Indented vs Run-in Style - AMA Manual of Style

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Indented vs Run-in Style 

Medical Indexes

Bruce McGregor

and Harriet S. Meyer

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PRINTED FROM AMA MANUAL OF STYLE ONLINE ( © American Medical Association, 2009. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the license agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in AMA Manual of Style Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).  Subscriber: null; date: 25 November 2015

Indented vs Run-in Style

In indented style, main headings are followed by indented subheadings, each on its own line. In run-in style, subheadings appear continuously, not on separate lines, and are separated by commas.


SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), 75–79, 145–148

 in China, 187–189

 drug therapy for

  antibiotics, 18, 20

  corticosteroids, 357

  interferon alfa, 402

 etiology of, 93, 105, 117

 quarantine for, 167, 235

 in Toronto, 280


SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), 75–79, 145–148, in China, 187–189, drug therapy for, 18, 20, 357, 402, etiology of, 93, 105, 117, quarantine for, 167, 235, in Toronto, 280

The indented style is better suited for medical indexes because complex terms in subheadings are easier to read when set on separate lines. This style is “particularly useful where sub-subentries are required… .”4(18.25,p764) Note that in the above examples, sub-subentries are used for specific drug therapies in the indented style. A mixed style—indented main entries and subentries, run-in sub-subentries—is not as well suited for medical indexes, again because of the complexity of the terms.

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