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Research Guides

Citation Guides

A guide to citing sources, including how to use the most commonly used citation styles (APA, MLA, and Chicago).

Guides in the Catalog

ACS - Reference Examples

The ACS Style Guide was developed by the American Chemical Society and this style is often used in research papers in chemistry and other physical sciences. This guide focuses on documenting the most frequently used reference sources. Each citation consists of in-text citation and citation in the reference list. In addition to the print version of The ACS Style Guide: Effective Communication of Scientific Information, there is an online version.

Citing References in Text

Three citation methods are used in ACS publications:

Subscript numbers (the most common method)--

The orientational ordering of the vapor-liquid interface has been probed by second harmonic generation.1

If an author's name is part of the sentence:

Pratt1 indicates that the orientational ordering of the vapor-liquid interface has been probed by second harmonic generation.

Italic numbers--

Engineered substrates based on nanometer-sized metallic shapes, like rods, rings (1).

If an author's name is part of the sentence:

Pratt (1) indicates that engineered substrates based on nanometer-sized metallic shapes, like rods, rings.

Author name and year of publication--

The flexible, hemilabile nature of the DPEphos ligand allows it to adopt a number of coordination modes (Weller and Willis, 2008).

If an author's name is part of the sentence:

Weller and Willis report that the flexible, hemilabile nature of the DPEphos ligand allows it to adopt a number of coordination modes (2008).

Formatting reference Lists - Journals

Articles from print journals

There are two ways to cite:

  1. Include article title:
    Cyranski, M. K.; Krygowski, T. M.; Katritzky, A. R.; Schleyer, P. v. R. To What Extent Can Aromaticity Be Defined Uniquely? J. Org. Chem. 200267, 1333-1338.
  2. Without article title:
    Cyranski, M. K.; Krygowski, T. M.; Katritzky, A. R.; Schleyer, P. v. R. J. Org. Chem. 200267, 1333-1338.

Journal title abbreviations are published in Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index (call number: QD Z5523 .A52, located in the Reference Department).

Articles from electronic journals

For articles retrieved from online journals that have corresponding print versions, cite them using the basic journal reference style.

For articles that have been viewed only in their electronic forms, use the below citation format (Note: article titles should be included in this situation).

Affortunato, F.; Florio, S.; Luisi, F.; Musio, B. α- vs Ortho-Lithiation of N-Alkylarylaziridines: Probing the Role of the Nitrogen Inversion Process. J. Org. Chem. [Online] 200873, 9214-9220. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jo8016549?prevSearch=luisi&searchHistoryKey= (accessed April 16, 2015).

Articles from subscription electronic databases

Hallet, V. Scanning the Globe for Organic Chemistry. U.S. News and World Report [Online], April 19, 2004, p 59, Business Source Complete. http://web.ebscohost.com/bsi/ (accessed April 16, 2015).

Formatting Reference Lists - Books

Book with authors

        Denniston, K. J.; Topping, J. J.; Caret, R. L. General, Organic, and Biochemistry, 5th ed.; McGraw-Hill: Boston, 2007.

Book with editors

        Ellenberg and Rifkin's Diabetes Mellitus: Theory and Practice, 6th ed.; Porte, D., Sherwin, R. S., Baron, A., Eds.; McGraw-Hill: New York, 2006.

Chapter in a book

       Almlof, J.; Gropen, O. Relativistic Effects in Chemistry. In Reviews in Computational Chemistry Lipkowitz, K. B., Boyd, D. B., Eds.; VCH: New York,  1996; Vol. 8, pp 206-210.

Book in series

        
Dondoni, A.; Massi, A. Synthesis of Heterocycle-Linked C-Glycosyl α-Amino Acids and C-Glycopeptides. In Asymmetric Synthesis and Application of α-Amino Acids; Soloshonok, V. A., Izawa, K., Eds.; ACS Symposium Series 1009; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 2009; pp 13-30.

Formatting Reference Lists - Special Materials

Articles from conference proceedings

Full-text article:

Wudl, F.; Hirsch, A.; Khemani, K. C.; etc. Fullerenes: Synthesis, Properties and Chemistry of Large Carbon Clusters. In ACS Symposium Series 468, Atlanta, GA, April 14-19, 1991; Hammond, G. S.; Kuck, V. J., Eds.; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 1992; pp 161−175.

Abstracts of articles:

Davis, A.; Jackson, P. Abstracts of Papers, Part 1, 209th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Anaheim, California, Arp 2-6, 1995; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 1995; CHED-123.

 Articles from theses and dissertations

Print:

Schnare, D.W. Methods for the assessment of aqueous organic materials. Ph.D. Dissertation, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS, 1979.

Electronic:

Thanthiriwatte, K.S. Solvent Methods in Coupled-Cluster Theory. Ph.D. Dissertation [Online], Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS, 2008. http://sun.library.msstate.edu/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-04032009-090013/(accessed April 16, 2015).

Articles from patents

White; M. G.; Iretski; A. V.; etc. Adsorbents, Methods of Preparation, and Methods of Use Thereof. U.S. Patent 7,442,232, October 28, 2008.

Articles from Web sites

National Center for Biotechnology Information. How To: Retrieve All Sequences for an Organism or Taxon. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/guide/howto/retrieve-seq-org/  (accessed April 16, 2015)