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Scholarly Writing & Citing: Citation Examples

How to write scholarly papers in AMA, APA, and NLM styles.

Essential Citation Elements

No matter the style you are using (APA, AMA, NLM, etc.), these are the essential pieces of information you must cite from each source you use to ensure they are properly attributed:

Style Guides

Citation Manager Software

AMA Style

AMA Style is published by the American Medical Association, JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), and Oxford University Press. AMA Style is used by scientists in many research disciplines.

AMA Style uses numerical superscripts in-text to reference a reference list at the end of the document.

The basic elements of AMA Style citations are as follows:

Examples come from

AMA Style Blog

Journal Article

Journal titles should be abbreviated. See this list for examples.

Physical Book

Sacks O. Hallucinations. Alfred A Knopf; 2012.


Guyatt G, Rennie D, Meade MO, Cook DJ. Users’ Guides to the Medical Literature: A Manual for Evidence-Based Clinical Practice. 3rd ed. McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. Accessed August 15, 2016.

Chapter From A Book With Editors

Boushey CJ. Application of research paradigms to nutrition practice. In: Coulston AM, Boushey CJ, Ferruzzi MG, eds. Nutrition in the Prevention and Treatment of Disease. 3rd ed. Academic Press; 2013:99-105.


In citing data from a website, include the following elements, if available, in the order shown:

■ Authors’ surnames and initials, if given (the names of all authors should be given unless there are more than 6, in which case the names of the first 3 authors are used, followed by “et al”), or name of the group

■ Title of the specific item cited (if none is given, use the name of the organization responsible for the site)

■ Name of the website

■ [Date published]

■ Updated [date]

■ Accessed [date]

■ URL (verify that the link still works as close as possible to publication)


Zika travel information. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. January 26, 2016. Updated August 11, 2016. Accessed June 18, 2019.

A figure is any graphic that is not a table - photos, drawings, graphs, charts, and maps are all figures.

"The original source should be acknowledged in the legend. If the original source in which the illustration has been published is included in the reference list, the reference may be cited in the legend, with the citation number for the reference corresponding to its first appearance in the text, tables, or figures. Permission should be obtained to reproduce the material in print, online, and in all licensed versions (eg, reprints)." AMA 4.2.9



Reprinted with permission from the American Academy of Pediatrics.5


Government Reports

(1) name of author (if given); (2) title of bulletin; (3) name of issuing bureau, agency, department, or other governmental division (note that in this position, Department should be abbreviated Dept; also note that if the US Government Printing Office is supplied as the publisher, it would be preferable to obtain the name of the issuing bureau, agency, or department); (4) date of publication; (5) page numbers (if specified); (6) publication number (if any); (7) series number (if given); (8) online accessed date (if applicable); and (9) web address (if applicable)

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Questions and Answers About Sprains and Strains. National Institutes of Health; 2015. NIH publication 15-5328. Accessed January 28, 2016.

Conference Presentations

Morales M, Zhou X. Health practices of immigrant women: indigenous knowledge in an urban environment. Paper presented at: 78th Association for Information Science and Technology Annual Meeting; November 6-10, 2015; St Louis, MO. Accessed March 15, 2016.


 Ghanbari S. Integration of the Arts in STEM: A Collective Case Study of Two Interdisciplinary University Programs. Dissertation. University of California; 2014. Accessed October 14, 2016.


Stata 14. Version 14. StataCorp; 2015. Accessed March 14, 2016.


Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM). Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; 2016. Updated March 13, 2016. Accessed March 14, 2016.

US Federal Statutes

Citations of statutes include the official name of the act, the title number (similar to a chapter number), the abbreviation of the code cited, the section number (designated by §), and the date of the code edition cited.


Female Genital Mutilation, 18 USC §116 (2012). Accessed March 18, 2016.

See more legal examples here:

APA Style

APA Style is a popular academic style guide produced by the American Psychological Association. APA Style is used across many disciplines beyond psychology.

APA Style uses in-text citations to refer to larger reference lists at the end of the document. 

The 2 basic elements of an APA Style in-text citation are: (Author, Date)

The 4 basic elements of an APA Style reference are: Author. (Date). Title. Source.

Examples come from unless otherwise noted.

Journal Article

In-Text: (Grady et al., 2019)

Reference List: Grady, J. S., Her, M., Moreno, G., Perez, C., & Yelinek, J. (2019). Emotions in storybooks: A comparison of storybooks that represent ethnic and racial groups in the United States. Psychology of Popular Media Culture8(3), 207–217.

UpToDate Article

(Bordeaux & Lieberman, 2020)

Bordeaux, B., & Lieberman, H. R. (2020). Benefits and risks of caffeine and caffeinated beverages. UpToDate. Retrieved February 26, 2020, from

Whole Book

In-Text: (Jackson, 2019)

Reference List: Jackson, L. M. (2019). The psychology of prejudice: From attitudes to social action (2nd ed.). American Psychological Association.

Book With Editors

(Torino et al., 2019)

Torino, G. C., Rivera, D. P., Capodilupo, C. M., Nadal, K. L., & Sue, D. W. (Eds.). (2019). Microaggression theory: Influence and implications. John Wiley & Sons.

Chapter From A Book With Editors

(Aron et al., 2019)

Aron, L., Botella, M., & Lubart, T. (2019). Culinary arts: Talent and their development. In R. F. Subotnik, P. Olszewski-Kubilius, & F. C. Worrell (Eds.), The psychology of high performance: Developing human potential into domain-specific talent (pp. 345–359). American Psychological Association.


In-Text: (National Institute of Mental Health, 2018)

Reference List: National Institute of Mental Health. (2018, July). Anxiety disorders. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health.

ICD Entry

(World Health Organization, 2019)

World Health Organization. (2019). 2A85.5 Mantle cell lymphoma. In International statistical classification of diseases and related health problems (11th ed.).

A figure is any graphic that is not a table - photos, drawings, graphs, charts, and maps are all figures.

Figure With Attribution Required (Copyright)


Reference list:

Denali National Park and Preserve. (2013). Lava [Photograph]. Flickr.

Figure With No Attribution Required (Creative Commons, etc.)


No reference list entry required.



Reference list:

Williams, C. L. (1992). The glass escalator: Hidden advantages for men in the "female" professions. Social Problems39(3), 253-267.

(This example comes from:

Government Reports

National Cancer Institute. (2019). Taking time: Support for people with cancer (NIH Publication No. 18-2059). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health.

Conference Presentations

Evans, A. C., Jr., Garbarino, J., Bocanegra, E., Kinscherff, R. T., & Márquez-Greene, N. (2019, August 8–11). Gun violence: An event on the power of community [Conference presentation]. APA 2019 Convention, Chicago, IL, United States.


Kabir, J. M. (2016). Factors influencing customer satisfaction at a fast food hamburger chain: The relationship between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty (Publication No. 10169573) [Doctoral dissertation, Wilmington University]. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.

Data Sets

O’Donohue, W. (2017). Content analysis of undergraduate psychology textbooks (ICPSR 21600; Version V1) [Data set]. ICPSR.

NLM Style

The National Library of Medicine has produced a document called Citing Medicine: The NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors, and Publishers. This style guide is one of the recommended texts used in the AMA Style Guide, and serves as its own complete style as well.

The NLM Style Guide includes information and examples for three different types of in-text citations:

citation-sequence system: numerical superscripts that are listed in the reference list in the order they appear in the text (similar to AMA)

citation-name system: numerical superscripts that are listed in the reference list in alphabetical order, regardless of what order they appear in the text

name-year system: author and year of publication are used in-text as (Author Year) to reference to alphabetical reference list (similar to APA)

Examples come from Citing Medicine.

Journal Article

Journal titles should be abbreviated. For abbreviations visit:

Petitti DB, Crooks VC, Buckwalter JG, Chiu V. Blood pressure levels before dementia. Arch Neurol. 2005 Jan;62(1):112-6.

See many more examples here: 

Whole Book

Jenkins PF. Making sense of the chest x-ray: a hands-on guide. New York: Oxford University Press; 2005. 194 p.

Book With Editors

Izzo JL Jr, Black HR, editors. Hypertension primer: the essentials of high blood pressure. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; c2003. 532 p.

Chapter From A Book With Editors

Whiteside TL, Heberman RB. Effectors of immunity and rationale for immunotherapy. In: Kufe DW, Pollock RE, Weichselbaum RR, Bast RC Jr, Gansler TS, Holland JF, Frei E 3rd, editors. Cancer medicine 6. Hamilton (ON): BC Decker Inc; 2003. p. 221-8.



Diaz-Cruz ES, Shapiro CL, Brueggemeier RW. Cyclooxygenase inhibitors suppress aromatase expression and activity in breast cancer cells. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 May;90(5):2563-70. Table 2, Aromatase activity and expression in cell lines; p. 2565.


A figure is any graphic that is not a table - photos, drawings, graphs, charts, and maps are all figures.

Mitchell GF, Pfeffer MA. Evaluation and management of patients with uncontrolled systolic hypertension: is another new paradigm really needed? Am Heart J. 2005 May;149(5):776-84. Figure 3, Regional pressure wave forms in the normal arterial system; p. 780.

Government Reports

National High Blood Pressure Education Program (US). The fourth report on the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of high blood pressure in children and adolescents. Rev. ed. Bethesda (MD): National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (US); 2005. 48 p. (NIH publication; no. 05-5267).

Conference Presentations

Hu X, Gao Z, Xu F, Liu N. A novel approach to harvesting lymphatic endothelial cells from human foreskin dermis. Paper presented at: 8th TESI Annual Meeting; 2005 Oct 22-25; Shanghai, China.


Jones DL. The role of physical activity on the need for revision total knee arthroplasty in individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee [dissertation]. [Pittsburgh (PA)]: University of Pittsburgh; 2001. 436 p.

Data Sets

RxNorm [dataset on the Internet]. Release META2011AA Full Update 2011_07_05. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2011 Jul 5 [cited 2011 Jul 14]. Available from:

Federal Statutes

Veterans Hearing Loss Compensation Act of 2002, Pub. L. No. 107-9, 115 Stat. 11 (May 24, 2001).

See more legal citation examples in The Bluebook.

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