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ACS Style Guide

How to cite sources using the style of the American Chemical Society

In-Text Citations

References in the text should be cited in one of three ways:

  • by an italic number
  • or by superscript number
  • or by author name and date

References should be numbered sequentially.  If a reference is cited more than once, it does not receive a new number.  If citing more than one reference at a time, include reference numbers in increasing order separated by commas.

Italic Number Example:    …preparing N-(p-nitroaryl)amides (2).
Author Name and Date Example:    …preparing N-(p-nitroaryl)amides (Stern and Cheng, 1995).

Reference Lists

The bibliography, or reference list, appears at the end of the paper in alphabetical order if cited by author and date or in numerical order if cited by numbers.  Different reference formats (book vs. journal vs. website) have different rules for citation.  See below for some common format examples.

Books and Book Chapters

NOTE: The minimum required information for a book is author or editor, book title, publisher, city of publication, and year of publication. Omit words like “Company,” “Inc.,” “Publisher,” and “Press” in publishers’ names.  Some ACS publications include the chapter title in book references, while others do not. Check with the publication itself. Using the word “In” signifies the primary author(s) wrote only part of the book, not the entire book.

Anastas, P. T.; Warner, J. C. Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice; Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1998.

Asmus, K. D. Recent Aspects of Thiyl and Perthiyl Free Radical Chemistry. In Active Oxygens, Lipid Peroxides, and Antioxidants; Yagi K., Ed.; Japan Scientific Societies: Tokyo; CRC: Boca Raton, FL, 1993; pp 57-67.

 

Journal Article

NOTE: The minimum required information for a journal is author, abbreviated journal title, year, publication, volume number, and initial page of cited article, though complete pagination is possible.  Some ACS publications include the article title while others do not. In ACS journals, capitalization follows that of the original publication; in other publications, the main words are capitalized. Check with the publication itself.

Journal abbreviation and volume are italicized. Year of publication is bolded. Use CASSI (Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index) to find standard journal abbreviations.

Deno, N.; Richey, H.; Liu, J. S.; Lincoln, D. N.; Turner, J.  J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1965, 87, 4533-4538.

Mullin, R. Chem. Eng. News 2005, 83(42), 7.

 

Website

NOTE: The minimum required information for a website is the site title, URL, and date accessed.  Include the author name if one is listed.  Add “Home Page” to website titles as needed.

ACS Publications Division Home Page. http://pubs.acs.org (accessed Nov 7, 2010).

Freudenrich, C. How Lead Works. http://science.howstuffworks.com/lead.htm (accessed May 29, 2014).

 

MSDS

Hard copy (paper) MSDS
Titanium Dioxide; MSDS No. T3627; Mallinckrodt Baker: Phillipsburg, NJ, November 12, 2003.

MSDS obtained from an Internet search
Titanium Dioxide; MSDS No. T3627 [Online]; Mallinckrodt Baker: Phillipsburg, NJ, November 12, 2003.http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/t3627.htm (accessed 4/15/08).

MSDS obtained from a database source such as CCOHS
Titanium Dioxide; MSDS No. T3627 [Online]; Mallinckrodt Baker: Phillipsburg, NJ, November 12, 2003. Available from Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. http://website.com (accessed 4/15/14).

 

Newspaper

Strobel, Warren P. World Leaders, Activists Criticize U.S. on Environment, Development. Ridder Tribune News Service, Sept. 4, 2002, p 1.

 

Patent

NOTE: In these examples, M. K.Stern and B. K. Cheng are inventors and “Monsanto Co., USA” is the assignee.

Stern, M. K.; Cheng, B. K. M. (Monsanto Co., USA). Process for Preparing N-(p-nitroaryl)amides via Reaction of Nitrobenzene with Nitriles. US Patent 5,380,946, January 10, 1995.

Stern, M. K.; Cheng, B. K. M. (Monsanto Co., USA). Process for Preparing N-(p-nitroaryl)amides via Reaction of Nitrobenzene with Nitriles. US Patent 5,380,946, 1995; SciFinder Scholar AN 1995:354698 (accessed 2/2/08).

 

Thesis

Enander, R. T. Lead Particulate and Methylene Chloride Risks in Automotive Refinishing. Ph.D. Thesis, Tufts University, Medford, MA, 2001.