AMA Citation & Reference Style

Citation Tips

text HOW with a magnifying glass over the O

Should I cite a social media post?

The AMA recommends finding information elsewhere if possible. If it is unavailable in another citeable format, citing social media is acceptable.

What guidelines should I follow when posting about scientific content on social media?

  • Use proper capitalization; capital letters don’t take up more characters than lowercase.
  • Use basic punctuation to help ensure clarity.
  • Avoid texting jargon, such as “U” for “you” or “L8” for “late”; these abbreviations are too colloquial and may not be widely understood.
  • Contractions are fine, as are easily recognized symbols such as &, <, and =.

Social Media

NOTE: These are examples of acceptable citations for social media. In some the whole post is given, including attached URLs, in others just the title. Use your best judgment when determining which is appropriate.


User Name/Organizational page name. Post description. Date accessed. Post URL

Example: Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Facebook page. #RotatorCuff tears are among the most common shoulder injuries, particularly in individuals who engage in activities that require repetitive arm motions. Discover the possible treatment options for a torn rotator cuff: Accessed March 4, 2019.


Twitter handle. Text of Tweet. Date posted. Date accessed. URL of Tweet

Example: @AMAManual. In the 11th edition: More examples of references in scientific publications, including newer sources such as trial registries, data repositories, preprints, and social media. Posted November 1, 2019. Accessed November 2, 2019.


Username YouTube page. Title of video [if specific video]. Date posted [if specific video]. Date Accessed. URL [of video or page]

Example: Khan Academy health and medicine YouTube page. Accessed February 10, 2016.


Author Last Name, First Initial. Title of post. Title of blog. Date posted. Date accessed. URL of post

Example: Orellana J. Resources for references. AMA Style Insider blog. Posted October 25, 2019. Accessed November 2, 2019.


Thanks to the George Washington University Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library for the content of this guide, which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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