian for Pharmacy at the University of Waterloo for permission to use and modify her template.

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