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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

*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 Style

Online access to the ACS Style Guide is available via the ACS website.  Chapter 14 contains the rules for how to cite references in text and create a bibliography.  Some examples are provided below.


The minimum required information for a book is author or editor, book title, publisher, city of publication, and year of publication. Omit words like “Company,” “Inc.,” “Publisher,” and “Press” in publishers’ names.  Some ACS publications include the chapter title in book references, while others do not. Check with the publication itself. Using the word “In” signifies the primary author(s) wrote only part of the book, not the entire book.

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

Asmus, K. D. Recent Aspects of Thiyl and Perthiyl Free Radical Chemistry. In Active Oxygens, Lipid Peroxides, and Antioxidants; Yagi K., Ed.; Japan Scientific Societies: Tokyo; CRC: Boca Raton, FL, 1993; pp 57-67.


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.  Some ACS publications include the article title while others do not. In ACS journals, capitalization follows that of the original publication; in other publications, the main words are capitalized. Check with the publication itself.

Journal abbreviation and volume are italicized. Year of publication is bolded. Use CASSI (Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index) to find standard journal abbreviations.

Deno, N.; Richey, H.; Liu, J. S.; Lincoln, D. N.; Turner, J.  J. Am. Chem. Soc. 196587, 4533-4538.

Mullin, R. Chem. Eng. News 200583(42), 7.