Skip to Main Content
NYMC Library Banner
Ask a Librarian

AMA (11/e) Style Guide

A guide to help users create citations using AMA (American Medical Association) style

Table Components

For more information about formatting Tables. Go to section 4.1.4 in the AMA Manual.

  • Tables are usually are set off from the text by horizontal rules, or thicker bars (as shown below) boxes, or white space.
  • The word “Table” and the table number are part of the title. See example for Table 4
    • Each table should have a brief, specific, descriptive title that conveys the topic of the table succinctly but should not provide detailed background information or summarize or interpret the results.
  • Tables are numbered consecutively as referred to in the text. The first table that you mention is titled Table 1.
  • In your paper you can refer to the specific table you are describing by the title such as "As described in Table 1 ...."
  • Position them as close to the referring text as possible.
  • Horizontal lines, not vertical.
  • Footnotes are used in two circumstances:
    • ​Descriptive footnotes contain information about the entire table, portions of the table (eg, a column), or a discrete table entry. The order of the footnotes is determined by the placement in the table of the item to which the footnote refers. They are then indicated with superscript lowercase letters in alphabetical order (a-z) listed at the bottom each on its own line such as indicated below. In Table 4, Footnote a andrefer to the Information in the entire column. 
    • To cite references for information used in the table. See Citing Tables below in this guide.



Table 4. Ten-Year Prevalence of Fractures, Falls, or Musculoskeletal Injuries Among Beneficiaries With Disorders of Binocular Vision

Citing Tables



References for information in a table should be numbered and listed according to how it was listed in the text.  In other words, if the source from which the material referred to in the table is one of the references used in the text, that same reference number should also be used in the table. See example below for Arabic superscript numeral, 28.

Keep in mind, it is acceptable for a reference to be cited only in a table and not in the text.  If the reference pertains only to the table or figure (ie, the source is not cited elsewhere in the text), the reference should be listed and numbered according to the first mention of the table or figure in the textAll references in an article should appear in the reference list regardless if it only appears in the table.

Use Footnotes for citing references. 

Use footnotes that contain lower case Arabic letters for citing your references along with Arabic superscript numerals outside periods and commas, inside colons and semicolons. See example below with Footnote a and superscript number 28.


When using footnotes as in the example above (a) to reference your sources, use terminology such as:

  • "Adapted from ..." You are encouraged to create your own tables. Adapted rather than copied.
    • if you changed or modified the table as opposed to an exact copy (not suggested or preferred) from the original source.
  • "Reproduced with permission from. . ." (And make sure your receive permission from the copyright holder (usually the publisher))
    • If you copied exactly, which is discouraged.
  • "Data were derived from. . ." or  "Derived from ..." or  "Data adapted from ..."
    • If you did a calculation. In this case you created a table and used only a minimal amount of data from a source.

When both a footnote letter and reference number follow data within a table, set the reference number first, followed by a comma and the footnote letter.  See example:

427 Patients5,b

Figure Components


For more detailed information about figure components, see section 4.2.6 in the AMA Manual.


The figure title follows the designation “Figure” numbered consecutively (ie, Figure 1, Figure 2). Articles that contain a single figure (as in the one below) use the designator “Figure” (not “Figure 1”). 


The figure legend (caption) is written in sentence format and printed below or next to the figure. It will also contain citations if you did reproduce any data from another source.

 Scatterplot With the Regression Line, Correlation Statistic, and PValue in the Plot



Figure Citation


Citing your sources. It is preferable to use original figures rather than those already published.

However when use of a previously published illustration, photograph, or other figure is necessary, written permission to reproduce it must be obtained from the copyright holder (usually the publisher). The original source should be cited in the legend (see example below) with the citation number for the reference corresponding to its first appearance in the text, tables, or figures. 

These examples of legends that serves as citations, should be placed below the descriptive legend.


Reprinted with permission from the American Academy of Pediatrics.5

Terminology: As in proper citation for tables, use terminology that applies to whether you modified or performed a calculation:

Adapted from. . .

Data were derived from. . .