How to Cite a Social Media Post in AMA Referencing
  • 3-minute read
  • 30th January 2021

How to Cite a Social Media Post in AMA Referencing

Social media is not a standard scholarly source. However, there may be times when you need to cite a site like Twitter or Facebook (e.g., posts from official bodies or public figures). So, how do you cite a social media post in AMA referencing?

In this post, we explain the basic format for citations and the reference list entry.

How to Cite a Social Media Post in AMA Style

AMA style cites sources with superscript numbers in the text. Sources are numbered sequentially (i.e., in the order you cite them). This means the first source you cite will be “1,” the second will be “2,” the third “3,” and so on.

For instance, the first citation in a document would look like this:

The policy was announced on Facebook.1

Each superscript number corresponds to a source in the reference list, which is where you will provide full information about the social media post you’re citing.

If you need to cite a social media post more than once, moreover, simply give the same citation number as you did on the first citation. For instance:

The policy was announced on Facebook1 and Twitter.2 Some details about the implementation of the policy remain unclear, but the date for its introduction will be earlier than expected, as the Facebook post acknowledged.1

Here, we have three citations of two sources. And to cite the first source a second time at the end of the passage, all we do is use the superscript “1” again.

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Social Media Posts in an AMA Reference List

The reference list is where you provide source information. For a social media post in an AMA style reference list, this means giving the following details:

n. Name or Handle of Account. Post text (either in full for short posts or an excerpt for longer posts). Access date. URL.

In practice, then, references for the citations above might look like this:

1. Public Health England Facebook page. The government has developed a new pandemic plan. Ahead of the initial schedule, the system will be introduced in April 2021. Our Medical Director, Sara Cohen, explains what you need to know: gov.uk/phe/pandemic-plan. Accessed December 2, 2020. https://www.facebook.com/PublicHealthEngland/posts/78638756765434

2. @PHE_uk. The government has developed a new pandemic plan. The system the system will be introduced in April 2021. Make sure you are ready for the change with this helpful guide: gov.uk/phe/pandemic-plan. Accessed December 2, 2020. https://twitter.com/PHE_uk/status/133370130423810

Make sure to include the URL for the post itself, not just the account that posted it.

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