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Chem 105b/107b: General Chemistry: Article Citations

Citing Sources

An important part of the research process is writing about your work. Consulting the work of others before you is inevitable and you acknowledge their work by providing proper annotation of the sources used. The following tutorials will help you to recognize when to cite sources and how to do so. 

Avoiding Plagiarism 

Organizing Your Sources to Avoid Plagiarism

If you encounter issues opening the tutorials, select a different browser. "Avoiding Plagiarism" may not perform correctly in Chrome so try Firefox or Explorer.

The boxes below -- "Elements of a Citation" and "ACS Citation Examples" provide samples of a citation style used in chemistry. 

Citing Sources in Science Writing

This video from UBC Science Writing describes when to cite sources and offers tips on science writing. 

Elements of a Citation

citation image with color-coded components

*If there is an issue number, it is usually found after the volume number, but before the page number(s).

The sample above is only an example. The formatting may or may not be 100 percent accurate for the citation style you are using. Always refer to the applicable style guide to ensure accuracy.

Citation Linker

If you already have a complete citation for an article one of the fastest ways to find the full-text article is to use a citation linker tool.

Sometimes you will retrieve a version of the article that is not the one that you need -- the article may be the html version and you need the pdf, for example. If this happens try the following tips:

1. Perform a title search on the USC Libraries site using the central search box. Check the search results and you will find multiple versions listed because the libraries obtain resources through various sources. Click the "Preview" link to determine the source and select the one that you need. Make sure to login before you search if you are off campus to ensure that you see all the options that are available to you. 

2. Start your search at the "Journals" tab on the USC Libraries page. You will find it under the central search box. On the Journals page search for the title of the journal that you need and then locate the specific issue and article title. 

3. "Try a Different Source. Sometimes the "Full Text Online" link will take you directly to the article. Other times it will take you to the USC Libraries "Find/Browse" page where you can select the source for the article. 

These tips will help you find the article version that you need. 

ACS Citation Examples

Book with Author(s)

Basic Format:
Author, A. A.; Author, B. B. Book Title (italics), Edition (if any); Publisher: Place of Publication, Year; Pagination.


Book with Editor(s), and Entire Book is Referenced

Basic Format:
Editor, A. A., Editor, B. B., Editor, C. C., Eds. Book Title (italics); Series Information (if any, including series number); Publisher: Place of Publication, Year.


Authored Chapters in a Book with Editor(s)

Basic Format:
Author, A. A.; Author, B. B. Chapter Title. In Book Title (italics); Editor, A. A., Editor, B. B., Eds.; Series Information (if any, including series number); Publisher: Place of Publication, Year; Volume number (if any), Pagination.


Encyclopedia Article

Basic Format:
Article Title. Encyclopedia Name (italics), Edition number; Publisher: Place of Publication, Year; Volume Number, Pagination.



Basic Format:
Editor, A. A., Editor, B. B., Eds. Handbook Title (italics), Edition number [Online if online]; Publisher: Place of Publication, Year; Pagination or other identifying information.


Journal Articles

Basic Format:
Author, A. A; Author, B. B; Author, C. C. Title of Article. Journal Abbreviation (italics) [Online if online] Year (boldface), Volume (italics), Pagination.


The standard list of journal abbreviations is published in CASSI, the Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index. A copy is kept at the Science and Engineering Library Reference stacks.


Basic Format:
Last name, First Name; Last Name, First Name. Article Title. Newspaper Title (italics), Complete Date, Pagination.



Basic Format:
Author, A. A. (if any). Title of Site. URL (accessed date), other identifying information. (No need to include URL of subscription sites).