AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors
For decades indispensable, the AMA Manual of Style continues to provide editorial support to the medical and scientific publishing community. Since the 1998 publication of the 9th edition, however, the world of medical publishing has rapidly modernized, and the intersection of research and publishing has become ever more complex. The 10th edition of the AMA Manual of Style, to be published in early 2007, brings this definitive manual into the 21st century with a broadened international perspective. In doing so, the 10th edition has expanded its electronic guidelines, with the understanding that authors now routinely submit articles through online systemsa nd often cite Web-only content. Ethical and legal issues receive increased attention, with detailed guidelines on authorship, conflicts of interest, scientific misconduct, intellectual property, and the protection of individuals’ rights in scientific research and publication. The new edition examines research ethics and editorial independence and features new material on indexing and searching as well as medical nomenclature. JAMA and the Archives Journals, one of the most respected groups of medical publications in the world, have lent their expert staff of professional journal editors, half of whom are physicians, to the committee that has produced this edition. Extensively peer-reviewed, the forthcoming 10th edition will provide a welcome and improved standard for the growing international medical community. More than a style manual, this 10th edition offers invaluable guidance on how to navigate the dilemmas that authors and researchers and their institutions, medical editors and publishers, and members of the news media who cover scientific research confront in a society that has thrust these issues center stage.
About the Author(s)
JAMA and the Archives Journals, one of the most respected groups of medical publications in the world, have lent members of their expert staff of professional journal editors to the committee that has produced this edition.
At long last, the go-to guide for medical writers and editors is revised, April 16, 2007
At long last, the 10th Edition of the AMA Manual of Style is finally available, and I am happy to say it was worth the wait. As an editor who has worked in medical journals, scientific Web sites, and an agency specializing in pharmaceutical advertising, I found the 9th edition to be, at times, a bit dated and not as easy to navigate as I would have hoped. Most of those problems have been resolved in the 10th edition, as well as the inclusion of some new information that I didn’t even know I was missing until I found.
The following is a list of changes in the new edition of the style guide that I found particularly helpful and relevant, and will hopefully be a quick go-to guide when you’re debating whether to buy the new version or hold fast to the 9th edition.
– The section on Correct and Preferred Usage has moved from Chapter 9 to Chapter 11 and includes a wealth of information that was not in the previous edition. There is more information about the difference between race and ethnicity and when it’s relevant to include sexual orientation in a scientific manuscript.
– An extended section on electronic references (3.15, 63-72). This new info is highly relevant considering since 1998 (when the 9th edition was released) there have been a number of innovations with the Internet and a number of authors choose to use the Web as sources of information.
– The section on manuscript preparation is vastly improved and expanded (Ch 4). It includes more information on the different types of tables and figures as well as new guidelines for the use of symbols and footnotes.
– Of particular interest to journal editors, there is more information on authorship requirements, conflicts of interest, sources of funding, and copyright and permissions basics (Ch 5).
– The section on capitalization demonstrates that, not only can the AMA editors laugh at themselves, but that they’re also familiar with the lyrics of Coolio (eg, There is no party like a West Coast party because a West Coast party doesn’t stop. 10.3, 375). The section on capitalization also includes newer terms like iBook and eBay that are more relevant to modern writing (10.8, 380).
– In terms of grammar, some of the rules that always give editors trouble are more explicitly outlined and in more detail. There’s a longer section on the use of that and which (7.2, 318), which I still have to look up occasionally. A final ruling on the health care vs healthcare debate (always 2 words, per AMA, 11.1, 395). And more specific rules on false/parenthetical plurals and sentences with compound subjects (7.8)
– A change in the use of states in references. All will use postal codes now, instead of the former abbreviations (14.5, 451-455).
– An expanded section on international currency (18.5.12, 817-819).
– The section on terminology has been expanded to include information about different specialties, including psychiatry, ophthalmology, and obstetrics (Ch 15). This section also includes a new chart with human viruses that is expanded and easier to navigate (15.14.3, 762-767).
– There is a more comprehensive copyediting section, including information on editing numerical information (21.1, 907; 23.1, 929-933).
– And finally, and most importantly for all newer medical editors and writing, there is a more informative resources guide with professional organizations aimed at scientific writers and editors as well as grammar and editing resources (25, 967-976).
As a whole, I’m very pleased with the new edition of the AMA style guide, and can’t wait to incorporate the new changes into my own work.