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Chemistry: Citing sources in ACS style

This Guide is specially created to help chemistry faculty and students find the best resources in the library.

CITING SOURCES in ACS STYLE

Harper College
CITING SOURCES in ACS STYLE


This guide has been prepared to help students use the documentation style recommended by the American Chemical
Society. The ACS style is used in the field of chemistry.

GENERAL GUIDELINES


IN-TEXT CITATIONS

Sources should be cited in-text in one of three ways:
1. By number.

  •  Assign sources numbers consecutively as they are used in your paper. The number should be italicized and enclosed in parenthesis before the period.
  • If citing a source more than once in your paper, do not give it a new number.
  • EXAMPLE: Chemical synthesis created three products (1).

2. By superscript number.

  • Assign each source a number when it is used in your paper. The number should be typed directly after the period in superscript font.
  • EXAMPLE: Chemical synthesis created three products.1

3. By author name and date.

  • Type the author’s last name followed by a comma and then the year of publication in parenthesis before the period.
  • If your source has two authors, include both last names. If the source has three or more authors, include only the first author’s last name followed by “et al.”
  • EXAMPLE (ONE AUTHOR): Chemical synthesis created three products (Smith, 2014).
  • EXAMPLE (TWO AUTHORS): Chemical synthesis created three products (Smith and Jones, 2014).
  • EXAMPLE (THREE+ AUTHORS): Chemical synthesis created three products (Smith et al., 2014).

In all three systems, you may elect to mention the author(s) name(s) in-text. In this case, place the citation directly after
their name(s). If using the name and date format, include only the date.

  • EXAMPLE: According to Ellis (2) the results were statistically significant.
  • EXAMPLE: According to Ellis2 the results were statistically significant.
  • EXAMPLE: According to Ellis (2014) the results were statistically significant.

GENERAL RULES FOR REFERENCE LISTS

  • Bibliographies should be single-spaced, with no blank lines between citations.
  • Arrange the references in your bibliography based on the way they were cited in the text.
    • When using numerical citations in-text, arrange the bibliography numerically. The first source cited in the paper will be the first source cited in the bibliography.
    • When using the authors’ names for in-text citations, the bibliography should be arranged alphabetically by the authors’ last names.
  • All citations should end with a period.

GENERAL RULES FOR REFERENCES (CITATIONS)

  • Author names are written as the last name followed by a comma and then the author’s initial(s) and any qualifiers such as Jr.
  • Journal titles should be abbreviated according to the Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index, which can be found online. If a book doesn’t have an author you should use the editor’s name in the author field.
  • Complete dates are written as the month (abbreviated if longer than five characters) followed by the day, a comma, and then the four-digit year.

The following are samples of some of the most commonly cited sources. For more information, ask a librarian or visit the
Publications page of the American Chemical Society website and search for the ACS Style Guide.

BOOK WITHOUT EDITOR

Format: Author 1; Author 2; Author 3; (etc) Chapter Title. Book Title, Edition Number; Series Information; Publisher; Place of Publication, Year; Volume Number, Pagination.
Example: Cobb, C.; Fetterolf, M.L.; Periodically Speaking. The Joy of Chemistry: The Amazing Science of Familiar Things, Prometheus Books; New York, 2005; 55-72.

BOOK WITH EDITOR(S)

Format: Author 1; Author 2; Author 3; (etc) Chapter Title. In Book Title, Edition Number; Editor 1, Editor 2, (etc) Eds.; Series Information; Publisher; Place of Publication, Year; Volume Number, Pagination.
Example: Cowan, R.S.; Prenatal Gene Manipulation Has Many Advantages. In Genetic Disorders; Green, R.M. Ed.; Opposing Viewpoints series; Greenhaven Press; Detroit, 2009; 143-149.

MAGAZINE OR NEWSPAPER ARTICLE

Format: Author 1; Author 2; Author 3; (etc) Title of Article. Title of Magazine or Newspaper, Complete Date, Page Range.
Example: Goodnough, A.; Atkinson, S.; Flint Water Crisis Also Hits at Mental Health. New York Times, May 1, 2016, 16-19.

JOURNAL ARTICLE [PRINT]

Format: Author 1; Author 2; Author 3; (etc) Title of Article. Journal Title or Abbreviation Year, Volume (issue number), Page Range.
Example: Sanders, L.; Microbes of the Mind. Sci. News 2016, 189 (7), 22-25.

JOURNAL ARTICLE [ELECTRONIC]

Format: Author 1; Author 2; Author 3; (etc) Title of Article. Journal Title or Abbreviation [Online] Year, Volume (issue number), Page Range. Database Name. URL of Database (accessed Date Accessed).
Example: Sanders, L.; Microbes of the Mind. Sci. News [Online] 2016, 189 (7), 22-25. Academic Search Complete. https://www.ebscohost.com/academic/academic-search-complete (assessed Aug 25, 2016).

WEB PAGE

Format: Author (if any). Title of Site. URL (accessed Date Accessed).
Example: American Chemical Society Home Page. https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en.html (accessed Aug 26, 2016).