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
Pääbo, S. The Mosaic That Is Our Genome. Nature 2003, 421 (6921), 409–412.
A journal article with 2 authors
Eames, M.; Kortemme, T. Cost-Benefit Tradeoffs in Engineered Lac Operons. Science 2012, 336 (6083), 911–915.
A journal article with 3 authors
Grima, J. N.; Attard, D.; Gatt, R. Materials Science. Unusual Thermoelastic Properties of Methanol Monohydrate. Science 2011, 331 (6018), 687–688.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Scheffer, M.; Bascompte, J.; Brock, W. A.; Brovkin, V.; Carpenter, S. R.; Dakos, V.; Held, H.; van Nes, E. H.; Rietkerk, M.; Sugihara, G. Early-Warning Signals for Critical Transitions. Nature 2009, 461 (7260), 53–59.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Krimpmann, A. Principles of Group Accounting under IFRS; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester, UK, 2015.
An edited book
Automotive Mechatronics: Automotive Networking, Driving Stability Systems, Electronics; Reif, K., Ed.; Bosch Professional Automotive Information; Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden: Wiesbaden, 2015.
A chapter in an edited book
Hofer, H. Holomorphic Curves and Real Three-Dimensional Dynamics. In Visions in Mathematics: GAFA 2000 Special volume, Part II; Alon, N., Bourgain, J., Connes, A., Gromov, M., Milman, V., Eds.; Birkhäuser: Basel, 2010; pp 674–704.

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, D. Five Things Nurses Are Really Good At – And Sometimes Better Than Doctors. IFLScience. (accessed 2018-10-30).


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. Changes Needed in Administering Relief to Industries Hurt by Overseas Competition; ID-81-42; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1981.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Bade, L. L. Extending the Benefits of Alcohol and Drug Treatment: An Exploration of Volunteer Utilization and Delivery of Recovery Services. Doctoral dissertation, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA, 2010.

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
Saslow, L. Nassau and Suffolk Expecting More Funds. New York Times. December 21, 2008, p LI5.

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