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ACS Style Guide American Chemical Society: In Text Citations

Citing References in Text

Please refer to The ACS Style Guide: Effective Communication of Scientific Information, pages 287 to 290 for more examples. Reference Desk REF QD 8.5 .25 2006. The examples below are from this publication.

In-Text References

 There are three ways to cite references in text . Please consult with your professor on the preferred method. 

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

                Oscillation in the reaction of benzaldehyde with oxygen was reported previously.1

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 .

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

In all three systems, the author’s name may be made part of the sentence. In the author –date system, the year is place in parentheses.

Multiple Authors

Two authors give both names joined by “and”. More than two authors, give only the first name listed, followed by “et al.”

Winkler and Perez3

Richards et al. (14)

(O’Brien and Smith, 2014)

(Bancroft, et at., 2004)

More than One Reference from Same Principal Author

Newman and co-workers 2,3

Maniero and colleagues (27-28)

More than One Reference at One Place - System 1 or 2

In the literature2,5,8
Were reported 3-5,10

In the literature (2,5,8)
Were reported (3-5,10)

More than One Reference at One Place - System 3

List the authors alphabetically according to the first author’s name, followed by a comma and the year. Use a semicolon to separate individual references.

(Ellis, 2004; Kaplan and Stolman, 2007; Hoffman et al., 2001)

More than One Reference by the Same Author at One Place – System 3

(Leavy, 2003, 2005; Zillman, 2004)

(Leone, 2005a, 2005b)

(Fordham, 2004; Fordham and Rizzo, 2013)


See Chapter 14 – References, pages 287 to 290 for more information.

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