Print copies of the 3rd edition of the ACS Style Guide can be found in several libraries on campus. Online access is also available via the ACS website. Chapter 14 contains the rules for how to cite references in text and create a bibliography. A short summary of those rules and some examples are provided below – note these only scratch the surface of the style rules. Consult Chapter 14 for more detailed citation issues.
In Text Citation
References in the text should be cited in one of three ways:
- by an italic number
- or by superscript number
- or by author name and date
References should be 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.
Italic Number Example: …preparing N-(p-nitroaryl)amides (2).
Author Name and Date Example: …preparing N-(p-nitroaryl)amides (Stern and Cheng, 1995).
The bibliography, or reference list, appears at the end of the paper in alphabetical order if cited by author and date or in numerical order if cited by numbers. Different reference formats (book vs. journal vs. website) have different rules for citation. See below for some common format examples.
Books and Book Chapters
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. 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.
Anastas, P. T.; Warner, J. C. Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice; Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1998.
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.
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. Some ACS publications include the article title while others do not. In ACS journals, capitalization follows that of the original publication; in other publications, the main words are capitalized. Check with the publication itself.
Journal abbreviation and volume are italicized. Year of publication is bolded. Use CASSI (Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index) to find standard journal abbreviations.
Deno, N.; Richey, H.; Liu, J. S.; Lincoln, D. N.; Turner, J. J. Am. Chem. Soc.1965, 87, 4533-4538.
Mullin, R. Chem. Eng. News2005, 83(42), 7.
NOTE: The minimum required information for a website is the site title, URL, and date accessed. Include the author name if one is listed. Add “Home Page” to website titles as needed.
ACS Publications Division Home Page. http://pubs.acs.org (accessed Nov 7, 2010).
Freudenrich, C. How Lead Works. http://science.howstuffworks.com/lead.htm (accessed May 29, 2014).
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 [Online]; Mallinckrodt Baker: Phillipsburg, NJ, November 12, 2003.http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/t3627.htm (accessed 4/15/08).
MSDS obtained from a database source such as CCOHS
Titanium Dioxide; MSDS No. T3627 [Online]; Mallinckrodt Baker: Phillipsburg, NJ, November 12, 2003. Available from Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. http://website.com (accessed 4/15/14).
Strobel, Warren P. World Leaders, Activists Criticize U.S. on Environment, Development. Ridder Tribune News Service, Sept. 4, 2002, p 1.
NOTE: 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.
Create Perfect Citations with Our ACS Format Citation Generator
Formatting according to the norms of a selected style is an important stage of writing any scientific paper. Even though the research and writing part is over, a lot of time has to be allocated on arranging and referencing the sources you have used adhering to the norms of the latest edition of the appropriate style guide. And when the number of sources exceeds fifty, it becomes a really time and labor-consuming task.
That’s why we have created a citation builder that you can use to significantly optimize the process. Even though the builder is designed for all styles and source types, we’d like to tell you more about the ACS citation maker specifically.
What is the ACS referencing style?
The ACS referencing style is a combination of norms applied to formatting and referencing research papers in the field of Chemistry. It was created by ACS (American Chemical Society) and last updated in 2006 (3rd edition, available online).
The style offers a wide range of norms on abbreviations of the names of scientific journals, the use of grammar and punctuation, as well as a number of other requirements.
The ACS format citation generator available at this website is based on the latest edition of the style guide. However, as soon as the new edition is published, it will be updated automatically.
A guide on how to cite ACS format
The ACS style provides comprehensive norms concerning formatting, abbreviations, italicizing names and citing the sources used. Since our free ACS citation generator is designed specifically to create citations, we will only focus on this part of the style.
ACS style distinguishes two types of citations:
- Full text citations at the end of your paper (reference list)
In-text citations can be provided in one of the following ways:
- The number of the source specified at the end of the citation or after the author’s name in italics and in parentheses
- The number of the source specified at the end of the citation or after the author’s name in the superscript format
- The author’s name and the date of publication specified in parentheses
Reference list citations differ depending on the kind of source you are citing – whether it is a book, an article, or a website. A lot depends on whether it is a published or an online source that you are citing. That’s why, before generating an ACS citation online, we ask you to specify whether a source is an online or an offline one.
See below for ACS citation examples.
ACS citation examples
- In-text citations:
Chemistry is the mother of all sciences. (1)
Smith (1) states that Chemistry is the mother of all sciences.
Without Chemistry, there would be no Physics.1
Smith1 states that without Chemistry, there would be no Physics.
The biggest danger for a researcher is to adjust the facts to fit the hypothesis. (Smith, 2011)
Smith (2011) states that the biggest danger for a researcher is to adjust the facts to fit the hypothesis.
- Reference list citations:
Citing a published book:
Jameson, P.; Ginger, J. Latest Chemistry Solutions; Joseph Henry Press: New York, 2016; pp 12-13
Citing works presented at conferences:
Jacombo, E.; Kasy, P. The Properties of Surfaces, Proceedings of the European Conference, Paris, France, Jan 15–29, 1995; Searcy, A., Stashowski, G., Eds.; Elsevier: Paris, 1995
Citing a thesis:
Mackerel, H. The Properties of Silicon Surfaces. Ph.D. Thesis, Plymouth University, March 1999
Citing online periodicals:
Norbert J. Pienta*. Celebrating Excellence: A Lesson From the 2011 Oscars. J. Chem. Educ. [Online] 2011, 88 (5), http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ed200159m (accessed Mar 19, 2011).
How to use our ACS in text citation generator
To create ACS citation using our tool, you only need to do the following:
- Choose if it’s an online or a printed source
- For printed sources: specify the author’s name and surname (click on “Add Author” for multiple authors), book title, year of publication, place of publication, publisher, and the edition of the book.
- For online sources: specify the author’s name and surname, webpage title, date of publishing, date of accessing the source, URL and the website name.
- Click “Create Reference” and voila – you have a perfect citation!
Please note that our citation tool is appropriate for all kinds of citation. This includes reference list and parenthetical citation (within the text).
The benefits of automatic ACS citation are obvious!
- Save a significant amount of time by not reading the entire style guide.
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