ACS style

This basic introduction to the ACS referencing style is based on chapter 14 of The ACS style guide: effective communication of scientific information, 3rd ed. (also available in PDF format). Some ACS journals use different variations, so if submitting to a journal check its guidelines. Generally the ACS style includes

  • A superscript number in your document (starting at 1 and increasing through the document)
  • A reference list for all numbered citations (at the end of the document)

Referencing sources correctly is important to

  • Give credit to the person who came up with the original idea
  • Direct readers to the original source for more information
  • Prove that you are basing your work on solid research
  • Avoid plagiarism and losing marks

Sample references

1.   Gomer, R.; Bauer, E. Interactions on Metal Surfaces; Springer-Verlag: Berlin, 1975.

Editions

1.   Bauer, E. L. A Statistical Manual for Chemists, 2nd ed.; Academic Press: New York, 1971.

The edition number is placed after the title of the work. This is unnecessary if it is the first edition.

Edited book

The editor can be either in the author position or after the title. Separate editor names by commas.

1.   Foster, R., Ed. Molecular Complexes; Elek Science: London, 1973.
2.   Ash, J. E., Hyde, E., Eds. Chemical Information Systems; Ellis Horwood: Chichester, 1975.

or

1.   Molecular Complexes; Foster, R., Ed.; Elek Science: London, 1973.
2.   Chemical Information Systems; Ash, J. E., Hyde, E., Eds.; Ellis Horwood: Chichester, 1975.

Chapter in a book

1.   Maeder, M.; Neuhold, Y.-M. Kinetic Modeling of Multivariate Measurements with Nonlinear Regression. In Practical Guide to Chemometrics, 2nd ed.; Gemperline, P., Ed.; Taylor & Francis: Boca Raton, 2006; pp 217–262.
2.   Hongbo, S.; Liye, C.; Gang, X.; Kun, Y.; Lihua, Z.; Junna, S. Progress in Phytoremediating Heavy-Metal Contaminated Soils. In Detoxification of Heavy Metals [Online]; Sherameti, I., Varma, A., Eds.; Soil Biology 30; Springer: Heidelberg, 2011; pp 73–90. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-21408-0_4 (accessed March 11, 2015).

How to enter references in EndNote

Papers presented at a conference

Citations to an unpublished conference paper include the name, location and date of the conference at which it was presented.

1.   Shapter, J.; Gooding, J. J.; Losic, D. Application of flat gold in STM imaging and biosensors. Presented at RACI/NZIC Conference on Physical Chemistry, Christchurch, New Zealand, February 3–7, 2002.

Papers in proceedings

The reference to a conference paper collected in a proceedings includes the name, location and date of the conference as well as the publication details of the proceedings.

1.   Archer, M. D.; Morris, G. C.; Yim, G. K. Electrochemical approaches to solar energy conversion. In Progress in Electrochemistry, Proceedings of the 5th Australian Electrochemistry Conference, Perth, Western Australia, August 18–22, 1980; Rand, D. A. J., Power, G. P., Ritchie, I. M., Eds.; Elsevier: Amsterdam, 1981; pp 89–100.

It may also be acceptable for a reference to omit the title of the presentation.

1.   Meredith, G. R.; Hsiung, H.; Stevenson, S. H.; Vanherzeele, H.; Zumsteg, F. C. In Organic Materials for Non-linear Optics, Proceedings of OMNO88, Oxford, June 29–30, 1988; Hann, R. A., Bloor, D., Eds.; Royal Society of Chemistry: London, 1989; pp 97–111.

How to enter references in EndNote

There are two major variations: one that omits the title of the article, and one that includes it. Either is acceptable, but be consistent. The EndNote ACS style defaults to including the title.

1.   Schöne, B. R.; Zhang, Z.; Jacob, D.; Gillikin, D. P.; Tütken, T.; Garbe-Schönberg, D.; McConnaughey, T.; Soldati, A. Geochem. J. 2010, 44, 23–37.
2.   Çolak, A. T.; Çolak, F.; Yeşilel, O. Z.; Büyükgüngör, O. Synthesis, spectroscopic, thermal, voltammetric studies and biological activity of crystalline complexes of pyridine-2,6-dicarboxylic acid and 8-hydroxyquinoline. J. Mol. Struct. 2009, 936, 67–74.

Journal title abbreviations

Note that ACS style uses abbreviations of the journal titles.

EndNote can generate these automatically.

Electronic journals

If the journal only publishes electronically, or the online version is different from the print version, then it may be appropriate to include information about the online access. This should include the date you accessed it, and one of: the DOI, the article URL or the database.

1.   Ruangsang, P.; Tewtrakul, S.; Reanmongkol, W. Evaluation of the analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of Curcuma mangga Val and Zijp rhizomes. J. Nat. Med. [Online]. 2010, 64, 36–41. DOI:10.1007/s11418-009-0365-1 (accessed Apr 15, 2010).
2.   Yoshimi, Y.; Hayashi, S.; Nishikawa, K.; Haga, Y.; Maeda, K.; Morita, T.; Itou, T.; Okada, Y.; Ichinose, N.; Hatanaka, M. Influence of Solvent, Electron Acceptors and Arenes on Photochemical Decarboxylation of Free Carboxylic Acids via Single Electron Transfer (SET). Molecules [Online] 2010, 15, 2623–2630. http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/15/4/2623/ (accessed Apr 15, 2010).
3.   Oliveira, J. M.; Sousa, R. A.; Kotobuki, N.; Tadokoro, M.; Hirose, M.; Mano, J. F.; Reis, R. L.; Ohgushi, H. The osteogenic differentiation of rat bone marrow stromal cells cultured with dexamethasone-loaded carboxymethylchitosan/poly(amidoamine) dendrimer nanoparticles. Biomaterials [Online] 2009, 30, 804–813. DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2008.10.024 (accessed Apr 15, 2010).

How to enter references in EndNote

Encyclopedias

Treat encyclopedia articles like chapters in a book (or eBook) but without the author or the "In" prefix before the encyclopedia title.

1.   Dye Carriers. Van Nostrand's Encyclopedia of Chemistry, 5th ed.; Wiley & Sons: New York, 1993; pp 511–512.
2.   Amino Acids. Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry [Online]; Wiley & Sons, Posted April 15, 2007. DOI: 10.1002/14356007.a02_057.pub2 (accessed Apr 16, 2010).
3.   Bioremediation. Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology [Online]; Wiley & Sons, Posted Dec 18, 2009. DOI: 10.1002/0471238961.0209151816180914.a01.pub2 (accessed March 11, 2015).

A URL can be substituted for the DOI. If neither is present for the individual article, provide the URL for the encyclopedia as a whole.

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

1.   Hydrochloric Acid 7m solution; MSDS No. 4518-89 [Online]; ChemWatch: Christchurch, Mar 30, 2006. https://jr.chemwatch.net/ (accessed Apr 16, 2010).

The publisher is the organisation or company that provides the MSDS. Use the URL for the individual article where possible.

Patents

Patent citations require the inventors, the title (if known), the patent number and the date.

1.   Barbera-Guillem, E.; Castro, S. Fluorescent nanocrystal-labeled microspheres for fluorescence analyses. PCT Int. Appl. WO 2001089585, Nov 29, 2001.

Theses

1.   Little, G. R. Studies in carbonium ion chemistry. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1971.
2.   Hickford, S. J. H. Studies in the chemistry of marine natural products. Ph.D. Thesis [Online], University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, 2007. http://hdl.handle.net/10092/1429 (accessed Apr 16, 2010).

Web sites

Where possible include: author, title of page, date published, title of larger site, URL and access date.

1.   Mascini, M. Aptamer-based Assays, 2008. SciTopics. http://www.scitopics.com/Aptamer_based_Assays.html (accessed Apr 16, 2010).

Often not all of this information can be found, but at minimum provide: title, URL and access date.

1.   Visual elements. http://www.rsc.org/chemsoc/visualelements/ (accessed Apr 16, 2010).

How to enter references in EndNote

Basic rules

Write names in inverted form: surname, then initials.

  • Rosenberg, L.

Two or more authors

List all authors. Separate author names with a semicolon.

  • Warren, J. J.; Mayer, J. M.
  • Verney-Carron, A.; Gin, S.; Frugier, P.; Libourel, G.
  • Stone, V.; Nowack, B.; Baun, A.; van den Brink, N.; von der Kammer, F.; Dusinska, M.; Handy, R.; Hankin, S.; Hassellov, M.; Joner, E.; Fernandes, T. F.

Editors

Identify editors with the abbreviation Ed. or Eds. following their name. Separate editor names with a comma.

  • Foster, R., Ed.
  • Ash, J. E., Hyde, E., Eds.

Corporate authors

  • Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker; International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. Plenary and main section lectures. Butterworths: London, 1974.

If the same organisation both authored and published the item, it only needs to be named in the author field.

  • Association of Official Analytical Chemists. Handbook of the AOAC, 3rd ed.; Washington, 1971.

Make sure that the author field ends in a full stop. If you are using EndNote, enter the name of the organisation followed by a comma (e.g. Association of Official Analytical Chemists,) so that EndNote knows to treat it as a phrase instead of breaking it up into surname and initials.

Sample reference list

1.   Ash, J. E.; Hyde, E., Eds. Chemical Information Systems; Ellis Horwood: Chichester, 1975.
2.   Maeder, M.; Neuhold, Y.-M. Kinetic Modeling of Multivariate Measurements with Nonlinear Regression. In Practical Guide to Chemometrics, 2nd ed.; Gemperline, P., Ed.; Taylor & Francis: Boca Raton, 2006; pp 217–262.
3.   Meredith, G. R.; Hsiung, H.; Stevenson, S. H.; Vanherzeele, H.; Zumsteg, F. C. In Organic Materials for Non-linear Optics, Proceedings of OMNO88, Oxford, June 29-30, 1988; Hann, R. A., Bloor, D., Eds. Royal Society of Chemistry: London, 1989; pp 97–111.
4.   Schöne, B. R.; Zhang, Z.; Jacob, D.; Gillikin, D. P.; Tütken, T.; Garbe-Schönberg, D.; McConnaughey, T.; Soldati, A. Effect of organic matrices on the determination of the trace element chemistry (Mg, Sr, Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca) of aragonitic bivalve shells (Arctica islandica)—Comparison of ICP-OES and LA-ICP-MS data. Geochem. J. 2010, 44, 23–37.
5.   Yoshimi, Y.; Hayashi, S.; Nishikawa, K.; Haga, Y.; Maeda, K.; Morita, T.; Itou, T.; Okada, Y.; Ichinose, N.; Hatanaka, M. Influence of Solvent, Electron Acceptors and Arenes on Photochemical Decarboxylation of Free Carboxylic Acids via Single Electron Transfer (SET). Molecules [Online] 2010, 15, 2623–2630. http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/15/4/2623/ (accessed Apr 15, 2010).
6.   Amino Acids. Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry [Online]; Wiley & Sons, Posted April 15, 2007. DOI: 10.1002/14356007.a02_057.pub2 (accessed Apr 16, 2010).
7.   Hydrochloric Acid 7m solution; MSDS No. 4518-89 [Online]; ChemWatch: Christchurch, Mar 30, 2006. https://jr.chemwatch.net/ (accessed Apr 16, 2010).
8.   Barbera-Guillem, E.; Castro, S. Fluorescent nanocrystal-labeled microspheres for fluorescence analyses. PCT Int. Appl. WO 2001089585, Nov 29, 2001.
9.   Hickford, S. J. H. Studies in the chemistry of marine natural products. Ph.D. Thesis [Online], University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, 2007. http://hdl.handle.net/10092/1429 (accessed Apr 16, 2010).
10.   Mascini, M. Aptamer-based Assays, 2008. SciTopics. http://www.scitopics.com/Aptamer_based_Assays.html (accessed Apr 16, 2010).

The official style guide is The ACS style guide: effective communication of scientific information, 3rd ed. (Library print copies); the guide is also available online. The citation style guidelines are contained in chapter 14.

Versions for quick reference have been written by: