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Citations to the Chemical Literature: Home


Interpreting Citations


A citation is a reference to a source of information. Each one should contain enough information to allow a research to locate the item referenced.

The ability to interpret a citation is a key research skill. The first step it to determine the type of item being referenced. For our purpose these include:

  • Book
  • Chapter or article in a book
  • Journal article
  • Magazine article
  • Proceedings
  • Dissertation
  • Patent
  • Website
  • Dataset or Database


Citation Styles


Many disciplines have their own style guide. You may be familiar with some of these: Chicago Manual of Style and the MLA Style Guide. The definitive guide in Chemistry is The ACS style guide : effective communication of scientific information, 3rd ed. / Washington, DC : American Chemical Society ; Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press 2006.


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Tina Qin
Cabot Library