Updates to the Manual

The AMA Manual of Style committee continuously updates policy guidelines; these changes will be posted here as they’re implemented.

Citation of preprints
In chapter, Preprints and Publication of Unedited Manuscripts, the first reference was updated to reflect clearer citation of a preprint manuscript, including removal of duplicative ID numbers and order of elements similar to other references.

May 28, 2020

Citation of data repositories
In chapter, Data Repository, the first reference in this section was updated to indicate that the original data source should be cited, not a subsequent journal reference. 

May 28, 2020

Citation of special departments, features, or columns 
In chapter 3.11.11, Special Department, Feature, or Column of a Journal, the last reference in this section was updated to remove extraneous qualifiers (“reviewers”) and information not included in the original citation.

May 28, 2020

Citation of published corrections
In chapter 3.11.14, Corrections, the language in this section was updated to indicate that the “published correction” language and additional citation does not need to be appended to the original article. The first reference was updated to reflect this change plus addition of the doi.

May 28, 2020

Citation of multimedia content
In chapter 3.14.4, Other Multimedia, the language in the second half of this section was updated to indicate that item being cited is what should be linked, and that citing the entire article in addition is not necessary. References 4 and 5 were updated to reflect this change.

May 28, 2020

Updates to hyphenation of prefixes
In chapter, Hyphen, Clarity, the term “re-sent” was added to the first box to distinguish it from the word “resent.” In the second box, the terms co-infected and co-infection were removed to reflect their entry in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary following the usual approach to close up words that begin with the prefix co-.

May 28, 2020

Updated use of mutation and variation
In various sections of chapter 14, Nomenclature, the term mutation was corrected to variation and in chapter 11.1, Correct and Preferred Usage, the term mutations was edited to sequence variations in the entry for “classic, classical” to be consistent with style policy as explained in chapter In addition, a note was added to chapter 14.2.5, Molecular Cancer Terminology, to allow use of the terms tumor mutation burden and mutation load.

May 28, 2020

Novel Coronavirus -- March 2020 update

In December 2019, an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus was identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

The AMA Manual of Style addresses coronavirus (CoV) in section 14.14.3, Virus Nomenclature, which includes information on Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The World Health Organization has named the new disease coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).1 The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) Coronaviridae Study Group determined that the new virus belongs to the existing species severe acute respiratory syndrome–related coronavirus.2,3 Thus, the virus name has been proposed as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by the ICTV.

Table 14.14-10, Viruses of Humans, in Section 14.14.3 will be updated with the new virus along with a note at the beginning of section 14.14.3 to alert users to this addition.

Visit the JAMA Network Resource Center on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-2019) for reports of research, educational resources, and updates.


1.    World Health Organization. Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Situation Report-22.   Published February 11, 2020. Accessed February 12, 2020. https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200211-sitrep-22-ncov.pdf

2.    International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. Naming the 2019 Coronavirus. Accessed February 26, 2020. https://talk.ictvonline.org/

3.    del Rio C, Malani PN. COVID-19—new insights on a rapidly changing epidemic. JAMA. Published online February 28, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.3072

March 3, 2020