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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). Journal title abbreviation in italics. publication year in boldVolume number in italics provided (issue number in parentheses if provided), page numbers first - last.

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.


Graulich, N.; Schween, M. J. Chem. Educ. [Online early access].

Mullin, R. Chem. Eng. News. 2005, 83 (42), 7.

Tresca, B.; Higbee, M.; Mills, N. S. J. Org. Chem. 2011, 76, 5539-5546.

For 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: 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).


Your can track your sources and format citations using a reference manager such as Zotero.

Zotero allows you to export references from many databases, keep separate folders for different papers you're writing, and even format your bibliography when you're ready to turn in the paper. See our guide on Zotero for more information.


Need Help With a Paper?

The Writing Center is located in room 319 on the main floor on the library, around the corner from the Help Desk. Tutors from the English Department staff the center six days a week. Please contact the Library Help Desk at 999-7213 for questions or hours. 

More Citing Sources

Here are a few resources to help you cite sources correctly.

We also have printed style guides in the library. 

Ask at the reference desk for help finding them.