Print Editions of ACS Style Guide
This page provides examples for citing references in the text and the bibliography of a research paper. For more information, consult the ACS Style Guide: Effective Communication of Scientific Informattion, 2006 ed., or ACS Style Guide: A Manual for Authors and Editors, 1997 ed.
There are several copies of the ACS Style Guide (1986, 1997, and 2006 editions) in UW-Madison Libraries with the call number: QD8.5 A25 [year]:
- Chemistry Library Reference Collection
- Chemistry Library Reserve Collection
- Geology and Geophysics Library Desk
- Pharmacy Library Reference Collection
- Steenbock Library Reference Collection
In-text Citation Format
References in the text should be cited in one of three ways:
- by number;
- by superscript number;
- 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.
Number Example: ...preparing N-(p-nitroaryl)amides (2).
Author Name and Date Example: ...preparing N-(p-nitroaryl)amides (Stern and Cheng, 1995).
The 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.
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.
Anastas, P. T.; Warner, J. C. Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice; Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1998.
Anisotropic Organic Materials: Approaches to Polar Order; Glaser, R., Kaszynski, P., Eds.; ACS Symposium Series 798; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 2001.
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.
Book or Encyclopedia Chapter
Some ACS publications include the chapter title in book references, while oyhers 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.
Stepl, B. A.; George, K. F. Antifreezes and Deicing Fluids. In Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology; 4th Ed. Howe-Grant, M., Ed. Wiley-Interscience: New York, 1992; Vol. 3, pp 347-367.
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).
Deno, N. C.; Richey, H. G.; Liu, J. S.; Lincoln, D. N.; Turner, J. O. J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 1965, 87, 4533-4538.
Borman, S. Sucrose Synthesis Sets A Record. Chem. Eng. News 1990, 78, 52.
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.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 CASSI (Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index) for standard abbreviations of journal names. There are several copies of the CASSI in UW-Madison Libraries:
- Online version
- Chemistry Library Ready Reference Shelf
- Health Sciences Library 2nd Floor Reference Desk
- Pharmacy Library Reference Collection
- Wendt Library Indexes, Reference Area
While CASSI is your best source of abbreviations, you can also check the following online sources:
- Chemical Abstracts Service. Core Journals Covered in CAplus. http://www.cas.org/sent.html.
- Jones, N.; Lindstrom, K. Journal Titles and Abbreviations. http://www.library.ubc.ca/scieng/coden.html.
- ISI Chemistry Citation Index Journal Search [title word + truncation search] ( http://www.isinet.com/cgi-bin/jrnlst/jlsearch.cgi?PC=CD )
- All That JAS: Journal Abbreviation Sources (listing of Web sites that list complete journal titles and abbreviations)
- NCBI Journals Database (PubMed)
Online journal articles are cited using the same format as print journals. Add "[Online]" after the journal name. Include inclusive pagination or other identifying information such as DOI number.
Deno, N. C.; Richey, H. G.; Liu, J. S.; Lincoln, D. N.; Turner, J. O. J. Amer. Chem. Soc. [Online] 1965, 87, 4533-4538.
Borman, S. Sucrose Synthesis Sets A Record. Chem. Eng. News [Online] 1990, 78, 52.
Fulltext Article within a Database
ACS Style Guide does not specifically address how to cite a fulltext article accessed from within a journal database such as Academic Search or ProQuest Research Library. However, my best approximation of an ACS-like format is:
Payne, D. Med. Post [Online] 2004, 40, 52. Available from ProQuest Research Library. http://proquest.umi.com (accessed 3/25/04).
Tator, C; Carson, J. D.; Cushman, R. Can. Med. Assoc. J. [Online] 2000, 162, 787. Available from Academic Search Elite EBSCOhost. http://search.epnet.com (accessed 3/25/04).
Strobel, Warren P. World leaders, activists criticize U.S. on environment, development. Ridder Tribune News Service, Washington, Sept. 4, 2002, p 1.
ACS Style Guide 2006 edition addresses how to cite an 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; Mallinckrodt Baker: Phillipsburg, NJ, November 12, 2003. http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/t3627.htm (accessed 4/15/04).
MSDS obtained from a database source such as CCOHS
Titanium Dioxide; MSDS No. T3627; Mallinckrodt Baker: Phillipsburg, NJ, November 12, 2003. Available from Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. http://ccinfoweb2.ccohs.ca/msds/Action.lasso?-database=msds&-layout=Display& - response=detail.html&-op=eq&MSDS+RECORD+NUMBER=3767394&-search (accessed 4/15/04).
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).
Enander, R. T. Lead particulate and methylene chloride risks in automotive refinishing. Ph.D. Thesis, Tufts University, Medford, MA, 2001.
Other ACS Style Sites
- ACS Style Guide, 3rd ed., Chapter 14, 2006. (accessed 12/13/13)
- Butkovich, N.J. QUICK GUIDE: ACS CITATION STYLE. (pdf) 3rd ed. June 2010. (accessed 12/13/13)
- University of California Berkeley Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Library. ACS (American Chemical Society) Style Guidelines Quick Guide (accessed 12/13/13)