You may be familiar with citation and bibliography styles such as MLA (Modern Language Association) and APA (American Psychological Association). In physical science and engineering journals, these styles are rarely used as specified. Usually, individual journals (or groups of journals by the same publisher) tend to use their own specified style. This page has resources to help you decipher citations to journal articles and determine if the UF Libraries have a subscription to the journal of interest.
The complete American Chemical Society (ACS) Style Guide (3rd Edition, 2006) is available in the Reference Section of the Marston Science Library, call number QD85.A25 2006. Chapter 14 specifically deals with citations. Relevant information about citations presented here draws on that book, as well as general ACS publications.
A typical ACS journal citation follows the following basic style:
Fendler, J. H.; Hinze, W. L. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1981, 103, 5439-5447.
Sometimes you will see the title given between the author names and the journal abbreviation, but usually not. This is because titles can be very long and include non-standard symbols or fonts. You can find details in Chapter 14 of the ACS Style Guide. However, you should be able to locate the indicated article from the information given.
Not all ACS journals follow this format! It is always a good idea to double-check the journal homepage for format information! Some examples are linked here:
The complete American Institute of Physics (AIP) Style Guide (4th Edition 1990, addendum added 1997) is available online. The document as a whole provides good basic information for preparing a scientific publication. Specifically, Part 10 of Section II addresses citation formats. Relevant information about citations presented here draws on that book, as well as general AIP publications.
A typical AIP journal citation follows the following basic style:
L. Qiu, C. Zachariah, and S.J. Hagen, Phys. Rev. Lett. 90, 168103 (2003).
Sometimes you will see the title given between the author names and the journal abbreviation, but usually not. This is because titles can be very long and include non-standard symbols or fonts. However, you should be able to locate the indicated article from the information given.
You will find that almost all journals use a style similar to ACS in terms of information required for the citation, but the formatting may be different. Or, additional information, such as article title and issue number (in addition to volume number) may be included. For example, the Elsevier journal Polymer uses the following style:
Braun D, Kramer I, Pasch H. Macromol Chem Phys 2000;201:1048.
The Wiley journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry uses a style including the article title:
Roy S, Singh SB. 2005. Liquid chromatographic method for the microquantitative determination of clodinafop in soil, wheat and Phalaris minor. J Chromatogr A 1065:199–206.
There are several ways to determine a journal's preferred citation style:
Find the author instructions for the journal: As with ACS journals, each journal has author instructions where the preferred citation style is specified. You can usually find these instructions in a print copy of the journal or on the journal's web site.
Determine the style from a journal article: Find a print or online copy of a journal article from the journal you are interested in. Look at the citations in the journal article you have to determine the correct citation format for this journal. The risk in using this option is that the author of the article you found may not have correctly used the style preferred by the journal's editor -- so double-check against another article. Be sure to check new articles -- style guidelines may change over time.
Use a bibliographic management tool: Programs such as RefWorks and EndNote Web can automatically create bibliographies in many different citation styles. The advantage to this method is you only have to input the citation information one time and then you can reformat it into as many different styles as you would like. This is particularly helpful if you have a large number of citations.
You may come across references to articles using their Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number. This is a quick way to link directly to the publisher's HTML page for an article. Usually there is public access to the article abstract, but the full-text HTML or PDF are restricted to journal subscribers.
To access an article via a DOI number, go to http://dx.doi.org/ and type in the DOI number.
DOI linking works when you are at an institution that subscribes to a journal directly through the publisher. At UF, we have many subscriptions like this, including all ACS journals. However, some journals we have access to through other databases (i.e. EBSCO's Academic Search Premier) and NOT through the publisher. If the DOI link doesn't work (it prompts you for a username and password, or says content is restricted to subscribers), search for the Journal Title in the Library Catalog to see if we have access to the title through another database. See the section below on Finding A Journal Title in the Library Catalog.
The trickiest part of deciphering citations is figuring out the Journal Abbreviation. There are several tools to help you do this:
You can search the library catalog by Journal Title to determine if the UF Libraries have a subscription to a title of interest:
Many titles are available electronically, but often older (pre-1995) volumes may be available only in print. For this title, the library has both electronic and print access:
For the first record, Click here for full text options will show you what years we have available electronically.
For the second record, Check availability will show you what years and volumes we have available in print.