Skip to Main Content

Chemical Engineering Research Guide

The resources used by chemical engineers are available in a variety of formats, from print handbooks and encyclopedias that define concepts and explain processes to online databases of chemical names, formulas and properties.

ACS Citation Style

The ACS Style Guide developed by the American Chemical Society is often used in research papers in chemistry and other physical sciences. The below short guide focuses on citing the most frequently used reference sources. For additional citation examples, please check this ACS Style Quick Guide.

Citing References in Text

According to the ACS citation style guidelines, references in the text are cited by one of the following methods:

  • By superscript number
    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.

  • By italic numbers in parentheses
    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.

  • By 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 there are more than two authors, use the first author’s name followed by et al. (Weller et al., 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).

Citing Journal Articles

Articles from online journals:

  • Include all author names , separate the names by semicolons. List the names as: surname first, then first initial, middle initial. Some publications request that if there are more than ten authors, list the first ten authors followed by “et al.”
  • Article titles end with a period (or a question mark if that is part of the title).
  • Abbreviate the journal name.
  • Publication year is set in boldface, followed by a comma in boldface. The volume number is set in italic.

Example: Giraud, R. J.; Williams, P. A.; Sehgal, A.; Ponnusamy, E.; Phillips, A. K.; Manley, J. B. Implementing Green Chemistry in Chemical Manufacturing: A Survey Report. ACS Sustain. Chem. Eng. 2014, 2 (10), 2237–2242. DOI: 10.1021/sc500427d.

[Note: Journal title abbreviations are published in CASSI (Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index) ].

Articles from library databases: 

Example: Rainford, P. F.; Sebald, A.; Stepney, S. Metachem: An Algebraic Framework for Artificial Chemistries. Artif. Life 2020, 26 (2), 153–195. DOI: 10.1162/artl_a_00315. (accessed 2021-10-21 from PubMed). 

Citing Books and Book Chapters

Books 

Format: Author, A.; Author, B.; Author, C. Title of the Book (italic), edition (if there is); Publisher Name, Year of Publication.           
Example: Denniston, K. J.; Topping, J. J.; Caret, R. L. General, Organic, and Biochemistry, 5th ed.; McGraw-Hill, 2007.
                  Denniston, K. J.; Topping, J. J.; Caret, R. L. General, Organic, and Biochemistry, 5th ed.; McGraw-Hill, 2007, pp 23-45. 
                  [If this is an ebook, include the DOI number after the publication date.]

Books with editors

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

Book chapters

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

Books 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, 2009; pp 13-30.   

Citing Conference Papers, Theses, Patents, Websites, and Data

Conference proceedings

  • Abstract of article:

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.

  • Full-text article:

Rahwanto, A.; Ismail, I.; Nurmalita, N.; Mustanir; Jalil, Z. Nanoscale Ni as a Catalyst in MgH2 for Hydrogen Storage Material. In Journal of Physics: Conference Series; 2021; Vol. 1882. DOI: 10.1088/1742-6596/1882/1/012010.

Theses and dissertations

Format: Author name, thesis or dissertation title, degree granted, institution name and location, and year of completion. 

  • Electronic theses/dissertations:

    Thanthiriwatte, K.S. Solvent Methods in Coupled-Cluster Theory. Ph.D. Dissertation, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS, 2008. http://sun.library.msstate.edu/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-04032009-090013/ (accessed 2021-October-21).
  • Print theses/dissertations:

    Schnare, D.W. Methods for the Assessment of Aqueous Organic Materials. Ph.D. Thesis, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS, 1979.

Patents

Format: Inventor name, patent title, patent number, and year of publication. 

White; M.G.; Iretski; A.V.; Weigel, S. J.; Chiang, R. L.; Brzozowski, J. R. Adsorbents, Methods of Preparation, and Methods of Use Thereof. U.S. Patent 7,442,232, October 28,  2008.
[Note: Make sure that the patent stage (Patent, Patent Application, etc.) is indicated.]

Websites

Format: Author name (if there is any), the website title, URL, and date accessed. 

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 2021-October-21).

Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

Format: Chemical name; CAS Registry Number; product catalog number; version number; manufacturer: location, date issued. URL (accessed date).

               1,4'-Bipiperidine, 99%; CAS RN: 4897-50-1; B22028; rev. 1; Alfa Aesar, Thermo Fisher Scientific: Fair Lawn, NJ, February 20, 2018.                                               https://www.alfa.com/en/catalog/sds/B22028/ (accessed 2021-10-21).
 

[This ACS citation guide was developed by Li Zhang and updated on October 21, 2021.]