How to format your references using the ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Tranter, M. Biogeochemistry: Microbes Eat Rock under Ice. Nature 2014, 512 (7514), 256–257.
A journal article with 2 authors
Collen, B.; Nicholson, E. Conservation. Taking the Measure of Change. Science 2014, 346 (6206), 166–167.
A journal article with 3 authors
Cossart, R.; Aronov, D.; Yuste, R. Attractor Dynamics of Network UP States in the Neocortex. Nature 2003, 423 (6937), 283–288.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
O’Donovan, P.; Perrett, C. M.; Zhang, X.; Montaner, B.; Xu, Y.-Z.; Harwood, C. A.; McGregor, J. M.; Walker, S. L.; Hanaoka, F.; Karran, P. Azathioprine and UVA Light Generate Mutagenic Oxidative DNA Damage. Science 2005, 309 (5742), 1871–1874.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Zhu, Z.; Nandi, A. K. Automatic Modulation Classification; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester, UK, 2014.
An edited book
Listeria Monocytogenes: Pathogenesis and Host Response; Goldfine, H., Shen, H., Eds.; Springer US: Boston, MA, 2007.
A chapter in an edited book
Scesi, L.; Gattinoni, P. Methods and Models to Simulate the Groundwater Flow in Rock Masses. In Water Circulation in Rocks; Gattinoni, P., Ed.; Springer Netherlands: Dordrecht, 2010; pp 87–99.

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 Medicinal Chemistry Letters.

Blog post
Luntz, S. The Speed Of Light Can Vary In A Vacuum (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. Airport Privatization: Issues Related to the Sale of U.S. Commercial Airports; T-RCED-96-82; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1996.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Bukvic, I. I. Tabula Rasa: An Interactive Electroacoustic Work for Flute, Piano, Cello and Live Computer. Doctoral dissertation, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 2005.

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
Kishkovsky, S. Moscow: A Boom Town For Shiny New Theaters. New York Times. December 1, 2005, p E3.

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 Medicinal Chemistry Letters
AbbreviationACS Med. Chem. Lett.
ISSN (online)1948-5875

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