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Chemistry: ACS Citations

Tips and resources for research related to chemistry.

Why Cite?

Citation Needed When you use information (data, images, ideas, quotations, facts, etc.) in your papers (or presentations, videos, podcasts, etc.), you need to make reference to the original source. In other words, you give details about where you found the information:

+ To give credit where it's due.

+ To help your audience find the same information sources (it might help their own research). 

+ To show there's support to back up the ideas you present. 

+ To establish your authority and credibility (making you look smart and trustworthy by showing your audience that you did your research - you're not just spouting uninformed opinions - and that you got your information from good sources).

+To avoid plagiarism, which can have nasty consequences.

Image courtesy of xkcd

ACS Style

Use the American Chemical Society (ACS) style for your chemistry citations.

Citations Have Two Parts.

  1. In-Text Citation: Always refer to your source at the point at which you use an idea, fact, or wording that isn’t your own. ACS allows three styles of in-text citation. 
  • Superscript numbers. ¹ 
  • Italic numbers (2). 
  • Parenthetical with author name and year (Severns, 2022).
  1. Bibliographic Citation: This is the complete citation with all the details about the source. It goes into a list at the back of your paper, with the citations in order by number or (if using parenthetical in-text citations), authorʻs name. 

Sample Citations


Field, S. Culinary Reactions: The Everyday Chemistry of Cooking; Chicago Review Press: Chicago, IL, 2012.

In-Text citation: (Field, 2012)

Book Chapter

Company, M.; Karsa, D. R. Vehicle Cleaning. In Handbook for Cleaning/Decontamination of Surfaces; Elsevier, 2007, pp. 439-458. DOI: 10.1016/B978-044451664-0/50013-9.

Parenthetical In-Text Citation: (Company and Karsa, 2007)

Journal Article

Oyedele, A. O.; Gbolade, A. A.; Sosan, M. B.; Adewoyin, F. B.; Soyelu, O. L.; Orafidiya, O. O. Formulation of an Effective Mosquito-Repellent Topical Product from Lemongrass Oil. Phytomedicine 20029 (3), 259–262.

Parenthetical In-Text Citation: (Oyedele et al., 2007)


Mundy, B. A New Simple Process Extracts Valuable Compounds From Seawater. SciTechDaily, December 14, 2022. (accessed 2020-02-21).

Parenthetical In-Text Citation: (Mundy, 2022)

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