Citation Guide

Overview of American Chemical Society Style

Every time you quote or paraphrase someone else’s work, you must tell us

  • who wrote the work
  • what is it called
  • and where can we find a copy.

You give us this information in two places:

  1. In the paragraph where you are quoting or paraphrasing. You will put brief information about the work in parentheses or indicate the work using an italic or superscript number . Check out our guidelines and examples in the left-hand column.
  2. In the References page at the end of the paper. This is where you put all of the information we need to find a copy of the works you used in your paper. Check out our guidelines and examples in the left-hand column.

We also recommend these in-depth guides:

Parenthetical Citations

When you quote or paraphrase from a source (book, article, or webpage) in your paper, you need to insert an in-text citation. 

In ACS papers, references can be cited in text in three different ways.  Ask your instructors which method they prefer!

Superscript numbers

  • At the end of the cited information, outside the period: Van Arnum states, "Continuous-flow technology offers potential advantages compared with traditional batch manufacturing of pharmaceuticals."¹
  • Within the cited information: Van Arnum¹ discusses the advantages of continuous-flow technology.
  • Once a source has been cited, the same number is used in all subsequent references.

OR

Italicized numbers in parentheses

  • At the end of the cited information, inside the period: Van Arnum states, "Continuous-flow technology offers potential advantages compared with traditional batch manufacturing of pharmaceuticals" (1).
  • Within the cited information: Van Arnum (1) discusses the advantages of continuous-flow technology .

OR

Author name and year of publication in parentheses

  • At the end of the cited information: "Continuous-flow technology offers potential advantages compared with traditional batch manufacturing of pharmaceuticals" (Van Arnum, 2013).
  • Within the cited information: Van Arnum (2013) discusses the advantages of continuous-flow technology.

 

Rules

Numerical Reference Methods (Superscript or Italicized)

  • Start with 1 and number consecutively throughout the paper.
  • If a reference is repeated later in the paper, do not give it a new number; use the original reference number

Author Name and Year Parenthetical Reference Method

  • For a source/reference with two authors, include both last names joined by the word and: (Mars and Grande, 2014)
  • If a source/reference has more than two authors, include only the first author listed followed by et al. (always use a period after al!): (Smith et al., 2013)

Citing More Than One Reference at a Time

  • Numerical Methods: List numbers in ascending order. Separate numbers with commas, or, if they are part of a consecutive series, use a dash to indicate a range.
    • in the studies.¹-²
    • in the literature (2, 4, 8-10)
  • Author-Year Method: List the references/sources alphabetically by author's name.  Use a semicolon to separate individual references. (Mars and Grande, 2014; Smith, 2013)

Quotation Length:

If you are using a quotation with 50 words or more, indent on both sides to make a narrow column. Do not use quotation marks.

References Page

  • This is a separate page at the end of your paper. Each citation in the text must be listed on the References page; each listing on the References page must appear in the text.
  • The title of the page should be centered and labeled References.
  • List the citations in numerical order if cited by number (superscript or italics) or alphabetically if cited by author by author.
  • All text is double-spaced, just like the rest of the paper.
  • Indent the second and subsequent lines of citations by 0.5 inch to create a hanging indent. To do this, go to the paragraph section under the home tab in Word. Click the arrow in the bottom right hand corner. This opens a box: under “special”, click on “hanging”. This creates the hanging format.

Books

Author, A.A.; Author, B.B.; Author, C.C. Title of Book: Subtitle of Book, Edition (if not the first); Name of publisher: Place of publication, Year of publication; pp page numbers.

Edited Book

Author, A.A.; Author, B.B.; Author, C.C. Chapter Title: Subtitle of Chapter. In Title of Book, Edition Number; Editor, A.A; Editor, B.B., Eds.; Name of publisher: Place of publication, Year of publication; pp page numbers.

Examples

Rogers, B.; Adams, J.; Pennathur, S. Nanotechnology: The Whole Story; CRC: Boca Raton, FL, 2013.

Zeid, I. Mastering SolidWorks: The Design Approach, 2nd ed.; Pearson: Boston, 2015.

Spasic, A.; Mohanty, U. Counterion Condensation in Nucleic Acid. In Advances in Chemical Physics; Rice, S.A., Ed.; Wiley: New York, 2008; pp 139-176.

Authors

Basic format:

  • Author's last name followed by first and middle initials.  Chapman, J.M.

Multiple authors:

  • Include ALL author names, no matter how many there are! Separate authors' names with a semi-colon.  Chapman, J.M.; La Plante, K.A.; Bricco, E.M.

E-Books

Author, A. A.; Author, B. B. Title of E-book [Online]; Series (if applicable); Publisher Name: Place of publication, Year; Volume, Page(s). URL of e-book (accessed Month Day, Year).

Example

Wang, W.; Stoll, H.W.; Conley, J.G. Rapid Tooling Guidelines for Sand Casting [Online]; Springer: New York, 2010.  https://ezproxy.nwtc.edu/login?url=https://www.netLibrary.com/urlapi.asp?action=summary&v=1&bookid=313031 (accessed Dec 10, 2014).

Newspaper or Magazine Articles

Author, A.A.; Author, B.B.; Author, C.C. Title of Article. Title of Newspaper or Magazine [Online], Complete Date, Pagination. Name of Database. URL of Database (accessed Month Day, Year).

  • Online databases include ones such as EBSCO, ProQuest, and Opposing Viewpoints that are accessed through the Library’s website.

Examples

Bollier, J. Tiny Nanos Can Give Big Boost in Energy. Green Bay Press Gazette [Online], July 21, 2010, p A8. ProQuest. http://search.proquest.com (accessed Dec 10, 2014).

New Way to Embed Proteins in Polymers. Science News [Online], Apr 17, 1993, p 255. ProQuest. http://search.proquest.com (accessed Dec 10, 2014).

Full-Text Journal Articles

Author, A.A.; Author, B.B.; Author, C.C. Title of Article. Abbreviated Title of Journal [Online] Complete Date, Volume Number, Pagination (do NOT put a p or pp in front of page numbers). Name of Database. URL of Database (accessed Month Day, Year).

Example

Miraldi, E.R.; Thomas, P.J.; Romberg, L. Allosteric Models for Cooperative Polymerization of Linear Polymers. Biophys. J. [Online] Sep 1, 2008, 95, 2470-2486. ProQuest. http://search.proquest.com (accessed Dec 10, 2014).

Webpages

Here are some common features you should try and find before citing a webpage in APA style.

  • Author and/or editor names (if available)
  • Article or webpage name
  • Title of the Website, project, or book in italics.
  • Publisher information (ex. name of college department, government agency, company division, etc.)

If there is an author listed:

  • Author, A.A.; Author, B.B.; Author, C.C. Title of document, Year. Title of Website. URL (accessed Month Day, Year).

If there is no author:

  • Title of document, Year. Title of Website. URL (accessed Month Day, Year).

Examples

Polymers and Coatings (MST-7), 2014. Los Alamos National Laboratory Web site. http://www.lanl.gov/mst/mst7/index.shtml (accessed Dec 10, 2014).

What Do Manufacturing Engineers Do?, 2014. Oregon State University College of Engineering Website. http://mime.oregonstate.edu/academics/undergrad/mfge/job-descrip (accessed Dec 10, 2014).

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