Skip to Main Content

Medical Scholarship: Citing & Publication Styles

A handy guide for your medical scholarship adventures

This guide offers general guidelines and select examples of AMA citing and reference style. It is NOT a substitute for the AMA Manual.  It is strongly recommended that you use EndNote, or other citation management tool to aid in organizing and citing references. 

North Carolina State University Libraries. Citation: A (Very) Brief Introduction,

When Should You Cite?


Are you quoting two or more consecutive words from a source? Then the original source must be cited and the words or phrase placed in quotes.


If an idea or information comes from another source, even if you put it in your own words, you still need to credit the source.

General vs. Unfamiliar Knowledge

You do not need to cite material which is accepted common knowledge. If in doubt whether your information is common knowledge or not, cite it.


We usually think of books and articles. However, if you use material from web sites, films, music, graphs, tables, etc. you'll also need to cite these as well.

What are citations and why should I use them?

What is a citation?

A citation identifies for the reader the original source for an idea, Information, or image that is referred to in a work.   Citations give credit to the source material, and it gives readers the information necessary to find that source again.

Why do we cite?

Scholars use citations not only to give credit to the original creator,, but also to add strength and authority to their own work.  By citing their sources, scholars are placing their work in a specific context to show where they “fit” within the larger conversation.  Citations are also a way to leave a trail to help others who may want to use the sources in their own work and scholarship.

In short, citations

  • Demonstrate responsible scholarship by giving credit for others' work
  • Add authority to your work by showing you’ve done the research
  • Place your work in a specific context
  • Leave a trail for other scholars and researchers to follow
  • Avoids Plagiarism

Plagiarism - Rowan University

Plagiarism occurs when a person represents someone else’s words, ideas, phrases, sentences, or data as one’s own work. When submitting work that includes someone else’s words, ideas, syntax, data or organizational patterns, the source of that information must be acknowledged through complete, accurate and specific references. All verbatim statements must be acknowledged through quotation marks. To avoid a charge of plagiarism, a person should be sure to include an acknowledgment of indebtedness, such as a list of works cited or bibliography. Examples of plagiarism include but are not limited to:

  • Quoting, paraphrasing or even borrowing the syntax of another’s words without acknowledging the source.
  • Using another’s ideas, opinions or theories even if they have been completely paraphrased in one’s own words without acknowledging the source.
  • Incorporating facts, statistics or other illustrative material taken from a source, without acknowledging the source, unless the information is common knowledge.
  • Submitting a computer program as original work that duplicates, in whole or in part, without citation, the work of another. 

Taken from the Rowan Academic Integrity Policy. A document you really should read.

What Style Should I Use?

The AMA publication style developed by the American Medical Association provides a set of standards for the writing and formatting of documents. Using a publication style assures uniformity within a document and across multiple documents. 

Papers and presentations in the Medical Scholarship course at Rowan-Virtua SOM are required to follow the AMA publication style.  If using EndNote to manage your citations and references use either the JAMA or AMA 11th publication output style.