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ACS Style Guide - Citing Your Sources by Emilie Buckley: Reference List

Learn the basics of using ACS format, in-text citations, and supplemental resources. ACS is the style guide for the American Chemical Society.

Creating Your Reference List

Creating your reference list with the ACS Style Guide 3rd edition

The intention of a reference list is to properly credit sources that were both paraphrased and quoted within your text. Remember, it is your responsibility to verify all citations for accuracy and to properly cite your work. 

Academic Integrity - Accurately citing your sources not only shows that you are capable of conducing academic research, it also prevents plagiarism. For more information, please review the Valencia College Academic Integrity Policy.

Citation Generators - Many students find citation generators to be helpful. Not being the most common writing style, it can be difficult to locate help for citing in ACS. Remember, when using a generator it's important to always double check the work of the program. We are not able to guarantee the accuracy of the work.  Citation Machine - ACS Citation Generator

Common Citations

Course Text
Lehman, J.W. Operational Organic Chemistry: A Problem Solving Approach to the Laboratory.  4th ed.  Pearson Education. 2009. p.144 


Methanol-d4. Safety Data Sheet number 151947 [online].  Sigma-aldrich: St. Louis, MO, July 25, 2018.  (accessed June 18, 2019).

Additional Citations

The below citations are provided as examples of how to cite each source. For more information on the specifics of citing each format please refer to the ACS Style Guide:

Online Sources

Web page
Lowe, Derek. The Bottom of the Stem Cell Barrel, July 16, 2019. In The Pipeline. (accessed January 25, 2020).


Article within a Webpage - No author provided
or an article within a website if authors are not given, make sure to cite both the article name, the website title, and date of publication/revision if given in addition to the URL with access date:

Ephedrine. PubChem Database. (accessed on Jan. 25, 2020)

*Note: this is different than an online journal or online news article or other traditional format that just happens to be online. For example, if the article is published in a journal that just happens to be online, use the journal article citation format (look at the headings on the page if you are uncertain).

Article from an online journal
Fine, L. Einstein Revisited. J. Chem. Educ. [Online] 2005, 82, 1601 ff.
/Nov/abs.1601.html (accessed Oct 15, 2005).

Article from full text database
Begley, S. When Does Your Brain Stop Making New Neurons? Newsweek [Online] July 2, 2007, p 62. Expanded Academic Index. http:/ (accessed Aug 23, 2007).

eBook without an editor
Tour, J. M. Molecular Electronics: Commercial Insights, Chemistry, Devices, Architecture and Programming [Online]; World Scientific: River Edge, NJ, 2003; pp 177–180. http://legacy. =19799,20141,20153 (accessed Nov 7, 2004).

eBook with an editor
Oleksyn, B. J.; Stadnicka, K.; Sliwinski, J. Structural Chemistry of Enamines: A Statistical Approach. In The Chemistry of Enamines [Online]; Rappoport, Z., Ed.; The Chemistry of Functional Groups; Patai, S., Rappoport, Z., Series Eds.; Wiley & Sons: New York, 1994; Chapter 2, pp 87–218. summary/109560980/SUMMARY (accessed April 24, 2005).

Computer Program
Binkley, J. S. GAUSSIAN82; Department of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University: Pitssburgh, PA, 1982.


When using ACS, remember the following:

  • Journal articles must include author, abbreviated journal title, year, publication, volume number, and initial page of cited article, page numbers if possible. 
  • In ACS journals capitalization may vary by the publication. Article titles can be capitalized as written in the original publication. 
  • Publication names are abbreviated according to the ACS Style Guide. 
  • Journal abbreviations and volume are italicized. Year of publication is bolded


Article in a scientific journal - One Author

Klingler, J. Influence of Pretreatment on Sodium Powder. Chem. Mater. 2005, 17, 2755–2768.

Article in a scientific journal - Multiple Authors

Caruso, R. A.; Susha, A.; Caruso, F. Multilayered Titania, Silica, and Laponite Nanoparticle Coatings on Polystyrene Colloidal Templates and Resulting Inorganic Hollow Spheres. Chem. Mater. 2001, 13, 400-409.


Article in a popular/non-scientific magazine

Squires, S. Falling Short on Nutrients. The Washington Post, Oct 4, 2005, p H1.


Single Author

Lehman, J.W. Operational Organic Chemistry: A Problem Solving Approach to the Laboratory.  4th ed.  Pearson Education. 2009. p.144 

Edited Book
Stocker, J. H., Ed. Chemistry and Science Fiction; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 1998.

Book without Editor

Le Couteur, P.; Burreson, J. Napoleon’s Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History; Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam: New York, 2003; pp 32–47.

Book in Series
Lignocellulose Biodegradation; Saha, B. C., Hayashi, K., Eds.; ACS Symposium Series 889; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 2004.

Chapter from a Book
Puls, J.; Saake, B. Industrially Isolated Hemicelluloses. In Hemicelluloses: Science and Technology; Gtenholm, P., Tenkanen, M., Eds.; ACS Symposium Series 864; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 2004; pp 24-37.


Mäckel, H. Capturing the Spectra of Silicon Solar Cells. Ph.D. Thesis, The Australian National University, December 2004.
Kulamer, T. M.S. Thesis, Princeton University, 2004.

Sheem, S. K. Low-Cost Fiber Optic Pressure Sensor. U.S. Patent 6,738,537, May 18, 2004.

Conference/Meetings (abstract only)
Prasad, A.; Jackson, P. Abstracts of Papers, Part 2, 212th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Orlando, FL, Aug 25-29, 1996; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 1996; PMSE 189.

Conference/Meetings (full-text)
Garrone, E.; Ugliengo, P. In Structure and Reactivity of Surfaces, Proceedings of the European Conference, Trieste, Italy, Sept 13-20, 1988; Zecchina, A., Cost, G., Morterra, C., Eds.; Elsevier: Amsterdam, 1988.

Safety Data Sheet

Methanol-d4. Safety Data Sheet number 151947 [online].  Sigma-aldrich: St. Louis, MO, July 25, 2018.  (accessed June 18, 2019).

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