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CHEM 300 - The Literature of Chemistry (Schmidt)

This guide will help you get started with your research for CHEM 300.

Overview of Day 3

In this lesson, you will:

  • learn about the importance of citations
  • learn how to write citations in JACS format
  • be introduced to Zotero, a bibliographic manger. 


  1. Read through the "JACS Citations" material presented below. 
  2. Watch the "Finding journal abbreviations on CASSI" video.
  3. Review the material presented on the ACS Style Quick Guide page - this page provides examples of source types and citations.
  4. Watch the Zotero overview video.
  5. Complete  the JACS Citations Assignment (included in Cougar Courses).

JACS Citations

JACS Style

Why how, and how to make it easier on yourself

Why Cite?

According to the American Chemical Society:

  1. It's ethically unacceptable in scientific publications to deliberately reuse the ideas of others without giving credit. Basically, we want to give credit where it's due, and avoid plagiarism. 
  2. Citing enables readers to identify and locate the previous work. When you're doing your own research, this can be helpful to you because you can use references to track down information you need to learn more about. If you don't understand what authors are talking about in a particular part of an article, chances are, you need to go back and read the information they cite so that you can understand the work their research is built upon.
  3. A scholarly communicator ensures that a fact or idea is correct by citing the original source. What this means is that if you want to cite information that you encounter while reading another article, you should go through the effort to find the original source in order to verify that the information is correct. This helps us to avoid the consequences of the "telephone game" during our research.
  4. Citing safety information may protect the health of other researchers. 

How to write JACS citations

You're probably already used to writing citations for your other classes, but becoming part of the Chemistry community means learning their norms and practices. JACS citations share a lot of similarities with other citation styles, but there are some particulars you should become familiar with. 

Note: There are a number of free citation generators available online. You can feel free to use these when you're creating your citations, but make sure to double check the citations they give you!! They are quite frequently incorrect in at least one way. 

In-text citations
How to write them


Use superscripts...

The synthesis described by Fraser1 take advantage of carbohydrate topology. appropriate places. 

in the literature 2, 5, 8

were reported3-5

Notes about in-text citations:

Your references will appear at the end of your paper in the order in which you mention them — so, the first reference you cite will be the first in your citation list, the second reference will be the second in your list, and so on. 

You might notice that in one of the sentences above (“in the literature”), there are three citations corresponding to the second, fifth, and eighth references in the reference list. This is because this is at least the second time each of these has been mentioned in the paper — you can “reuse” citations throughout your paper, but don’t assign them a new number — reuse the original one from earlier in your paper. 

Periodical (aka journal article) citations in your reference list
Periodical citations should include:


  • Author names
  • Article Title
  • Abbreviated CASSI journal title
  • Year of publication
  • Volume number (if any)
  • Issue number (if any)
  • Page range
  • DOI (for online publications)
Example citations

General Format

Author 1; Author 2; Author 3; etc. Article Title. Journal Abbreviation Year, Volume (issue), Inclusive Pagination. DOI


Klingler, J. Influence of Pretreatment on Sodium Powder. Chem Mater. 2005, 17 (1), 2755-2768. DOI: 10.1031/abc/31


  • The author name(s) should consist of the author's last name, followed by a comma, followed by their first and middle initials (if any).
  • When writing a citation with multiple authors, list them in the order in which they appear on the article -- not alphabetically.
  • The journal title should be abbreviated according to CASSI conventions. If there is punctuation in the CASSI abbreviation, keep it. If there isn't any punctuation, don't add any in. 
  • Special formatting: 
    • the article title capitalizes all words except articles (a, an, the), prepositions (words like "of", "with", "on"), and conjunctions (and, or). 
    • the journal title is in italics
    • the year of publication is in bold
    • the volume number is in italics
Book chapter citations in your references list
Book chapter citations should include:


  • Chapter author names
  • Chapter title
  • Book title
  • Editor names
  • Publisher
  • Year of publication
  • Page range
  • DOI (for online publications)
Example citations

General Format

Author 1; Author 2. Chapter Title. In Book Title, x ed.; Editor 1, Editor 2, Editor 3, Eds.; Publisher, Date of publication; pp Page range. DOI


Anderson, R. J.; Schrier, R. W. Acute Renal Failure. In Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 15th ed.; Braunwald, E., Isselbacher, K. J., Petersdorf, R. G., Eds.; McGraw-Hill, 2001; pp 1149-1155. DOI: 10.1093/acprof/978333.0004.1204


  • You must include both the authors' names and the editors' names. For the most part, you will not be citing entire books in your chemistry research, but individual book chapters. 
  • Special formatting: 
    • the chapter title capitalizes all words except articles (a, an, the), prepositions (words like "of", "with", "on"), and conjunctions (and, or). 
    • the book title is in italics
    • the page range is preceded by "pp"

Getting started with Zotero

Zotero is a bibliographic manager that helps you keep track of all of the articles and sources that you read. It can also make it much easier to stay organized when you're writing a paper. If you go to grad school or end up working a lab, it's very likely that you'll be expected to know how to use a citation manager like Zotero. Watch the video below for a quick introduction. 

If you want to set up a one-on-one meeting to learn how to use this tool better, just send me an email and we can work together to install it on your computer and start importing citations into your own library.