How to format your references using the ACS Chemical Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for ACS Chemical Biology. For a complete guide how to prepare your manuscript refer to the journal's instructions to authors.

Using reference management software

Typically you don't format your citations and bibliography by hand. The easiest way is to use a reference manager:

PaperpileThe citation style is built in and you can choose it in Settings > Citation Style or Paperpile > Citation Style in Google Docs.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
Mendeley, Zotero, Papers, and othersThe style is either built in or you can download a CSL file that is supported by most references management programs.
BibTeXBibTeX syles are usually part of a LaTeX template. Check the instructions to authors if the publisher offers a LaTeX template for this journal.

Journal articles

Those examples are references to articles in scholarly journals and how they are supposed to appear in your bibliography.

Not all journals organize their published articles in volumes and issues, so these fields are optional. Some electronic journals do not provide a page range, but instead list an article identifier. In a case like this it's safe to use the article identifier instead of the page range.

A journal article with 1 author
Benzi, R. Physics. Getting a Grip on Turbulence. Science 2003, 301 (5633), 605–606.
A journal article with 2 authors
Möller, K.; Bein, T. Chemistry. Pores within Pores--How to Craft Ordered Hierarchical Zeolites. Science 2011, 333 (6040), 297–298.
A journal article with 3 authors
Shankar, N.; Baghdayan, A. S.; Gilmore, M. S. Modulation of Virulence within a Pathogenicity Island in Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus Faecalis. Nature 2002, 417 (6890), 746–750.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Pietzsch, O.; Kubetzka, A.; Bode, M.; Wiesendanger, R. Observation of Magnetic Hysteresis at the Nanometer Scale by Spin-Polarized Scanning Tunneling Spectroscopy. Science 2001, 292 (5524), 2053–2056.

Books and book chapters

Here are examples of references for authored and edited books as well as book chapters.

An authored book
Tattar, P. N.; Ramaiah, S.; Manjunath, B. G. A Course in Statistics With R; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester, UK, 2016.
An edited book
Composite Materials: A Vision for the Future; Nicolais, L., Meo, M., Milella, E., Eds.; Springer: London, 2011.
A chapter in an edited book
Nakata, K.; Sabelfeld, A. Securing Class Initialization. In Trust Management IV: 4th IFIP WG 11.11 International Conference, IFIPTM 2010, Morioka, Japan, June 16-18, 2010. Proceedings; Nishigaki, M., Jøsang, A., Murayama, Y., Marsh, S., Eds.; IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2010; pp 48–62.

Web sites

Sometimes references to web sites should appear directly in the text rather than in the bibliography. Refer to the Instructions to authors for ACS Chemical Biology.

Blog post
Andrew, E. Second ‘Super Moon’ Of The Summer On August 10‘super-moon’-summer-august-10/ (accessed Oct 30, 2018).


This example shows the general structure used for government reports, technical reports, and scientific reports. If you can't locate the report number then it might be better to cite the report as a book. For reports it is usually not individual people that are credited as authors, but a governmental department or agency like "U. S. Food and Drug Administration" or "National Cancer Institute".

Government report
Government Accountability Office. Air Traffic Control: Improvements Needed In FAA’s Management of Acquisitions; T-RCED-93-36; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1993.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Sever, R. S. A Quantitative Descriptive Study Using the Theoretical Domains Framework to Investigate and Compare the Psychotropic Medication Prescribing Behavior of Primary Care Prescribers. Doctoral dissertation, Northcentral University: Scottsdale, AZ, 2017.

News paper articles

Unlike scholarly journals, news papers do not usually have a volume and issue number. Instead, the full date and page number is required for a correct reference.

New York Times article
Oestreich, J. R. Venice by Way of New York. New York Times. September 15, 2016, p AR46.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in superscript:

This sentence cites one reference 1.
This sentence cites two references 1,2.
This sentence cites four references 1–4.

About the journal

Full journal titleACS Chemical Biology
AbbreviationACS Chem. Biol.
ISSN (print)1554-8929
ISSN (online)1554-8937
Molecular Medicine
General Medicine

Other styles