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Research Fundamentals: Citing Sources

Citing Sources

How to Cite Your Sources

When writing a research report, it's important to cite your references in the proper format. Most journals have their own citation style guide and specific instructions on the "Information for Authors" pages. Here are the most common citation formats from the American Chemical Society (ACS) Style Guide
For an article which that been assigned page numbers:
Author Last Name, First/Middle Initials. Title. Journal Abbreviated Name YearIssue Number, page range.

For example:
He, C.; Stratton, T. P.; Baran, P. S. Concise Total Synthesis of Herqulines B and C. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019141, 29-32.

Notes: Not every ACS journal requires use of titles in citations. Check the particular journal to which you are submitting. Be aware of the placement of periods and commas! There is no extra punctuation between journal name and publication year, for example.

For an article that has just been accepted ("Articles ASAP"):
Author Last Name, First/Middle Initials. Title. Journal Abbreviated Name [Online early access]. DOI: XXXXX. Published Online: Full Date. Web URL to the article page (accessed Date).

For example:
Kerzig, C.; Guo, X.; Wenger, O. S. Unexpected Hydrated Electron Source for Preparative Visible-Light Driven Photoredox Catalysis. J. Am. Chem. Soc. [Online Early Access]. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.8b12223. Published Online: January 23, 2019. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jacs.8b12223 (accessed Jan 23, 2019).

Notes: When articles are initially accepted by reviewers, they are "early access" published online for viewers. However, there may still be minor edits before the article is assigned an issue and page numbers in its final version. It's important to document when you accessed the paper in case there are changes. A DOI is Digital Object Identifier: articles are assigned a DOI when published. You can usually find this information on the journal's abstract page. Not every ACS journal requires use of titles in citations. Check the particular journal to which you are submitting.

A book with one author or a few authors:

Author Last Name, First/Middle Initials. Book Title, edition number; Publisher: City of publication, year.
Chang, R. General Chemistry: The Essential Concepts, 3rd ed.; McGraw-Hill: Boston, 2003.

For a book with an editor and different authors of each chapter:
Editor name, Ed. Book Title; Publisher: City of publication, year.
Stocker, J. H., Ed. Chemistry and Science Fiction; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 1998.


For one chapter of a book or entry in a reference book:

Author of chapter. Chapter Title. In Book Title; Editor name, Ed.; Publisher: City of publication, year; volume number, pp page numbers.
Fagnani, D. E.; Sotuyo, A.; Castellano, R. K. π-π Interactions. In Comprehensive Supramolecular Chemistry II; Atwood, J. L., Ed.; Elsevier: Oxford, 2017; vol. 1, pp 121-148.

For more information about book citations in other special cases, see pages 300-306 in the ACS Reference Guide.

Citations of dissertations can either include the title or not:

Author Last Name, First/Middle Initials. Title. Ph.D. Dissertation, degree granting university, city, state abbreviation, year

For example:
Johnson, K. R. Design and Synthesis of Organometallic Precursors for Photoassisted Chemical Vapor Deposition, Surface Plasmon Mediated Chemical Solution Deposition, and Electron Beam Induced Deposition. Ph.D Dissertation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 2016.


Johnson, K. R. Ph.D Dissertation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 2016.
Most journal websites will include their abbreviated titles on article abstract and full text pages. The quickest way to find out for an article you want to cite is to check for the cited issue and page numbers, usually beneath the abstract or at the top/bottom of the main pages. If you are still having trouble, try using the CAS Source Index website - you can search the full journal title and it will return information about that journal, including its abbreviation. (For example, searching "Journal of the American Chemical Society" will return "J. Am. Chem. Soc.")

Be a little weary of quick Google searches or colloquial spoken references to journal titles. Although people say it often, the abbreviation of Journal of the American Chemical Society is not "JACS," for example!
We offer RefWorks and EndNote Basic (web-based bibliographic managers), for all faculty, staff, and students. They both allow users to create an unlimited number of accounts, import and create article citations, and format and quickly output reference lists into Word, HTML, or plain text format. You will need to create an account and, if off campus, be sure to use the UF VPN. Mendeley is a free reference managing software that can also be useful.

To export references from SciFinder to your reference software, look for the (easy to miss) "Export" button in the top right corner.

SciFinder Reference "export" button in top right
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