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A Quick Guide to Citing Books in AMA Style

AMA stands for the American Medical Association. Authors, editors, and publishers in medical, health, and scientific fields must use AMA Style as the standard format for documenting sources related to their research findings.

The AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (11th ed.) is the official document to use to give credit to all the authors and editors and avoid plagiarism.

Here are all the principles to follow when referencing books and writing in-text citations in AMA Style.

Principles of Formatting Reference Lists in AMA Style

There are different rules to follow when creating AMA reference entries, depending on the type of book you’re citing.

Printed Books

When referencing an entire printed book or a specific page or section, use the following format:

#. Author’s Last Name and Initial(s). (If there are up to six authors, list them all. Otherwise, list the first three and use “et al.”) Book Title: Subtitle, if any. Volume Number and Volume Title (if there’s more than one volume). Edition Number (don’t indicate first editions). Place of Publication: Publisher; Publication Year: Page or Page Range (without space after the colon).


  1. Warburton S, Hatzipanagos S. Digital Identity and Social Media. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference; 2013:17-20.
  2. Hurts D, Heath DA, Hines C, et al. Clinical Procedures for Ocular Examination. Vol. 3. 2nd ed. The United States: McGraw-Hill Education; 2004.

If there are editors and/or translators, use “ed.” for one editor, “eds.” for multiple editors, and “trans.” for any number of translators.


  1. Adkinson N, Yunginger J, Busse W, Bochner B, Holgate S, Middleton E, eds. Middleton’s Allergy: Principles and Practice. 6th Ed. St Louis, MO: Mosby; 2003.

When referencing a book chapter, use this format:

#. Chapter Author(s). Chapter title. In: Book Author(s) or Editor(s)/Translator(s). Book Title. Place of Publication: Publisher; Publication Year: Page or Page Range.


  1. Solensky R. Drug allergy: desensitization and treatment to reactions to antibiotics and aspirin. In: Lockey P, ed. Allergens and Allergen Immunotherapy. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker: 2004:585-606.

Online Books

When referencing an online book in AMA Style, use the same format for citing a printed book but include the URL and the date you accessed it.


  1. White SE, ed. Basic & Clinical Biostatistics. 5th ed. The United States: McGraw-Hill Education; 2020. Accessed December 16, 2021. 

Referencing a chapter is similar to printed books as well.


6. Levitzky MG. The respiratory system under stress. In: Levitzky MG, ed. Pulmonary Physiology. 9th ed. The United States: McGraw-Hill Education; 2017. Accessed December 18, 2021. 

Requirements for AMA In-Text Citations

When writing in-text citations in AMA Style, follow these rules:

  • Use superscript numbers to cite sources sequentially, like this.1
  • Place the superscript numbers inside colons2: and semicolons3; but outside commas,4 (parentheses)5, “quotation marks,”6 and full stops.7
  • Reuse numbers when citing the same references multiple times.
  • When citing multiple references at a time, separate them with commas and no space, and use a hyphen to indicate sequential references.1,4-6,8

Don’t use a superscript reference immediately after a number. For instance, instead of writing “These two studies included 142 and 203 patients, respectively,” write “These two studies included 14 patients2 and 203 patients, respectively.”

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