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Chemistry Research Guide

Getting Started with ACS Style: Quick Guide

This page provides a basic introduction to the ACS citation style. It is based on the 3rd edition of the ACS Style Guide published by the American Chemical Society in 2006. The ACS Style Guide is generally used for academic writing in chemistry. This guide provides basic explanations and examples for the most common types of citations used by students. For additional information and examples, refer to Chapter 14 of the ACS Style Guide

How to Format In-Text Citations

Select one of the three methods below to cite in-text references:

Superscript numbers

At the end of the cited information: 
Fluoridated water as well as various fluoride products such as toothpaste provide fluoride ions necessary for remineralization.¹

Within the cited information: 
Rakita¹ states that fluoridated water as well as various fluoride products such as toothpaste provide fluoride ions necessary for remineralization.

Italic numbers

At the end of the cited information:
 Fluoridated water as well as various fluoride products such as toothpaste provide fluoride ions necessary for remineralization (1). 

Within the cited information:
 Rakita (1) states that fluoridated water as well as various fluoride products such as toothpaste provide fluoride ions necessary for remineralization.

Author name and year of publication

At the end of the cited information:
 Fluoridated water as well as various fluoride products such as toothpaste provide fluoride ions necessary for remineralization (Rakita, 2004).

Within the cited information:
 Rakita states that fluoridated water as well as various fluoride products such as toothpaste provide fluoride ions necessary for remineralization (2004).

Note: for two authors use "and": Rakita and Smith. For more than two authors use "et al.": Rakita et al.

(For more detailed information see ACS Style Guide, pp 287-290.)

Reference List: Journal Articles

Article in a scientific journal

Mawhinney, R. C.; Muchall, H. M.; Peslherbe, G.H. A Computational Study of the 1,3-Dipolar Cycloaddition Reaction Mechanism for Nitrilimines. Can. J. Chem. 2005, 35, 1615-1625.

Article in a popular/non-scientific magazine

Manning, R. Super Organics. Wired, May 2004, pp 176-181.

Article from an online journal 

Peacock-Lopez, E. Exact Solutions of the Quantum Double Square-Well Potential. Chem. Ed. [Online] 200711, 383-393 http://chemeducator.org/bibs/0011006/11060380lb.htm (accessed Aug 23, 2007).

(See pages 291-299 of the ACS Style Guide for more journal article examples)

 

Reference List: Books

(See pages 300-306 of the ACS Style Guide for more book examples)

Book (without editor)

Lehman, J. W. Operational organic chemistry: a problem-solving approach to the laboratory course, 4th ed.; Pearson Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, N.J., 2009; p 57.

Book Chapter (from an edited book)

Nishiyama, H.; Shiomi, T. Reductive Aldol, Michael, and Mannich Reactions. In Metal Catalyzed Reductive C-C Bond Formation: A Departure from Preformed Organometallic Reagents; Krische, M. J., Ed.; Springer: Berlin, 2007; pp 105-138.

E-book

Dyall, K. G.; Faegri, K. Introduction to relativistic quantum chemistry [Online]; Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK, 2007; p 15. http://0-lib.myilibrary.com.mercury.concordia.ca/browse/open.asp?id=115882&loc= (accessed Jun 14, 2010).

Encyclopedias

Print

Diagnostic Reagents. Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, 5th ed.; VCH: Weinheim, Germany, 1985; Vol. A8, pp 455-491.

Online

Alkanolamines from Nitro Alcohols. Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology [Online]; Wiley & Sons, Posted March 14, 2003. http://www.mrw.interscience.wiley.com/kirk/articles/alkaboll.a01/frame.html (accessed Nov 7, 2004).

(See pages 305-306 & 320 of the ACS Style Guide for more encyclopedia examples)

Handbooks

CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 89th ed.; Lide, D.R., Ed.; CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 2008; Section 3, No. 339.

The Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals, 12th ed.; Budavari, S.; O'Neal, M.J.; Smith, A.; Heckelman, P. E.; Kinneary, J. F., Eds.; Merck & Co.: Whitehouse Station, NJ, 1996; entry 4857.

(See the ACS Style Guide for more examples)

 

 

Reference List: Web Sites

Alkaloid, 2009. HowStuffWorks.com. http://science.howstuffworks.com/alkaloid-info.htm (accessed June 14, 2010).

Zeng, Y. Pentachlorophenol Family Pathway Map, 2008. University of Minnesota Biocatalysis/Biodegradation Database. http://umbbd.msi.umn.edu/pcp/pcp_map.html (accessed May 3, 2009).

(See pages 320-322 of the ACS Style Guide for more examples)

 

Reference List: SciFinder snd Other Databases

References to data retrieved from a database should be cited like a web site and include the CAS Registry Number (RN) or chemical name and the date the database was accessed. If the data are calculated data, also cite the software used for the calculation.

SciFinder

SciFinder; Chemical Abstracts Service: Columbus, OH; carbon-13 NMR spectrum; spectrum ID CC-03-C_SPC-3734; RN 50-52-2; https://scifinder.cas.org (accessed June 9, 2010).

SciFinder; Chemical Abstracts Service: Columbus, OH; Density; RN 50-52-2; https://scifinder.cas.org (accessed June 9, 2010); calculated using ACD/Labs software, version 8.14; ACD/Labs 1994-2007. 

Other databases

Spectral Database for Organic Compounds (SDBS); mass spectrum; SDBS No.: 4778; RN 87-86-5; http://riodb01.ibase.aist.go.jp/sdbs/ (accessed June 14, 2010).

(See pages 314 & 324 of the ACS Style Guide for more examples)

 

Reference List: Spectra and Other Data

References to data retrieved from a database should be cited like a web site and include the CAS Registry Number (RN) or chemical name and the date the database was accessed. If the data are calculated data, also cite the software used for the calculation.

SciFinder: If the spectrum or data was found in SciFinder, cite it in the following way: 

SciFinder; Chemical Abstracts Service: Columbus, OH; carbon-13 NMR spectrum; spectrum ID CC-03-C_SPC-3734; RN 50-52-2; https://scifinder.cas.org (accessed June 9, 2010).

SciFinder; Chemical Abstracts Service: Columbus, OH; Density; RN 50-52-2; https://scifinder.cas.org (accessed June 9, 2010); calculated using ACD/Labs software, version 8.14; ACD/Labs 1994-2007. 

Online: If the spectrum or data was found in an online database or web site, cite it in the following way:

Spectral Database for Organic Compounds (SDBS); mass spectrum; SDBS No.: 4778; RN 87-86-5; http://riodb01.ibase.aist.go.jp/sdbs/ (accessed June 14, 2010). 

Journal Articles: If the spectrum was found in a journal, cite the article: 

Kartashov, V. S.; Shorshnev, S. V.; Arzamastsev, A. P. Use of carbon-13 NMR spectroscopy to identify 10-alkyl derivatives of phenothiazine. Khimiko-Farmatsevticheskii Zhurnal 1991, 25, 85-8. 

Print (data set compilation): If the spectrum or data was found in a book or handbook, cite it in the following way:

The Sadtler Standard Spectra: 300 MHz Proton NMR Standards; Bio-Rad, Sadlter Div.: Philadelphia, PA, 1994; no. 7640 (1-Chloropentane). 

The Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals, 12th ed.; Budavari, S.; O'Neal, M.J.; Smith, A.; Heckelman, P. E.; Kinneary, J. F., Eds.; Merck & Co.: Whitehouse Station, NJ, 1996; entry 4857.

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