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AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors 10th Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195176339
ISBN-10: 0195176332
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Editorial Reviews


"The 10th edition instructs writers how to attach audio and video clips, as well as links to Web-based supplementary material. It also instructs them how to reference research that, in addition to books pulled from the library stacks, might include Web sites, messages from e-mail lists, or online-conference proceedings...The new Oxford University Press version also has an expanded, 175-page chapter on ethical and legal concerns, including conflict of interest, scientific misconduct, intellectual-property rights, and protection of research subjects' rights in scientific research and publication."--Chronicle of Higher Education

"Essential tool for physicians and other health professionals. In addition to the basics of grammar and citation, it leads writers through the thickets of abbreviation, nomenclature, and quantitation."--Booklist

"The manual is comprehensive and detailed, and I can't think of a single relevant aspect of medical and scientific writing that is not covered here."--Doody's, a 5 star review

"For medical writers and editors, the AMA Manual of Style remains the unrivaled point of departure."--Copyediting

"The manual is thorough and authoritative...the content is carefully referenced, and the references on all topics are impressively up-to-date."--Review from The Journal of the European Medical Writers Association

"This excellent manual offers the means to produce essays, articles or research papers that are well organized and authoritative."--Nursing Standard

"The manual's expository style is exemplary. It is relaxed and unpretentious...The manual covers impressive new territory."--The Editorial Eye

About the Author

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.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1032 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 10 edition (March 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195176332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195176339
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 2 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Hinton VINE VOICE on April 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Hardcover
Style manuals are written either for editors or for authors, rarely for both. The AMA manual is a text only editors could love, it serves the interests of authors mostly as an afterthought. The "Instructions for Authors" on JAMA's website presents the essential requirements of the style in a more concise format for journal articles, the vehicles of research reporting. This is also two texts in one, a text on style and a text on medical terminology and ethics, a dubious combination. Style, by its very nature, is well served by a ten-year publication cycle. It should change only very slowly. Medical terminology, on the other hand, is in a constant state of flux. Authors working in a field are well aware of the accepted nomenclature without the need to be reminded by an inevitably dated style manual. This text is written for editors at some remove from medical practice and research. This review, on the other hand, is from an author's point of view.

The last edition of the AMA manual (1997) sought to impose the metric system on clinical measures. This initiative failed. It was simply ignored in preference to the conventional measures used in clinical practice. The new AMA style requires a conventional measure to be followed by a metric conversion factor. For example, the new AMA manual is a heavy tome, the one-thousand-plus page text weighs 4.2 pounds (to convert to kilograms multiply by 0.45). This is a sensible and useful requirement. However, you need not buy the manual to get the exhaustive conversion table, it's available on the JAMA website.

The new manual also accepts the "versioning" of online documents as research references.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a medical copy editor so this book is an essential reference in my work. The tenth edition presents up-to-date information in, as usual, a somewhat difficult format---the categories and placement of topics therein don't always seem as user-friendly as they might be.
The otherwise excellent chapter "Correct and Preferred Usage" exemplifies the fatal flaw of this manual (if indeed it has one): People who tend to get this stuff wrong typically won't know to look for (or where to look for) help, if only because they don't recognize issues as matters of "usage"---for example, test results, not tests, are negative, but I invariably have to fix this in the books I edit, so obviously it's not getting through to authors, at least some of whom presumably use this manual. (Of course, it's great to have these rules and rulings, but I'm the copy editor so I already know them.)
Also, I don't always agree that AMA style is the best. Reference style, for example, seems too detailed and fussy without any real benefit---six author names? Come on, please.
An odd and illogical choice, to my mind, is use of numbers in terms like "3-dimensional," instead of "three-dimensional." Typically, in medical/scientific discussions using this term, consideration of the number of dimensions isn't the point; it's just three versus two (a descriptive designation, not a measurement), and if a shorter form is needed because of frequent use, then "3D" is the obvious solution.
Another reviewer mentions the lack of consistency in use of periods: "Susan St. James" has a period; "St Louis, MO" does not.
Finally, the index should be more detailed---sometimes it's hard to guess the main entry for whatever it is I'm looking for.
However, the material on genetics is great to have, as are the updates on references material to include electronic sources.
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