Skip to Main Content

Chemistry Subject Guide

This guide will help you get started with basic research on chemistry.

ACS format: journal articles

A citation for an article in ACS (American Chemical Society) format follows this model:

Last name, Initials; Last name, Initials (list each author). Article Title in Title Case: With the Subtitle in Title Case. Journal title abbreviation in italics. publication year in boldVolume number in italics provided (issue number in parentheses if provided), page numbers first - last. DOI: 10.somenumber/lettersandornumbers

For articles with more than 10 authors, place "et al." after the tenth author's name.

Some articles are available in the ACS database and Scifinder before they have appeared in a journal issue. A database might indicate these articles with notes such as early access, or just accepted, or as soon as publishable. These articles may not a date, volume or issue numbers, or page numbers. To cite early access articles, use the term [online early access] in brackets instead of the missing information.


Foster, J. C.; Varlas, S.; Couturaud, B.; Coe, J.; O’Reilly, R. K. Getting into Shape: Reflections on a New Generation of Cylindrical Nanostructures’ Self-Assembly Using Polymer Building Block. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019141 (7), 2742−2753. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.8b08648

For more examples and citations of non-journal sources, see ACS Style Quick Guide, available online and in the library (under call number QD8.5 A25 2006).

Journal Abbreviations

Look up journal abbreviations using CAS's CASSI tool.

ACS Format: Books

ACS citations for books and eBooks follow this format:

Last name, Initials; Last name, Initials (list each author). Title of book, edition.; Name of book series (if applicable), volume number (if applicable); Publisher, Year of Publication. DOI: xxx (if applicable)


Hammond, C. The Basics of Crystallography and Diffraction, 4th ed.; International Union of Crystallography Texts on Crystallography, Vol. 21; Oxford University Press, 2015. DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198738671.001.0001

Frankel, F. Picturing Science and Engineering; MIT Press, 2018.

ACS format: patents

A citation for a patent in ACS format follows this model:

Last name, Initials; Last name, Initials (list each patent owner). Title of patent. Patent number, Date.


Hoag, G. E.; Chheda, P. V.; Woody, B. A.; Dobbs, G. M. Chemical oxidation of volatile organic compounds. U.S. Patent 6,019,548, May 5, 1998.

Strauss, C. R.; Faux, A. F. Method and apparatus for continuous chemical reactions. U.S. Patent 5,387,397, October 10, 1988.

For citations of non-journal sources, see ACS Style Quick Guideavailable online and in the library (under call number QD8.5 A25 2006).

Annotated Bibliographies

An annotated bibliography contains the following information:

  • Citation
  • Summary of the source's findings or argument (a few sentences)

It can also include, depending on the purpose and assignment, these things:

  • An evaluation of the credibility of the source or strength of the argument or findings
  • An explanation on how the creator of the bibliography (you) intends to use the source; why you selected it and how it will help you create your information or assignment