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AMA Citation Style Basics: Online Journal Article

AMA Manual of Style

This guide is intended as a basic introduction to the AMA citation style.

Please consult the AMA Manual of Style eBook for more examples and in-depth information.

See sections: 3.15-3.15.1 for more information and examples about online articles.

See sections: 3.7-3.10 for author & title rules.

Guidelines for Online Journal Articles

For online journal articles, the format is the same as print plus additional information at the end of the reference indicating the location of the material. 

Two options:

Option 1: DOI (Digital Object Identifier):

  • This is the preferred method for AMA.
  • Many electronic journal articles now have a unique DOI (digital object identifier) assigned to it. The DOI provides a persistent link to the electronic item.
  • If the DOI is not provided, use the DOI Lookup to locate it. (Note: older articles may not have a DOI)

Option 2: URL:

  • Only use this option if the DOI is not available
  • Add the URL that will take the reader most directly to the article.
  • Include the accessed date (required)
  • Include the published and updated dates (if available)

 

Note: There may be variations between the print and online versions of the same article, so always cite the format that you consulted.

Examples of Online Journal Articles


Example: Online Journal Article with a DOI:

Fischer MA, Stedman MS, Lii J, et al. Primary medication non-adherence: analysis of 195,930 electronic prescriptions. J Gen Intern Med. 2010;25(4):284–290. doi:10.1007/s11606-010-1253-9.


Example: Online Journal Article with the URL


Stetler HC, Orenstein WA, Bernier RH, et al. Impact of revaccinating children who initially received measles vaccine before 10 months of age. Pediatrics. 1986;77(4):471-476. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/132/5/e1126.full.pdf+html. Published November 1, 2013. Accessed November 12, 2013. 

Explanation: Online Journal Article with a DOI

Author: Fischer MA, Stedman MS, Lii J, et al.
Last name first, abbreviate first and middle names to just the first initial with no periods in between. Place a comma between multiple authors. If there are more than six authors listed, give the first three authors followed by et al. End with a period.


Title & subtitle of the article: Primary medication non-adherence: analysis of 195,930 electronic prescriptions.
Title and subtitle, if any, are separated by a colon. Capitalize only the first word of the title and any proper nouns. Do not italicize the title. End with a period.


Title of the journal: J Gen Intern Med.
Journal titles in AMA are always abbreviated and italicized. Use the PubMed Journals Database to find out the official abbreviation for your journal. End with a period.


Year of publication: 2010;
List the year when the article was published followed by a semi-colon with no space between.


Volume and issue number: 25(4):
List the volume number with no space followed by the issue number in parentheses again with no space. 
See sections 3.11.3-3.11.8 & 3.15.1 for variations. Follow the parentheses with a colon.


Page numbers: 284–290.
Note: Some online journals do not have page numbers. If page numbers of an article run consecutively, separate beginning and ending page numbers with a hyphen.
See sections 3.11.3-3.11.8 & 3.15.1 for variations. End with a period.


DOI: doi:10.1007/s11606-010-1253-9.

Start with doi: no space and the number. End the citation with a period.


Reference: American Medical Association. AMA Manual of Style. 10th ed. Oxford, England: Oxford Universtiy Press; 2007.

Explanation: Online Journal Article with a URL

Author: Stetler HC, Orenstein WA, Bernier RH, et al.
Last name first, abbreviate first and middle names to just the first initial with no periods in between. Place a comma between multiple authors. If there are more than six authors listed, give the first three authors followed by et al. End with a period.


Title & subtitle of the article: Impact of revaccinating children who initially received measles vaccine before 10 months of age.
Title and subtitle, if any, are separated by a colon. Capitalize only the first word of the title and any proper nouns. Do not italicize the title. End with a period.


Title of the journal: Pediatrics.
Journal titles in AMA are always abbreviated and italicized. Use the PubMed Journals Database to find out the official abbreviation for your journal.  End with a period.


Year of publication: 2013;
List the year when the article was published followed by a semi-colon with no space between.


Volume and issue number: 77(4):
List the volume number with no space followed by the issue number in parentheses again with no space. See sections 3.11.3-3.11.8 & 3.15.1 for variations. Follow the parentheses with a colon.


Page numbers: 471-476.
Note: Some online journals do not have page numbers. If page numbers run consecutively, separate beginning and ending page numbers with a hyphen. See sections 3.11.3-3.11.8 & 3.15.1 for variations. End with a period.


URL: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/132/5/e1126.full.pdf+html.

Use the URL that will take the reader most directly to the article. (See section: 3.15.1)   End with a period.


Published Date: Published November 1, 2013.

If available, provide the published date preceded by the word Published. End with a period.


Updated Date: (if applicable)

If available, provide the updated date preceded by the word Updated. End with a period.


Accessed Date: Accessed November 12, 2013.

Date you accessed (viewed ) the page preceded by the word Accessed. End citation with a period..


Reference: American Medical Association. AMA Manual of Style. 10th ed. Oxford, England: Oxford Universtiy Press; 2007.