Public Health

Library of the Health Sciences

Don't forget to cite your sources! Use the style appropriate to your discipline.

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AMA Style

According to the AMA Manual of Style website, the first edition of the style guide was intended to be used as an in-house editorial manual for the scientific journals published by the American Medical Association.  Many journals are still using the AMA style, although the Uniform Requirements of the ICMJE (aka "Vancouver Style") is an increasingly popular alternative.

Online Resources

Help! I don't know which citation style to use!

For Students:

Most instructors will tell you which citation style to use for their assignments.  If your instructor doesn't have a preference, you should use the citation style most appropriate for your career or field.

For Writers:

The citation style you use should be based on the journal into which you are seeking publication.  Guidelines for publication can be found on the journal's website.


Journal Assessment

There are a number different methods and metrics used to rate a journal's impact. The following information is not exhaustive, but will give you a place to start.


Citations to articles from the most recent five full years, divided by the total number of articles from the most recent five full years, but weeds out journal self-citations.  It also, unlike the Journal Citation Reports impact factor, cuts across both the hard sciences and the social sciences.

Impact Factor (IF)
Journal Citation Reports (JCR)

The Impact Factor (IF) measures how many times articles from a journal have been cited. It is calculated by dividing the number of citations in the JCR year by the total number of articles published in the two previous years. An Impact Factor of 1.0 means that, on average, the articles published one or two year ago have been cited one time. An Impact Factor of 2.5 means that, on average, the articles published one or two year ago have been cited two and a half times. 

Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP)
SCOPUS: Compare Journals

SNIP measures contextual citation impact by weighting citations based on the total number of citations in a subject field. The impact of a single citation is given higher value in subject areas where citations are less likely, and vice versa. It is defined as the ratio of a journal's citation count per paper and the citation potential in its subject field. It aims to allow direct comparison of sources in different subject fields.

Impact per Publication (IPP)
SCOPUS: Compare Journals

The IPP measures the ratio of citations in a year (Y) to scholarly papers published in the three previous years (Y-1, Y-2, Y-3) divided by the number of scholarly papers published in those same years (Y-1, Y-2, Y-3). The IPP metric is using a citation window of three years which is considered to be the optimal time period to accurately measure citations in most subject fields. Taking into account the same peer-reviewed scholarly papers only in both the numerator and denominator of the equation provides a fair impact measurement of the journal and diminishes the chance of manipulation.

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR)
SCOPUS: Compare Journals

SJR is a prestige metric based on the idea that 'all citations are not created equal'. With SJR, the subject field, quality and reputation of the journal have a direct effect on the value of a citation. SJR is a measure of scientific influence of scholarly journals that accounts for both the number of citations received by a journal and the importance or prestige of the journals where such citations come from.