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Citation Styles: ACS

This guide contains information & resources on the commonly used citation styles in NUS such as ACS, AMA, APA, ASA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard, IEEE, Legal style and MLA.

ACS style guides

The ACS (American Chemistry Society) style guides/manuals below provide instructions and examples on how to create footnotes and bibliographies in research papers. Some include advice on grammar and punctuation, research methods, and guidelines on formatting the final paper.

Citing references in text

In ACS publications, you may cite references in text in three ways:

1. By superscript numbers, which appear outside the punctuation if the citation applies to a whole sentence or clause.

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

2. By italic numbers in parentheses on the line of text and inside the punctuation.

The mineralization of TCE by a pure culture of a methane-oxidizing organism has been reported (6).

3. By author name and year of publication in parentheses inside the punctuation (known as author–date).

The primary structure of this enzyme has also been determined (Finnegan et al., 2004).


Some examples are taken from The ACS style guide: effective communication of scientific information. Click here for more information. 

Examples from different sources

Journal article

The minimum required information for a journal is author, abbreviated journal title, year, publication, volume number, and initial page of cited article, though complete pagination is possible. Article titles are not essential, but they highlight the contents of the article. Some ACS publications include the article title while others do not. Check with the publication itself. If article title is included, use capitalization from the original source, ending with a period. Journal abbreviation and volume are italicized. Year of publication is bolded. No punctuation in journal abbreviations except periods. No conjunctions, articles, or prepositions in journal abbreviations. No comma or semicolon before or after journal titles.


Klingler, J. Influence of Pretreatment on Sodium Powder. Chem. Mater. 2005, 17, 2755–2768.

Deno, N. C.; Richey, H. G.; Liu, J. S.; Lincoln, D. N.; Turner, J. O. J. Amer. Chem. Soc.196587, 4533-4538.



The minimum required information for a book is author or editor, book title, publisher, city of publication and year of publication. 


​Anastas, P. T.; Warner, J. C. Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice; Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1998.

Le Couteur, P.; Burreson, J. Napoleon’s Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History; Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam: New York, 2003; pp 32–47.

McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Chemistry, 2nd ed.; McGraw-Hill: New York, 2003; p 26.



The minimum data required for an acceptable citation are the name(s) of the patent owner(s), the patent number, and the date. Ensure that the patent stage (Patent, Patent Application, etc.) is indicated and that the pattern of the number (e.g., spaces, commas, dashes) follows that of the original patent document. If possible, include the title and the Chemical Abstracts reference (preceded by a semicolon) as well.


Sheem, S. K. Low-Cost Fiber Optic Pressure Sensor. U.S. Patent 6,738,537, May 18, 2004.

Lenssen, K. C.; Jantscheff, P.; Kiedrowski, G.; Massing, U. Cationic Lipids with Serine Backbone for Transfecting Biological Molecules. Eur. Pat. Appl. 1457483, 2004.


General websites

Use the title found on the Web site itself; add the words “Home Page” for clarification when needed.


ACS Publications Division Home Page. (accessed Nov 7, 2004).

International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry Home Page. http://www. (accessed July 21, 2020).


For more detailed examples, please refer to The ACS style guide: effective communication of scientific information. Click here for more information.


This referencing guide follows the principles and examples given in the ACS Style Guide: Effective Communication of Scientific Information published by the American Chemical Society (ACS)