ACS citation style
This guide provides a basic introduction to the ACS citation style. It is based on the ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication published by the American Chemical Society.
Below are examples for the most common types of citations used by students.
ACS indicates that in-text citations can be done in one of three ways:
- By superscript numbers:
- Oscillation in the reaction of benzaldehyde with oxygen was reported previously.3
- The methods used by Thompson3 incorporate the unique properties of this element.
- By numbers in parentheses:
- Oscillation in the reaction of benzaldehyde with oxygen was reported previously (6).
- Jensen (6) repported oscillation in the reaction of benzaldehyde with oxygen.
- By author name and year of publication in parentheses (author-date system):
- Oscillation in the reaction of benzaldehyde with oxygen was reported previously (Finnegan et al., 2004).
When it comes to the use of author names in text:
- Two authors: provide the surname of both authors, separated by the word "and"
- O'Brien and Alenno (10) reported that...
- More than two authors: provide the surname of the first author listed, and then "et al."
- Finnegan et al. (11) described the importance of...
Note: This is different from the list of works cited, where the first 10 author names should be provided, separated by semicolons, and then followed by “et al.”
Reference list citations
References cited in the body of the text should have a corresponding entry in the document’s reference list, which is placed at the end of the document.
Sample reference list:
1. Lehman, J. W. Operational Organic Chemistry: A Problem-Solving Approach to the Laboratory Course, 4th ed.; Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009.
2. Klostermeier, D.; Rudolph, M. G. Biophysical Chemistry; CRC Press, 2017. DOI: 10.1201/9781315156910
3. Mawhinney, R. C.; Muchall, H. M.; Peslherbe, G. H. A Computational Study of the 1,3-Dipolar Cycloaddition Reaction Mechanism for Nitrilimines. Can. J. Chem. 2005, 83 (9), 1615-1625.
Book (without editor)
- Lehman, J. W. Operational Organic Chemistry: A Problem-Solving Approach to the Laboratory Course, 4th ed.; Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009.
Book Chapter (from an edited book)
- Nishiyama, H.; Shiomi, T. Reductive Aldol, Michael, and Mannich Reactions. In Metal Catalyzed Reductive C-C Bond Formation: A Departure from Preformed Organometallic Reagents; Krische, M. J., Ed.; Springer, 2007; pp 105-138.
- Klostermeier, D.; Rudolph, M. G. Biophysical Chemistry; CRC Press, 2017. DOI: 10.1201/9781315156910
- Diagnostic Reagents. In Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, 5th ed.; VCH, 1985; Vol. A8, pp 455-491.
- Eachus, A. C.; Bollmeier, A. F. Alkanolamines from Nitro Alcohols. In Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology; Wiley & Sons, 2003. DOI: 10.1002/0471238961.0112110102151212.a01.pub2
- 2-(Acetyloxy)benzoic acid. In CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 97th ed.; Haynes, W. M., Lide, D. R., Bruno, T. J., Eds.; CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 2016; Section 3, p 8. (CAS RN: 50-78-2).
- Aspirin. In The Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs and Biologicals, 15th ed.; O’Neil, M. J., Heckelman, P. E., Dobbelaar, P. H., Roman, K. J., Eds.; Merck & Co.: Whitehouse Station, NJ, 2013; p 842. (CAS RN: 50-78-2).
- Aspirin. The Merck Index Online, Monograph ID 2111. Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013. https://www-rsc-org.lib-ezproxy.concordia.ca/Merck-Index/monograph/m2111/aspirin?q=authorize (accessed 2021-09-03). (CAS RN: 50-78-2).
If there is no journal title abbreviation for the journal under consideration, use the full journal title in your reference list citation.
- Mawhinney, R. C.; Muchall, H. M.; Peslherbe, G. H. A Computational Study of the 1,3-Dipolar Cycloaddition Reaction Mechanism for Nitrilimines. Can. J. Chem. 2005, 83 (9), 1615-1625.
- Mawhinney, R. C.; Muchall, H. M.; Peslherbe, G. H. A Computational Study of the 1,3-Dipolar Cycloaddition Reaction Mechanism for Nitrilimines. Can. J. Chem. 2005, 83 (9), 1615-1625. DOI: 10.1139/v05-179
Online via Library Database (PDF accessed in the database)
- Shulian, W.; Chen, Y.; Jiao, Y.; Li, Z. Detoxification of Cylindrospermopsin by Pyrite in Water. Catalysts 2019, 9 (9), 699. DOI: 10.3390/catal9090699 (accessed 2021-09-20 from Academic Search Complete).
Treat a lab manual like a book authored by the instructor and published by the University.
- Bird, P. Chemistry 206 Laboratory Manual; Concordia University, 2010.
Course Notes (from Moodle)
- Robidoux, S. CHEM 324 Lecture on Stereochemistry. Concordia University, September 16, 2009. https://moodle.concordia.ca/moodle/ (accessed 2009-09-17).
- Vaughan, A. Earth in the Danger Zone. New Scientist, August 14, 2021, 7.
- Seidman, K. Concordia Professor Wins Science Award. The Gazette (Montreal), January 29, 1988. https://www-proquest-com.lib-ezproxy.concordia.ca/pdnmontrealgazette/ (accessed 2021-09-17).
- Toluene; CAS RN: 108-88-3; T291-4; Fisher Scientific, One Reagent Lane, Fair Lawn, NJ, 2009-06-11. Retrieved from Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, Web Information Service. http://http://ccinfoweb2.ccohs.ca/msds/records/6617570.pdf (accessed 2017-10-12).
- Danehy, J. P. Synthesis of Ascorbic Acid from Lactose. US 4,259,443 A, 1981.
- Lenssen, K. C.; Jantscheff, P.; Kiedrowski, G.; Massing U. Cationic Lipids with Serine Backbone for Transfecting Biological Molecules. Ep 1 457483 A1, 2004.
Cite the source you use – if you use SciFinder to obtain a spectrum that was originally reported in a journal article, cite SciFinder, unless you actually access the source article.
If the data is calculated data, also cite the software used for the calculation.
- Thioridazine. SciFinder. Chemical Abstracts Service, n.d. https://scifinder.cas.org (accessed 2010-06-09). (CAS RN: 50-52-2).
- Thioridazine. SciFinder. Chemical Abstracts Service, n.d. https://scifinder.cas.org (accessed 2010-06-09). Calculated using ACD/Labs software, ver. 8.14, ACD/Labs 1994-2007. (CAS RN: 50-52-2).
- Aspirin. Reaxys. Elsevier, n.d. https://www-reaxys-com.lib-ezproxy.concordia.ca/ (accessed 2021-09-03). (CAS RN: 50-78-2).
- Pentachlorophenol. Spectral Database for Organic Compounds SDBS. National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, n.d. https://sdbs.db.aist.go.jp/sdbs/cgi-bin/cre_index.cgi (accessed 2010-06-14). (CAS RN: 87-86-5).
- Chandrakanth, J. S. Effects of Ozone on the Colloidal Stability of Particles Coated with Natural Organic Matter. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, 1994.
- Devanathan, G. The Design of Substrates for Cathepsin X. M.S. Thesis, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, 2003. http://spectrum.library.concordia.ca/2239/ (accessed 2021-09-03).
- Zeng, Y. Pentachlorophenol Family Pathway Map. http://eawag-bbd.ethz.ch/pcp/pcp_map.html (accessed 2021-09-03).
Software is one already established ACS format that may make sense for an AI tool citation:
- ChatGPT, ver. 3.5; OpenAI: San Francisco, 2023. https://openai.com/chatgpt (accessed 2023-06-22).