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CHEM.2600: Information Retrieval for Chemists

Course outline, information and materials for all undergraduate chemists.



UML has an institutional site license for EndNote, a citation management software.  Many of our databases offer direct import into EndNote.  Or, you use a two-step process, import to your computer and then export the file into EndNote. EndNote will format your citations for you.  For this class, you will use the format ACS.

Here are examples of references, written in the correct manner.
For all authors, the name is cited: Last name, First name initial. Middle initial.   Authors names are separated by semicolons, and a period follows the final author's name.

Author 1; Author 2; Author 3. Book title. Edition. Publisher: Place, Year; pages or chapter number.

Nickon, A. Organic Chemistry: the Name Game. Pergamon: New York, 1987; pp 32-38.
Wohlman, Y. Chemical Information: a Practical Guide to Utilization. 2nd ed. Wiley: New York, 1988;
Chapter  4.

For an Online Book:
Same as above but add URL, (accessed Date).


Prakash, S. (2011). Advanced Chemistry of Rare Elements (3rd Edition).Chemical Publishing Company Inc..  (accessed February 6, 2021).

 For any multi-volume set:
Author or Editor. Title. Publisher: Place, Year; Volume, page and/or entry.


Fieser, M., Ed. Fieser and Fieser's Reagents for Organic Synthesis. Wiley: New York, 1986; Vol. 12, p 37.

For any Journal Article:
Every journal has its own rules for citations. If writing for a particular journal, consult the Author Information pages for that journal (found on their web pages) and follow their format.

Author 1; Author 2; Author 3.  Title of Article. Journal abbreviation year, volume (issue number), inclusive page span. DOI [if available]
note: year should be in bold print or underlined with a wavy line; for journal name use CASSI abbreviation or write out the entire journal name. All important words in the title should be capitalized.

Chang, H. et al. Highly Fluorescent Gold Cluster Assembly.  Journal of the American Chemical Society 2020, 143 (10), 326-334. DOI:10.1021/jacs.0c10907.


Chang, H. et al. Highly Fluorescent Gold Cluster Assembly.  J. Am. Chem. Soc2020, 143 (10), 326-334.  DOI:10.1021/jacs.0c10907.

For a Journal Article that is ONLINE ONLY:

ONLINE ONLY means that the article is newly posted on a journal's website (for example, ASAP articles/Ahead of Print articles on the ACS site--example below) and does not have complete citation information available yet.  This is the only kind of journal citation where a URL can be used. 

Author 1: Author 2; Author 3. Title of article. Journal abbreviation [Online] year, identifying information on website, URL, (accessed date).


Clifford, A. et al.  Strategies for Biomolecular Analysis and Continuous Physiological Monitoring. J. Am. Chem. Soc. [online] 2021, DOI:10.1021/jacs.0c13138, Ahead of print. (accessed April 5, 2022)

Li, Z.; Cui, F. Study of ferric hydroxide nanoparticle-catalyzed luminol chemiluminescence. Chemical Journal on Internet [Online] 2005, 7, Article 3., (accessed February 9, 2022).

For Non-scientific magazines and newspapers:
Author 1: Author 2; Author 3. Title of Article. Journal abbreviation OR full name of journal month, day, year, pagination OR year, volume (issue), pagination.

Elkan, D. Trance, Scapel, Action! New Scient. August 6, 2015, 34-37.

Brahic, C., Ultimate Meltdown. New Scientist 2018, 215 (2880), 6-7.

Klein, J. Running Rewilded: Wolves Help Park. New York Times 2018, 167 (51914), D2.

For any WEB site: 
Author (if any). Title of site. URL (accessed date), other identifying information.

ChemCenter Home page
. (accessed December 20, 2021). 
Trinity University Cheminformatics Site
. (accessed January 11, 2021) 
ACS  Publications Division Home page
. (accessed February 22, 2021)

For a WEB site which uses a search engine to provide information, (such as a catalog site); use the URL of the main site only:
A detailed URL found by a search engine is often site and time specific and therefore the search cannot be replicated.
Title of siteitem searched. site URL (accessed date).

. 42918-20-7. (accessed January 22, 2021). 

Chemfinder. 1-allyl-2-bromobenzene. (accessed January 22, 2021).
Lancaster Catalog. 42918-20-7. (accessed February 8, 2021). 

Lancaster Catalog. 1-allyl-2-bromobenzene. (accessed February 8, 2021). 

For a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS/SDS)  

Use either the "Website which uses a search engine" as above,   OR

Name of chemical, CAS RN: number.; Name of company, place. URL. (accessed date).


1,4'-Bipiperidine,  CAS RN: 4897-50-1; Alfa Aesar, Thermo Fisher Scientific: Fair Lawn, NJ. (accessed October 10, 2021). 

For any Online Handbook:

Name of Handbook. Edition. Publisher: Place, Year; search term, url. (Accessed date).

CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 98th ed, 2017-2018108-88-3, (Accessed January 31, 2021).

For a Hardcopy handbook

Name of Handbook. Edition. Publisher: Place, Year, page and/or entry number.
Some require page AND entry number (because entry number is not unique in the volume)

CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics
. 98th ed. CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 2017-2018; p 3-522, 9917.

Merck Index. 15th ed. Merck: Whitehouse Station, NJ, 2013; 4896.

Most require only an entry number, or in multivolume sets, the volume and entry number. (They have sequential (unique) entry numbers, in order.) For an example of a citation to a multivolume set, see that entry below.

For any Patent:
Patent owner 1; Patent owner 2. Title. Country [use two letter country code] patent number. Year. [can use year or full date]


Glaser, K.; Mengel, M.; Barr, C. Chlorine-free packaging sheet with tear resistance properties.  EP2316644. 2011.

Older patents:

Sikkenga, D. L. Selective Synthesis of Pseudocumene and Durene. US 5,891,467. 1990.


Sikkenga, D. L. Selective Synthesis of Pseudocumene and Durene. US 5,891,467. 19900824.

For any encyclopedia:
Title of Encyclopedia, Title of Article, Edition, Publisher: Place, Year; Volume, page.

McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology
, Polymer, 10th ed., McGraw-Hill: New York, 2002; Vol. 14, pp 164-173.

For any series or symposium:
Author (of article) Title (of article). IN: Title (of book or symposium); Author or editor (of book or symposium); series name and number (or) name and location of symposium, publisher: place, date, pages or chapter number.

Loper, J. C. Biological Testing of Waterborne Organic Compounds. IN: Organic Pollutants in Water; Suffet, I.H., Ed.; Advances in Chemistry Series 214, American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 1987, pp 595-604.

Wilkie, D. S. "Establishing the Okapi Rain Forest Reserve: Avoiding Human Land-Use Conflicts Using Satellite Image Analysis". IN: Remote Sensing Science for the Nineties. International Geoscience & Remote Sensing Symposium, 10th, Washington, DC. University of Maryland: College Park, MD, 1990, Vol. 1, pp 233-236.

For any thesis or dissertation:
Author. Title. Level of thesis, University name, date.

Richard, R. E., Jr. Synthesis and Solution Properties of Side-Chain and Main-Chain Polyaminimides. PhD, University of Lowell, 1987.

For any CA reference: CA volume: abstract number. Use SciFinder reference (CAN) whenever possible.

Chem. Abstr. 2000, 142:58846 or CAN: 142:58846 or CAN 2006:134879


Beilstein: Volume: H page; Supplement [E] page; Supplement [E] page...  Include only actual references, if there is no reference in H, or a particular supplement, it should not be included in the list.


Beilstein: 1: H 67; E I 16; E II 32; E III 85; E IV 78

A new ACS Guide has recently been issued.  To see ACS citation examples: ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication, 2020 Section 4.3, References.  If you must cite an unusual reference not covered above, check here.