Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
The University of Manitoba campuses are located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the MĂ©tis Nation. More

Citing Data using ACS Style: Home

ACS Style Guide Online

ACS Style Guide

This guide is based on the ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication guidelines for ACS citations. Additional citation examples are located in section 4.3 of ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication.

Some changes from the 3rd edition of the ACS style guide include: 

  • Adding the article title into a journal citation 
  • No longer require the addition of [Online] to the citations for online information 
  • Place of publication is recommended only for smaller or specialized publishers
  • Include DOI for online publications with DOI
  • Include (CAS RN: number) at end of citation for information on a specific chemical substance
  • Access date listed in YYYY-MM-DD format
  • Some changes in the way database entries are listed.

Intro to ACS Style

ACS style is the standard style used in chemistry.  

ACS suggests citing references in text in three ways:

  • By superscript numbers - numbers are listed in the text starting with

    • Oscillation in the reaction of benzaldehyde with oxygen was reported previously.3

    • The syntheses described by Fraser3 take advantage of carbohydrate topology.

    • Journal examples:  Journal of the American Chemical Society, Journal of Organic Chemistry

    • References should be numbered sequentially.  If a reference is cited more than once, it does not receive a new number.

  • By italic numbers in parentheses - numbers are listed in the text starting with (1)

    • Oscillation in the reaction of benzaldehyde with oxygen was reported previously (6).

    • Jensen (6) reported oscillation in the reaction of benzaldehyde with oxygen.

    • References should be numbered sequentially.  If a reference is cited more than once, it does not receive a new number.

  • By author name and year of publication in parentheses (author-date system) - no longer used in ACS Journals:

    • Oscillation in the reaction of benzaldehyde with oxygen was reported previously (Finnegan et al., 2004).

    • The primary structure of this enzyme has also been determined (O'Brien and Alenno, 2005; Axelrod, 2003).

 

Introduction to ACS Style

ACS style is the standard style used in chemistry.  The ACS Style Guide is available in print and online format.  Chapter 14 of the guide includes examples of different types of references. References are arranged either by number or alphabetically by author, depending upon which type of in-text citations are used. 

In–Text Option

Organization of Reference List

 

Superscript1

(most common style)

Arranged numerically - numbers are listed in the text starting with 

Example:

Italic numbers (1)

Arranged numerically - numbers are listed in the text starting with (1)

Example: 

  • Oscillation in the reaction of benzaldehyde with oxygen was reported previously (6).
  • Jensen (6) reported oscillation in the reaction of benzaldehyde with oxygen.

Author/year  (Smith, 2012)

(not very common - was used primarily in books but currently not used by ACS Publications)

 

Alphabetically by author

Example:

  • Oscillation in the reaction of benzaldehyde with oxygen was reported previously (Finnegan et al., 2004)
  • The primary structure of this enzyme has also been determined (O'Brien and Alenno, 2005; Axelrod, 2003).

 

Citing Data from Journal Articles

ACS Style includes journal title abbreviations. The journal title field is abbreviated using the abbreviations listed in CASSI (CAS Source Index). If the journal title is not included in CASSI list include the full, unabbreviated title in the citation. Single word journal titles are not abbreviated. Journal abbreviations are italicized.

Capitalize all major word in the article title as well as the first word in the title and subtitle. Exception: Genus names are italicized and species names are not capitalized.

Electronic journals - if the journal only publishes electronically or if 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 either the DOI, the article URL or the database.

Journal Examples

Author 1; Author 2; ...; Author 10; et al. Title of Article. Journal Abbreviation Year, Volume, Inclusive Pagination. DOI (if available)

Ejournal with DOI

Schöne, B. R.; Zhang, Z.; Jacob, D.; Gillikin, D. P.; Tütken, T.; Garbe-Schouml;nberg, D.; McConnaughey, T.; Soldati, A. C. Effect of Organic Matrices on the Determination of the Trace Element Chemistry (Mg, Sr, Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca) or Aragonitic Bivalve Shells (Arctica islandica) - Comparison of ICP-OES and LA-ICP-MS Data. Geochem. J. 2010, 44, 23-37. DOI:10.2343/geochemj.1.0045

 

One-Word Journal Title

Eid, K.; Sliem, M. H.; Al-Kandari, H.; Sharaf, M. A.; Abdullah, A. M. Rational Synthesis of Porous Graphitic-like Carbon Nitride Nanotubes Codoped with Au and Pd as an Efficient Catalyst for Carbon Monoxide Oxidation. Langmuir 201935 (5), 3421−3431. DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.8b03588

Ejournal with Article Number (no pages)

Klochko, L.; Baschnagel, J.; Wittmer, J. P.; Semenov, A. N. General Relations to Obtain the Time-Dependent Heat Capacity from Isothermal Simulations. J. Chem. Phys. 2021, 154 (16), 164501. DOI: 10.1063/5.0046697

Citing Data from Print Books

Where to Find Citation Information:  Check the title page and copyright information page.

 

Basic Format of Print Book with Author (no editors)

Author, A. A.; Author 2; ...; Author 10; et al. Chapter Title. Book Title, Edition Number; Series Information (if any); Publisher: Place of Publication, Year; Volume Number, Pagination.

Basic Format of Print Book with Editors

Author, A. A.; Author 2; ...; Author 10; et al. Chapter Title. In Book Title, Edition Number; Editor 1, Editor 2, etc., Eds.; Series Information (if any); Publisher: Place of Publication, Year; Volume Number, Pagination.

Place of Publication: The place of publication is not required for well-known publishers like Wiley, Springer, CRC Press, American Chemical Society, Royal Society of Chemistry, Elsevier. 

Print Books Examples

Edited Book

Glycerol. In The Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals, 12th ed.; Budavari, S.; O'Neal, M.J.; Smith, A.; Heckelman, P. E.; Kinneary, J. F., Eds.; Merck & Co.: Whitehouse Station, NJ, 1996; entry M5790 (CAS RN: 56-81-5).

Whole Book with Editors and Book Series 

Successful Women in Chemistry: Corporate America's Contribution to Science; Hinkle, S.; Kocsis, J. A., Eds.; ACS Symposium Series, Vol. 907American Chemical Society, 2005.

Whole Book with Author Emsley, J. The Elements; Clarendon Press: Oxford, 1998.
Book with Edition Berg, J. M.; Tymoczko, J. L.; Gatto, G. J., Jr.; Stryer, L. Biochemistry, 9th ed.; W. H. Freeman: New York, 2019; pp 210 - 225.
Chapter in a Book (no editors) Bard, A. J.; Faulkner, L. R. Double-Layer Structure and Absorption. In Electrochemical Methods: Fundamentals and Applications, 2nd ed.; Wiley, 2001; pp 534−579.

 

Citing Data from Online Books

An online book generally corresponds to the printed version.  Cite books like print-based books but add the DOI at the end of the citation if it is available. If a DOI is not available add the URL for the home page of the site. 

Citing data in an online book: Cite the page number with the data. Some online books also have interactive tables that do not have page numbers.  In this case cite the table and indicate the substance or other identifying name in the table instead of the page number.

Where to Find Citation Information:  Some online books will provide a basic citation.  Look for the words Citation or something like Cite this Book.  These citations will not necessarily be in ACS style but will give you clues as to what information to cite.  Also check the Front Matter section, Preface or book cover.

Basic Format for Online Books with Editors:

Author 1; Author 2; Author 3; ...; Author 10; et al. Chapter Title.  In Book Title; Editor 1, Editor, etc. Eds.; Series Information (if any); Publisher:  Place of Publication, Year posted online; Volume Number, Pagination or Name of Compound or other identifying information; URL* (accessed YYYY-MM-DD) (CAS RN #).

*Include home page URL for subscription sites without the proxy information. To access subscription sites a proxy server is used to indicate that University of Manitoba students are allowed to access the site and uml.idm.oclc.org  is added to the URL.  When citing remove the proxy server information.  In order to get the URL without the proxy information it is recommended to search for the database name using Google and then copy the URL. Be as concise as possible.  For instance, use https://scifinder.cas.org https://scifinder.cas.org/scifinder/login.

Online Book Examples

Interactive Table from an Online Book with Editor (example 1)

Acetone. Physical Constants of Chemical SubstancesIn Dictionary of Substances and Their Effects. 3rd Electronic Edition; Gangolli, S., Ed.; Royal Society of Chemistry, 2005. Retrieved from Knovel,  https://app.knovel.com (accessed 2017-01-30) (CAS RN: 67-64-1).

Include home page URL for subscription sites without the proxy information. Example: Do not include uml.idm.oclc.org

Interactive Table from an Online Book  with Editor (example 2)

Cyclohexane. Physical Constants of Organic Compounds. In CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. 101st ed.;  Rumple, J. R., Ed.; CRC Press/Taylor and Francis, 2018.  http://www.hbcponline.com (accessed 2021-04-23) (CAS RN: 110-82-7).

Include home page URL for subscription sites without the proxy information. Example: Do not include uml.idm.oclc.org

 

Entry in an online handbook Caffeine. In Merck Index Online; Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013; Monograph 2909. https://www.rsc.org/merck-index (accessed 2021-04-23) (CAS RN: 58-08-2).

 

Ebook from aggregator and URL

Patnaik, P. Dean's Analytical Chemistry Handbook, 2nd ed.; McGraw-Hill, 2004. Retrieved from AccessEngineering, http://www.accessengineeringlibrary.com (accessed 2021-04-22).

Include home page URL for subscription sites without the proxy information. Example: Do not include uml.idm.oclc.org

Citing Data from a Database

A database is a website that has a collection of information such as citations to journal articles, physical property data, or spectra.  A database includes a search feature and individual records matching the query are retrieved.  Most databases will include some unique identifier that will allow the user to retrieve that specific information again.  Examples include:  accession number, entry number, CAS registry number, or chemical name.

General Features of Databases:

  • accessible on the Internet
  • includes a search option
  • individual entries identified by a unique number or an identifier such as a chemical name

Where to Find Citation Information:  Look at the About Us links, copyright link, copyright information at the bottom of the search screen, links with the word Citation or Cite. If a sample citation is provided it may not be in ACS Style.

Basic Format:  Author, A. A.; Author 2; ...; Author 10; et al.(if any).  Title of Database Item. Title of Database, database version (if any). Publisher: Place of Publication, Date posted online. DOI or URL* (accessed YYYY-MM-DD) More information on type of information used, eg.Melting Point, IR spectra (CAS RN: number).

*Include home page URL for subscription sites without the proxy information. To access subscription sites a proxy server is used to indicate that University of Manitoba students are allowed to access the site and uml.idm.oclc.org  is added to the URL.  When citing remove the proxy server information.  In order to get the URL without the proxy information it is recommended to search for the database name using Google and copy the URL.  Be as concise as possible.  For instance, use https://scifinder.cas.org not https://scifinder.cas.org/scifinder/login. Please note that the Libraries' proxy server information is automatically added into the examples that are listed in the ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication but when citing the proxy server information should not be included in the references.

Database Examples

Online database

Caffeine. ChemSpider;  Royal Society of Chemistry, n.d.; CSID=2424. http://www.chemspider.com/Chemical-Structure.2424.htm (accessed 2021-04-21). 

Butane. PubChem Compound Database; National Center for Biotechnology Information. CID=7843, https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/7843 (accessed 2021-04-21).

Online subscription database (URL includes proxy information from the library -uml.idm.oclc.org)

Glycerol. Combined Chemical Dictionary; CRC Press, 2020.  http://ccd.chemnetbase.com (accessed 2021-04-21). (CAS RN 56-81-5).

Include home page URL for subscription sites without the proxy information. Example: Do not include uml.idm.oclc.org

RN is the Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number or CAS Number.

Online subscription database (URL includes proxy information from the library - uml.idm.oclc.org)

Caffeine. The Merck Index Online; Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013;  https://www.rsc.org/merck-index (accessed 2021-04-21). (CAS RN: 58-08-2).   

Include home page URL for subscription sites without the proxy information.  Example: Do not include uml.idm.oclc.org

List the Last Revised Date.

SciFinder  (spectra)

Thioridazine. SciFinder-n; Chemical Abstracts Service, n.d.; https://scifinder-n.cas.org (accessed 2021-04-21). carbon-13; NMR spectrum; spectrum ID CC-03-C_SPC-3734. (CAS RN 50-52-2). 

Include home page URL for subscription sites without the proxy information.  Example: Do not include uml.idm.oclc.org

RN is the Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number or CAS Number.

SciFinder  (calculated data)

Thioridazine. SciFinder-n; Chemical Abstracts Service, n.d. http://scifinder-n.cas.org (accessed 2021-04-21). Density calculated using ACD/Labs software, version 11.02, ACD/Labs 1994-2021. (CAS RN 50-52-2).

Include home page URL for subscription sites without the proxy information.  Example: Do not include uml.idm.oclc.org

RN is the Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number or CAS Number.

Spectral data from online database

   

Pentachlorophenol. Spectral Database for Organic Compounds SDBS. National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 1999; https://sdbs.db.aist.go.jp (accessed 2021-04-21) mass spectrum, SDBS No.: 4778. (CAS RN 87-86-5).

RN is the Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number or CAS Number.

Citing Data from Safety Data Sheets (formerly called Material Safety Data Sheets)

Basic Format: Title; CAS RN: number; Catalog Number; version number; Manufacturing Company:  Location of Company, YYYY-MM-DD. URL (accessed YYYY-MM-DD).

Safety Data Sheets Examples

Online SDS

1,4'-Bipiperidine, 99%; CAS RN: 4897-50-1; B22028; rev. 1; Alfa Aesar, Thermo Fisher Scientific: Fair Lawn, NJ, 2018-02020. https://www.alfa.com/en/catalog/sds/B22028/ (accessed 2019-10-07).

SDS obtained from a database source such as CCOHS

Titanium Dioxide; CAS RN: 13463-67-7; SLT2686; ScienceLab.com: Houston, TX, 2016-01-27. Retrieved from from Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, Web Information Service. http://ccinfoweb.ccohs.ca (accessed 2021-03-23).

Citing Data from Web Sites

Web sites can be government sites, organization sites, course web sites or personal home pages.  Some websites are considered databases and should be cited as a database.  See the information on databases listed below.  Databases include a reference number or other identifying information along with one or more search options.  

General Features of Web Sites:

  • accessible on the Internet
  • no page numbers
  • information cited is located at the URL provided – no additional searching is required

Where to Find Citation Information:  Look at the About Us links, Contact Us links, Copyright link, copyright information at the bottom of the search screen, links with the word Citation or Cite.  If a sample citation is provided it may not be in ACS Style.

Basic Format:  Author, A. A.; Author 2; ...; Author 10; et al. or Organization (if any). Title of Site. URL (accessed YYY-MM-DD), other identifying information (if any).

Web Site Examples  

Home Page

Winter, M.  WebElements:  The Periodic Table on the WWW.  http://www.webelements.com (accessed 2021-04-21). 

Specific Section of a Web Site Winter, M.  Vanadium: The Essentials. WebElements: The Periodic Table on the WWW. http://www.webelements.com/vanadium/ (accessed 2021-04-21).

YouTube Vidoes

Basic Format

Author 1; Author 2; …; Author 10; et al. Title of Audio or Video. Title of Program or Series. Title of Site or Organization, date. URL (accessed Sept. 20, 2020).

Video on YouTube; the author is the organization American Chemical Society. Game of Thrones Science: Sword Making and Valyrian Steel. Reactions. YouTube, April 15, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHRcGoje4j4 (accessed Feb. 28, 2019).
Video on YouTube; the authors are the creators of the video Consell, R.; Zamieroski, K.; Gentleman, D.; Waghorn, N.; Dylewski, A. Game of Thrones Science: Sword Making and Valyrian Steel. Reactions. American Chemical Society. YouTube, April 15, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHRcGoje4j4 (accessed Feb. 02, 2019).

 

Exceptions

The following example appears to be more like a database but the Citation Guide on its website indicates that this source should be cited as a book.

The Citation Guide page on the NIST Chemistry Website includes the author names for each section. 

NIST Chemistry WebBook  

Wallace, W. E.; Infrared Spectra; NIST Chemistry WebBook, Standard Reference Database Number 69; Linstrom, P.; Mallard, W.G., Eds; National Institute of Standards and Technology:  Gaithersburg, MD, n,d.; http://webbook.nist.gov (accessed 2012-08-22) (CAS RN: 592-43-8).

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Marie Speare
Contact:
Sciences and Technology Library
(204) 474-7063
(204) 290-4266 (mobile)

Engineering Library
(204) 474-9445
(204) 290-4266 (mobile)
Social: Twitter Page