Do you use the hardcover edition of the AMA Manual of Style but still want it to be fully up to date? The latest list of updates and corrections can be downloaded here.

Below are Updates made to the AMA Manual of Style since it was published online in 2009.



Preferred Inclusion of DOI In references, enough information to identify and retrieve material should be provided, and more complete data should be used when available. A DOI (digital object identifier) provides persistent, unique identification. Because of this permanent quality, a DOI should be included in references if available and if provided (ie, by the author) or if inserted by XML editing software. (This change affects section 3.15.1, Electronic References.) This change was implemented June 28th, 2018.

HIV Can Be Used Without Expansion The human immunodeficiency virus is widely known by its abbreviation HIV, to the extent that AMA style no longer requires the expansion (especially true in the construction “HIV/AIDS”). In the list of abbreviations (chapter 14.11, page 509 in print), an asterisk should be added after HIV to indicate that this abbreviation no longer needs to be expanded. This change was implemented September 28, 2017.

Death Dagger Discontinued The convention of using a dagger (†) next to a name in an article byline, connected to a footnote to indicate a deceased author, has been discontinued. If desired, this information can be included in the Acknowledgment section at the end of the article. For example, Additional Information: Coauthor John Doe, MD, died January 30, 2017.

DOIs in Reference Lists The ability to easily and accurately copy and paste DOIs is important. Because of this, a period should not be included after the DOI; the risk of the period becoming a part of the DOI itself is too great and would create problems with linking. Online linking is one of the key reasons to have a DOI.This change was made August 12, 2016.

Internet Now internet Our preference for Internet will be changed to a preference for internet. If the word appears in a title, however, like other major words it will take an initial cap. This update was implemented April 18, 2016.

Disclosure Requirements for Authors A number of journals have clarified policies for disclosing and managing authors’ conflicts of interests, including changes to definitions and terms of what should be disclosed. The subsection on Requirements for Authors in 5.5.1 (pages 170-172 in print) has been revised to address these changes. This update was implemented in March 2015.

New ICMJE Criterion and Guidance on Authorship In December 2013, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) revised its recommendations on authorship and added a fourth criterion for authorship. (This change affects section 2.2.2, Authorship, page 14 in print; and section 5.1.1 Authorship: Definition, Criteria, Contributions, and Requirements, pages 128-131 in print.)

E-mail Now email Although Webster’s 11th uses a hyphen in e-mail, some style manuals, most recently that of the Council of Science Editors,1 have recommended closing up this term: email. This is often the progression hyphenated compounds move through, and the frequency of use and widespread familiarity of this term have led us to implement this change now. The hyphen will be retained in other e- compounds (eg, e-cigarette, e-book). If email begins a sentence or is used in a title, the initial letter will be capped: Email. In titles, capping of words that follow e- will be on the first letter of the word that follows e-. For example, The Promise and Peril of e-Cigarettes. This change was implemented in December 2014.

Clarification of Multivariable vs Multivariate The terms multivariable and multivariate are not synonymous, as the entries in the Glossary of Statistical Terms suggest (Chapter 20.9, page 881 in the print). To be accurate, multivariable refers to multiple predictors (independent variables) for a single outcome (dependent variable). Multivariate refers to 1 or more independent variables for multiple outcomes. This update was implemented June 1, 2014.

Removal of Independent Statistical Analysis Requirement In 2005 JAMA adopted a requirement for independent statistical analysis by an academic biostatistician for industry-sponsored and industry-analyzed studies. JAMA’s experience has been that the conduct of additional analyses by independent academic biostatisticians generally did not result in meaningful changes in the study results. According to an Editorial in JAMA, the journal will evaluate and consider for publication clinical trials that are analyzed by statisticians employed by or contracted by the study sponsor, without requiring independent statistical analysis by an academic biostatistician. Advances over the past decade in standards of clinical trial reporting, enhanced understanding of the threats to validity of clinical research, increasing data transparency, and the jourrnal’s experience support the change in policy. Further explanations and policy are explained in the Editorial (Bauchner H. Editorial policies for clinical trials and the continued changes in medical journalism. JAMA. 2013;310(2):149-150.) (This change affects section 2.10.10, Independent Statistical Analysis, pages 32-33 in print; section 5.2.5, Access to Data Statement, pages 142-145 in print; and section 5.5.5, Requirements for Reporting Industry-Sponsored Studies, pages 173-174 in print.) This change was made July 10, 2013.

SD and SE  In the list of abbreviations (Section 14.11, page 516 in the print), the material in parentheses after both SD and SE should be deleted and should be replaced by an asterisk. This corrects an inconsistency between the advice given on page 516 and in the glossary of statistical terms (Section 20.9, page 894 in the print). This change was made December 4, 2013.

IMRAD: Comment vs Discussion  To return to the conventional IMRAD nomenclature, the JAMA Network journals are implementing Discussion rather than Comment as the summary section heading in all article types. This will also alleviate any confusion between the online functionality of leaving comments on an article and the use of Comment as a section heading. (This is a change to section 2.8, Parts of a Manuscript, which states: "JAMA and the Archives Journals traditionally have used 'Comment' rather than 'Discussion' here, as the latter heading is often used for symposium proceedings or articles in which a discussion follows the presentation of a paper.") This change was implemented April 1, 2013.

In sections

  • 2.5.1 (page 22 in print)
  • 2.8 (pages 25 and 26 in print)
  • 2.12 (page 38 in print)
  • 4.2.7 (page 117 in print)
  • 4.3.1 (page 122 in print)
  • 5.2.6 (page 145 in print)
  • 5.4.5 (page 163 in print)
  • 5.5.3 (page 173 in print)
  • 5.8.1 (pages 227 and 228 in print)
  • 5.8.2 (page 230 in print)
  • 5.8.3 (page 232 in print)
  • 8.6.12 (page 361 in print)
  • 10.5 (page 379 in print)
  • 11.1 (page 397 in print)
  • 11.10.2 (page 415 in print)
  • 18.5.10 (page 816 in print)
  • 18.5.11 (page 817 in print)
  • 20.1.1 (page 836 in print)
  • 20.1.2 (page 836 in print)
  • 20.1.3 (page 838 in print)
  • 20.9 (page 886 in print) 

we will discontinue using quotation marks to identify parts of an article, but retain the capitalization; eg, This is discussed in the Methods section (not the "Methods" section). This change was made February 14, 2013.

Citing Articles Published Online Ahead of Print  In section 3.15.1 (bottom of page 66 in the print), where the discussion of citing something published online ahead of print occurs, we will henceforth drop the words "ahead of print" before the date something was posted Online First. This change was made June 1, 2012.

Web site Now website  Effective January 18, 2012, our preference for "Web site" will be changed to a preference for "website." We will also use "webcast" for "webcam." Caps will be retained on mention of World Wide Web, however. This change was made January 18, 2012.

Manufacturer Information for Equipment, Devices, and Reagents  In section 15.5 (Section 15.5, page 583 in the print), Equipment, Devices, and Reagents, we will no longer require the inclusion of the location of the manufacturer. This is so easy to look up online, should anyone desire more specific details, that we believe it is not necessary to continue to require this. This change was made October 4, 2011.

Expressing P Values to More Than 3 Significant Digits  Although our style manual recommends (Section 20.9, page 888 in the print) that "[expressing] P to more than 3 significant digits does not add useful information to P<.001," in certain types of studies (particularly GWAS [genome-wide association studies] and other studies in which there are adjustments for multiple comparisons, such as Bonferroni correction, and the definition of level of significance is substantially less than P<.05) it may be important to express P values to more significant digits. For example, if the threshold of significance is P<.0004, then by definition the P value must be expressed to at least 4 digits to indicate whether a result is statistically significant. GWAS express P values to very small numbers, using scientific notation. If a manuscript you are editing defines statistical significance as a P value substantially less than .05, possibly even using scientific notation to express P values to very small numbers, it is best to retain the values as the author presents them. This change was made August 16, 2011.

No Need to Expand CI  In the list of abbreviations (Section 14.11, page 504 in the print), an asterisk should be added after CI to indicate that this abbreviation no longer needs to be expanded. This change was made July 27, 2011.

WHO Updates Nomenclature for Factors of HLA System  In April 2010, the WHO Nomenclature Committee for Factors of the HLA System introduced a modification of the nomenclature outlined in the manual; the new nomenclature introduces delimiters in the form of colons, which removes the restriction of only allowing 99 alleles in 1 group. Hence the former HLA-DQB1*0503 is now expressed as HLA-DQB1*05:03 (Tait BD. The ever-expanding list of HLA alleles: changing HLA nomenclature and its relevance to clinical transplantation. Transplant Rev [Orlando]. 2011;25[1]:1–8.). This change was made March 29, 2011.

1. Style Manual Subcommittee, Council of Science Editors. Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press; 2014:74.