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
Canfield, D. Robert A. Berner (1935-2015). Nature 2015, 518 (7540), 484.
A journal article with 2 authors
Krüger, F.; Ohrnberger, M. Tracking the Rupture of the Mw = 9.3 Sumatra Earthquake over 1,150 Km at Teleseismic Distance. Nature 2005, 435 (7044), 937–939.
A journal article with 3 authors
Petersen-Mahrt, S. K.; Harris, R. S.; Neuberger, M. S. AID Mutates E. Coli Suggesting a DNA Deamination Mechanism for Antibody Diversification. Nature 2002, 418 (6893), 99–103.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Craig, N. J.; Taylor, J. M.; Lester, E. A.; Marcus, C. M.; Hanson, M. P.; Gossard, A. C. Tunable Nonlocal Spin Control in a Coupled-Quantum Dot System. Science 2004, 304 (5670), 565–567.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Marvin, S. Dictionary of Scientific Principles; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, 2010.
An edited book
Blanchard, P. Mathematical Analysis of Urban Spatial Networks; Volchenkov, D., Ed.; Understanding Complex Systems; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2009.
A chapter in an edited book
Lane, N. D.; Lu, H.; Eisenman, S. B.; Campbell, A. T. Cooperative Techniques Supporting Sensor-Based People-Centric Inferencing. In Pervasive Computing: 6th International Conference, Pervasive 2008 Sydney, Australia, May 19-22, 2008 Proceedings; Indulska, J., Patterson, D. J., Rodden, T., Ott, M., Eds.; Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2008; pp 75–92.

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
Davis, J. Spiders Colonized A Remote Pacific Island By Flying There (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. Space Funding: NASA’s Appropriations and DOD’s Funding Estimates for Space Programs; NSIAD-87-81FS; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1987.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Chen, M. S. Emergency Shelter for Abused and Neglected Elders A Grant Proposal Project. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA, 2014.

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
Hanc, J. Longer and Better. New York Times. March 2, 2017, p F4.

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

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