How to format your references using the JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) (JAMA). 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
Combes SA. Neuroscience: Dragonflies predict and plan their hunts. Nature. 2015;517(7534):279-280.
A journal article with 2 authors
Farquhar GD, Roderick ML. Atmospheric science. Pinatubo, diffuse light, and the carbon cycle. Science. 2003;299(5615):1997-1998.
A journal article with 3 authors
Mulepati S, Héroux A, Bailey S. Structural biology. Crystal structure of a CRISPR RNA-guided surveillance complex bound to a ssDNA target. Science. 2014;345(6203):1479-1484.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Pondaven P, Ragueneau O, Treguer P, Hauvespre A, Dezileau L, Reyss JL. Resolving the “opal paradox” in the Southern Ocean. Nature. 2000;405(6783):168-172.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Guillaume P. Music and Acoustics. John Wiley & Sons, Inc; 2006.
An edited book
Luo Q, Li LZ, Harrison DK, Shi H, Bruley DF, eds. Oxygen Transport to Tissue XXXVIII. Vol 923. Springer International Publishing; 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
Tveito A, Langtangen HP, Nielsen BF, Cai X. The Method of Least Squares. In: Langtangen HP, Nielsen BF, Cai X, eds. Elements of Scientific Computing. Texts in Computational Science and Engineering. Springer; 2010:147-193.

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 JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association).

Blog post
Andrew E. Space Salad Could Soon Be Eaten By Astronauts Aboard The International Space Station. IFLScience. Published July 19, 2015. 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. Railroad Safety: New Approach Needed for Effective FRA Safety Inspection Program. U.S. Government Printing Office; 1990.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Boerger EM. Natural regeneration dynamics of red oak seedlings in Mississippi bottomland forests. Published online 2014.

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
Andrews M. Venus Williams Investigated in Fatal Crash. New York Times. June 29, 2017:B12.

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 titleJAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association)
ISSN (print)0098-7484
ISSN (online)1538-3598
ScopeGeneral Medicine

Other styles