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ACS Style

Use this guide to learn how to cite journal articles in ACS style in a reference list or bibliography. If you need help citing other types of sources or doing in-text superscripts consult the ACS Style Quick Guide online.

The ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication is a great resource to learn about scientific communication and writing and presenting data. 

Basic ACS Formatting

Elements of a citation:

Author 1; Author 2; Author 3. Title of Article. Journal Abbreviation Year, Volume, Inclusive Pagination. DOI

Note: Author names should be in the format: lastname, initials
with each initial followed by a period, and a semicolon separating author names.

If the citation takes up more than one line on your page, you must indent the second and subsequent lines. Example:

Jones, E. F.; Smith, P.Q.; Majors, B.T. Green Chemistry is Fun. Fun. Chem. 2021, 22, 15493-15494. 
DOI 239230/3dskfjsd.ChemFun

Author names  

lastname, initials

If there are multiple authors separate them with a semicolon. 

Example   Jones, E. F.; Smith, P. 

The last author in the list of names should have only a single period after the author's initial.  

Title of Article

Capitalize the first word and then each main word. 

Journal Abbreviation  

Abbreviate the journal and put it in italics. A list of abbreviations for commonly used journals can be found using the Chemical Abstracts Source Index.

Example: Inorganic Chemistry is abbreviated Inorg. Chem.  


Use only the year, not a month or day, and put it in bold.

Example:  2016

Follow with a comma

Volume number

Put in italics and use only the number, do not include v. or vol.

Follow with a comma.

Issue number

If present, it should be enclosed in parentheses: (11)

Follow with a comma.


Give inclusive pages, the start and ending pages.

Example: 1254-1268.

Follow with a period.


Almost all articles will have a DOI. If there is no DOI provide the URL followed by the date accessed.

Example: (accessed Feb 8, 2018)


Du, Y. D.; Zhou, C.Y.; To, W.-P.; Wang, H. X.; Che, C.M. Iron Porphyrin Catalyzed Light Driven C-​H Bond Amination and Alkene Aziridination with Organic Azides. Chem. Sci. 202011, 4680-4686.DOI:10.1039/d0sc00784f

Guo, P.; Liao, S.; Wang, S.; Shi, J.; Tong, X.  Highly Efficient and Selectivity-​controllable Aerobic Oxidative Cleavage of C-​C Bond over Heterogeneous Fe-​based Catalysts. J. Catal. 2021, 395, 399-403. DOI:10.1016/j.jcat.2021.01.029

Li. Z.; Liu, J.; Shi, R.; Waterhouse, G. I. N.; Wen, X.D.; Zhang, T.  Fe-​Based Catalysts for the Direct Photohydrogenation of CO2 to Value-​Added Hydrocarbons. Adv. Energy Mater. 2021, 11, 2002783.  DOI:10.1002/aenm.202002783