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Citing Sources: ACS

This guide offers resources to help you document the sources you're citing in your research papers and projects.

ACS Style Overview

The ACS citation style is typically used by scholars in the field of Chemistry.

 

The ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication (2020) is the most recent style guide, replacing the 3rd edition (2006) of the ACS Style Guide. For example references, see:

The ACS Style Guide does not supply specific instructions on how to format an ACS document/report, because in publishing, each journal will have its own requirements for formatting. However, you can use this training document from acs.org to help set up, label the sections of your paper, and provide the appropriate information needed for each section.

All the examples below reflect the The ACS Style Guide, 3rd ed.

Scholarly Journal Articles

Format: Print Journal Article

Author, A. B.; Author, C. D., Jr.; Author, E. F. Title of Article. Journal Abbreviation Year, Volume (Issue), Inclusive Pagination.

Format: Journal Article from a Library Database

Author, A. B.; Author, C. D., Jr.; Author, E. F. Title of Article. Journal Abbreviation [Online] Year, Volume (Issue), Inclusive Pagination or Article Number. Database Name. URL of database (accessed Month Day, Year).

Format: Journal Article from Elsewhere Online (i.e. publisher's website)

Author, A. B.; Author, C. D., Jr.; Author, E. F. Title of Article. Journal Abbreviation [Online] Year, Volume (Issue), Inclusive Pagination or Article Number. URL (accessed Month Day, Year).

Other Notes

  • Title of Article: Article title isn't required, but it's helpful of course for seeing what the article is about.
  • Journal Abbreviation: Use the abbreviation for the journal title and italicize it. See the Journal Abbreviations box below for help finding the proper abbreviation for the journal you're citing.
  • Volume and Issue: Italicize the volume number. Include the issue number after it in parentheses if each issue starts with page 1 rather than at the page number the last issue left off at.
  • Inclusive Pagination and Article Number: It's acceptable to include just the first page number, but preferable to include the full page range. If it is an online article that doesn't have pagination, include the article number where pagination would be.

See pages 291-299 of the ACS Style Guide for more guidance and examples.

Example: Journal Article from a Library Database

Maslanka, D. S. Latent Fingerprints on a Nonporous Surface Exposed to Everyday Liquids. J. Forensic Identif. [Online]. 2016, 66, 137-154. ProQuest Science Database. https://about.proquest.com/products-services/pq_science_journals.html (accessed June 15, 2020).

Example: Journal Article from Publisher's Website

Chanteau, S. H.; Tour, J. M. Synthesis of Anthropomorphic Molecules: The NanoPutians. J. Org. Chem [Online]. 2003, 68, 8750–8766. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jo0349227 (accessed Jan 14, 2019).

Journal Abbreviations

Journal titles must be abbreviated in ACS citations.

News & Magazine Articles

Format: Print News/Magazine Article

Author, A. B.; Author, C. D. Title of Article. Title of Periodical, Month Day, Year, Pagination.

Format: News/Magazine Article from a Library Database

Author, A. B.; Author, C. D. Title of Article. Title of Periodical, Month Day, Year, Pagination. Database Name. URL of database (accessed Month Day, Year).

Format: News/Magazine Article from Elsewhere Online

Author, A. B.; Author, C. D. Title of Article. Title of Periodical, Month Day, Year, Pagination. URL (accessed Month Day, Year).

Example: Print News/Magazine Article

Greenwood, V. How Beets Became Beet-Red. New York Times, Oct 31, 2017, p D2.

Example: News/Magazine Article from a Library Database

Bastos, E. L. A Blue Dye from Red Beets May Be a Nontoxic Alternative to Colorants with Toxic Metals. Washingtonpost.com, April 17, 2020. Gale General OneFile. https://www.gale.com/c/general-onefile (accessed June 16, 2020).

Example: News/Magazine Article from Elsewhere Online

Valsler, B. Beetroot Beats Route to Alzheimer's. Chemistry World, May 2, 2018. https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/beetroot-beats-route-to-alzheimers/3008967.article (accessed June 16, 2020).

Websites

Format

Author, A. B. Title of Webpage. URL (accessed Month Day, Year).

At minimum, include:

  • Author, if listed
  • Webpage title
  • URL
  • Date accessed

See pages 320-321 of the ACS Style Guide for more guidance and examples.

Examples

Nitrile to Acid. http://commonorganicchemistry.com/Rxn_Pages/Nitrile_to_Acid/ Nitrile_to_Acid_Index.htm (accessed July 2, 2018).

In-Text Citations

In-Text Citations Format & Examples

In ACS, in-text citations can be formatted in one of three ways:

  • Superscripts at the end of the phrase or sentence.1
  • Italic numbers in parentheses in the sentence (2).
  • Author and year in parentheses (author-date format) in the sentence (Lastname et al., 2018).

See pages 287-290 of the ACS Style Guide for more guidance and examples, or the "Creating References" chapter below:

More Online Examples and Help

ACS Style Guide

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