ACS Style Guide

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.

Number Example:    …preparing N-(p-nitroaryl)amides (2).
Author Name and Date Example:    …preparing N-(p-nitroaryl)amides (Stern and Cheng, 1995).

Reference Lists

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.

Journal Article
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. 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.  If you find the article online, put [Online] after the journal name, but do not include the URL.

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 [Online] 1990, 78, 52.

Website
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).

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 [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).

Newspaper
Strobel, Warren P. World leaders, activists criticize U.S. on environment, development. Ridder Tribune News Service, Washington, Sept. 4, 2002, p 1.

Patent
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).

Thesis
Enander, R. T. Lead particulate and methylene chloride risks in automotive refinishing. Ph.D. Thesis, Tufts University, Medford, MA, 2001.