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ACS: American Chemical Society Citation Style

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General Guidelines for ACS Style

All sources of information and data, whether quoted directly or paraphrased, are cited with parenthetical references in the text of your paper (p. 170).

      Example: (Walker, 2003).

All sources used in your paper are included in a References list.

Double-space your entire paper, including the References list (which is also formatted with hanging indentation) and any block quotes (pp.171, 180).

Create a Running Head for your paper. (pp. 229, 230)

What is In-text citing?

In-text citations are used in the body ("in the text") of research papers or assignments when you use information from sources.

In-text citations are used to provide the reader with:

  • information about the ideas and arguments your are making from the sources you used
  • to which sources in the References page you refer 
  • when the information was published
  • on what page the ideas and arguments upon which you are referring are located in your source

Note: Except for a few sources (like interviews which are considered undiscoverable), an in-text citation must have a matching source on the References page

Tips: How to Format In-Text Citations

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

There are three methods used to cite in-text references. 

  1. by number;
  2. by superscript number;
  3. by author name and date.

References should be in italics and 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.

Choose one and be consistent throughout your paper.

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

Tips: Reference List

A list of references appears at the end of the paper in alphabetical order if cited by author and date or in numerical order if cited by numbers. A reference must include specific minimum data.

  • Arrange the references in your bibliography based on the method used for in-text citations. If numerical citations were used, then arrange references at the end of the paper numerically. If author names were used, arrange alphabetically.
  • All references end with a period.
  • Do not leave blank lines between references.
  • Journal article titles and book chapter titles are not essential, but they are considered desirable.
  • If a book as a whole is used, pagination is not necessary

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

Book

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.

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)

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.

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.

Internet Site

Use the title found on the site. If needed for clarification, you can add the words "Home Page", "Gopher Site", or "database". The date of access is mandatory. Refer to Online Journal below for the format of an online journal article.

Author (if any). Title of Site. URL (accessed date), other identifying information.

Weisstein, E. W. Molecular Orbital Theory. http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/chemistry/MolecularOrbitalTheory.html (accessed 12/15/03), part of Eric Weisstein's World of Science. http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/ (accessed 12/15/03).

Journals

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.Article titles are not essential, but they highlight the contents of the article. Some ACS publications include the article title while others do not. Check with the publication itself.

If article title is included, use capitalization from the original source, ending with a period. Journal abbreviation and volume are italicized. Year of publication is bolded. No punctuation in journal abbreviations except periods. No conjunctions, articles, or prepositions in journal abbreviations. No comma or semicolon before or after journal titles.

Use this free tool to quickly identify or confirm journal titles and abbreviations for publications indexed by CAS since 1907, including serial and non-serial scientific and technical publications.

 CASSI Online

While CASSI is your best source of abbreviations, you can also check the following online sources:

Learn More

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American Chemical Society Style Guide

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HOUSE OF LEARNING REFERENCE - 3RD FLOOR

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