4 Tips for Searching the AMA Manual of Style

I’m going to talk about a couple of aspects of searching the AMA Manual of Style. This is based on information provided on the AMA Manual of Style site. There’s a helpful PDF in the quizzes section that outlines this information. Basically there are four approaches to searching the style guide.

Start With the Search Box on the Top Right

First, you can use the standard search box at the top right corner of the website. This is most helpful if you know what you’re looking for. If you have a two-part phrase, for example such as “side effect”, “P value” or “confidence interval” then you can just go ahead and put quotations around the phrase and the search will retrieve exact mentions of that phrase.

Narrow Your Choices on the Left

If you want to narrow your search down further, then go to the left side of the page where there’s a box that says “Narrow Your Choices”. By reviewing the options in “Narrow Your Choices” you can identify more precisely what part of the style book to review. For example, if you wanted to know more about study design and statistics involving confidence intervals, you would access that section in the “Refine By Sections” box.

Refine Terms

By hitting the plus sign under this heading you will access the sections in this chapter. You can also use the “Refine Terms” function in the “Narrow Your Choices” box. This link allows you to more specifically delineate your search parameters and you can search for your word or phrase in Full Text, Headings, Bibliography, Tables, Figure Captions, Abstracts DOI/ISBN, you can search one term or multiple terms and if you click “Add Row”, you can add a Boolean operator such as “and”, “or” or “not”.

“Contents” Link Gives You the Expandable List of Contents

You can also use the “Contents” tab at the top left of the main page, and by clicking on the “Contents” tab you are taken to an expandable list of the contents of the Style Guide. Finally, you can access the “Index” under the “End Matter” heading, and this will bring up the same list of index entries that appears in the hard copy version of the style book. Each entry is followed by a link, for example if you want information on book edition numbers you would just click on the word “link” by that entry and you’ll be taken directly to the information on book edition numbers.

Alright well that’s it for now. Thank you so much for joining me, if you need medical writing assistance, please contact us at nascentmc.com and if you’re interested in getting into medical writing then please check out 6weekcourse.com that’s numeral 6weekcourse.com. Thank you so much.