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Physical Therapy: AMA Formatting

Formatting sources

In-Text Citations

All information taken from sources needs to be cited. For in-text citations:

  • Number citations consecutively throughout the paper.
    • If the same source is cited repeatedly, use the same number for subsequent citations
  • Use Arabic numeral superscripts outside periods and commas but inside colons and semicolons.
  • When more than two references are cited at a given place in the text, use hyphens to join the first and last numbers of a closed series; use commas (no space) to separate other parts of multiple citations.

                        As reported previously,1,3-8,19

  • Do not use a superscript immediately after a numeral or unit of measurement.
  • To cite a different page number in a single source, include the page number in the superscript; include the source only once on the References list.

Westman5(pp3,5) reported 8 cases

  • When using signal phrases/author tags containing authors’ names:
    • For sources with two authors use both authors’ names
    • For sources with three or more authors, use the first author’s name followed by et al:

Chasson and Revere4 report no increase in morbidity, but Stefanik et al5 suggest that more research is needed.

References List

References List

Sources cited in the paper must appear on the list of references, and every source on the list of references must be cited in the paper.

  • References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are cited in the paper.
  • Two references should not be combined under a single number.
  • Use italics and headline-style capitalization for book and journal titles; use Roman type and sentence-style capitalization for article titles.
  • Names of journals are abbreviated; see the NLM Catalog at for standard abbreviations
  • Personal communications (such as emails and conversations) should be cited parenthetically in the text of the paper but should not be included on the references list.

Authors’ Names on References List:

Authors' names should be written with the last name first, followed by a comma and the first initial (and second initial, if available), without spaces or periods between initials:

  • One Author:                          Jones CJ.
  • Two authors:                         Jones CJ, Garcia L.
  • Three to six Authors:           Jones CJ, Garcia L, Sand TA, Kim N, Loess L, Pratt ET.
  • More than six authors:        Jones CJ, Garcia L, Sand TA, et al.

Editor's Names on References List:

Editors' names are written in the same style as authors' names but are followed by the abbreviation "ed" or "eds."

Source Titles on References List:

  • Write titles of articles and book chapters in Roman type without quotation marks, using sentence-style capitalization; do not capitalize the first word of a subtitle.
  • Write titles of books, government documents, and pamphlets in italics, using headline-style capitalization (capitalize the first letter of the first word and all important words thereafter, including prepositions of four or more letters).
  • Write abbreviated names of journals in italics, using headline style capitalization.

Formats for Common Sources

Journal Article

Author(s). Article titleAbbreviated Journal Name. Year;vol(issue):inclusive pages. doi (for online articles).

  1. Rainier S, Thomas D, Tokarza D, et al. Myofibrillogensis regulator 1 gene mutations cause paroxysmal dystonic choreoathetosis. Arch Neurol. 2004;61(7):1025-1029.
  2. Bartoli A, Gabrielli F, Alicandro T, Nascimbeni F, Andreone P. COVID-19 treatment options: a difficult journey between failed attempts and experimental drugsIntern Emerg Med. 2021;16(2):281-308. doi:10.1007/s11739-020-02569-9


  •  Abbreviated journal names are most easily found by searching the National Library of Medicine’s catalog at
  • For journal articles first published online, or published only online, insert Published online date before the doi: e.g. Published online March 3, 2017. doi:10abcd/1234567890
  • For an online journal article without a doi, follow the page number with the Accessed date and URL.

Newspaper Article:

1.   Wolfe W. State’s mail-order drug plan launched. Minneapolis Star Tribune. May 14, 2004:1B.

Note. For newspaper articles accessed online, follow the page number with the Accessed date and URL.


  1. Author(s). Book Title. Edition number (if second or above). Publisher; copyright year.
  2. Modlin J, Jekins P. Decision Analysis in Planning for a Polio Outbreak in the United States. Pediatric Academic Societies; 2004.

Online Book:

  1. Author(s). Book Title. Edition number (if second or above). Publisher; copyright year. Accessed date. URL
  2. Lunney JR, Foley KM, Smith TJ, Gelband H, eds. Describing Death in America: What We Need to Know. National Cancer Policy Board, Institute of Medicine; 2003. Accessed December 6, 2005.

Chapter in a Book:

  1. Solensky R. Drug allergy: desensitization and treatment of reactions to antibiotics and aspirin. In: Lockey P, ed. Allergens and Allergen Immunotherapy. 33rd ed. Marcel Dekker; 2004:585-606.

Volumes and Editions:

  1. US Department of Health and Human Services. Understanding and Improving Health and Objectives for Improving Health. Vol 1. 2nd ed. US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2000.

Web Site: (Note: Include as much of the following information as is available)

  1. Author(s) (or, if no author is available, name of organization responsible for the site). Title of article. Name of Web site. Published date. Updated date. Accessed date. URL
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Interim guidance about avian influenza A (H5N1) for US citizens living abroad. Updated November 18, 2005. Accessed December 6, 2005. avian_flu_ig_americans_abraod-032405.htm
  3. Arthritis Foundation. Osteoarthritis. Accessed November 16, 2020.
  4. Everything you need to know about osteoarthritis. Healthline. Accessed November 16, 2020.
  5. Panchal N, Kamal R, Orgera K, et al. The implications of COVID-19 for mental health and substance use. KFF. Accessed November 16, 2020.

Social Media:

1.   JAMA Facebook page. Accessed November 2, 2019.

2.  Orellana J. Resources for references. AMA Style Insider blog. Posted October 25, 2019. Accessed November 2, 2019.

Secondary Citations and Quotations:

  1. Cauley JA, Lui L-Y, Ensrud KE, et al. Osteoporosis and fracture risk in women of different ethnic groups. JAMA. 2005;293(17):2102-2108. Cited by: Acheson LS. Bone Density and the risk of fractures: should treatment threshold vary by race [editorial]? JAMA. 2005;293(17):2151-2154.
  2. Kato S, Sherman PM. What is new related to Heliobacter pylori infection in children and teenagers? Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005;159(5):451-421. Quoted by: Prazar G. How many pediatricians does it take to change a practice? Or how to incorporate change into practice [editorial]. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005;159(5):500-502.