How to format your references using the American Medical Writers Association Journal citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for American Medical Writers Association Journal (AMWA Journal). For a complete guide how to prepare your manuscript refer to the journal's instructions to authors.

Using reference management software

Typically you don't format your citations and bibliography by hand. The easiest way is to use a reference manager:

PaperpileThe citation style is built in and you can choose it in Settings > Citation Style or Paperpile > Citation Style in Google Docs.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
Mendeley, Zotero, Papers, and othersThe style is either built in or you can download a CSL file that is supported by most references management programs.
BibTeXBibTeX syles are usually part of a LaTeX template. Check the instructions to authors if the publisher offers a LaTeX template for this journal.

Journal articles

Those examples are references to articles in scholarly journals and how they are supposed to appear in your bibliography.

Not all journals organize their published articles in volumes and issues, so these fields are optional. Some electronic journals do not provide a page range, but instead list an article identifier. In a case like this it's safe to use the article identifier instead of the page range.

A journal article with 1 author
Stuart JS. A near-Earth asteroid population estimate from the LINEAR survey. Science. 2001;294(5547):1691-1693.
A journal article with 2 authors
Schoenemann B, Clarkson ENK. Discovery of some 400 million year-old sensory structures in the compound eyes of trilobites. Sci Rep. 2013;3:1429.
A journal article with 3 authors
Hicks WM, Kim M, Haber JE. Increased mutagenesis and unique mutation signature associated with mitotic gene conversion. Science. 2010;329(5987):82-85.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Watanabe K, Toh Y, Suto K, et al. Protein-based peptide-bond formation by aminoacyl-tRNA protein transferase. Nature. 2007;449(7164):867-871.

Books and book chapters

Here are examples of references for authored and edited books as well as book chapters.

An authored book
Robinson TR. Genetics for Dummies®. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing, Inc.; 2010.
An edited book
Milutinović D, Rosen J, eds. Redundancy in Robot Manipulators and Multi-Robot Systems. Vol 57. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2013.
A chapter in an edited book
Della Peruta MR. The Institutional Foundations of Transition and Emerging Economies. In: Della Peruta MR, Carayannis EG, eds. Social Media and Emerging Economies: Technological, Cultural and Economic Implications. SpringerBriefs in Business. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2014:51-70.

Web sites

Sometimes references to web sites should appear directly in the text rather than in the bibliography. Refer to the Instructions to authors for American Medical Writers Association Journal.

Blog post
Hale T. A Brief History Of Unexpected Things Spiders Have Been Caught Eating. IFLScience. Published April 5, 2017. Accessed October 30, 2018.


This example shows the general structure used for government reports, technical reports, and scientific reports. If you can't locate the report number then it might be better to cite the report as a book. For reports it is usually not individual people that are credited as authors, but a governmental department or agency like "U. S. Food and Drug Administration" or "National Cancer Institute".

Government report
Government Accountability Office. Aviation and the Environment: Initial Voluntary Airport Low Emissions Program Projects Reduce Emissions, and FAA Plans to Assess the Program’s Overall Performance as Participation Increases. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2008.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Salonga-Moreno DR. Pressure ulcer prevention and management curriculum for home health agencies. 2010.

News paper articles

Unlike scholarly journals, news papers do not usually have a volume and issue number. Instead, the full date and page number is required for a correct reference.

New York Times article
Barron J. Long-Ago Brooklyn Brewer Left Hidden Underground Vaults, and Mystery. New York Times. February 2, 2017:A23.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in superscript:

This sentence cites one reference 1.
This sentence cites two references 1,2.
This sentence cites four references 1–4.

About the journal

Full journal titleAmerican Medical Writers Association Journal
ISSN (print)1075-6361

Other styles