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
Simonton, D. K. After Einstein: Scientific Genius Is Extinct. Nature 2013, 493 (7434), 602.
A journal article with 2 authors
Akeda, Y.; Galán, J. E. Chaperone Release and Unfolding of Substrates in Type III Secretion. Nature 2005, 437 (7060), 911–915.
A journal article with 3 authors
Gnone, G.; Moriconi, T.; Gambini, G. Sleep Behaviour: Activity and Sleep in Dolphins. Nature 2006, 441 (7096), E10-1; discussion E11.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Meredith, R. W.; Janečka, J. E.; Gatesy, J.; Ryder, O. A.; Fisher, C. A.; Teeling, E. C.; Goodbla, A.; Eizirik, E.; Simão, T. L. L.; Stadler, T.; et al. Impacts of the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution and KPg Extinction on Mammal Diversification. Science 2011, 334 (6055), 521–524.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kovalev, V. A. Solutions in Lidar Profiling of the Atmosphere; John Wiley & Sons, Inc: Hoboken, NJ, 2015.
An edited book
Advances in Neural Networks – ISNN 2009: 6th International Symposium on Neural Networks, ISNN 2009 Wuhan, China, May 26-29, 2009 Proceedings, Part II; Yu, W., He, H., Zhang, N., Eds.; Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2009; Vol. 5552.
A chapter in an edited book
Boccaccio, A.; Brunelli, R.; Lamberti, L.; Papi, M.; Parasassi, T.; De Spirito, M.; Pappalettere, C. A Preliminary Investigation on the Mechanical Behavior of Umbilical Cord With Moiré Techniques. In Advancement of Optical Methods in Experimental Mechanics, Volume 3: Proceedings of the 2014 Annual Conference on Experimental and Applied Mechanics; Jin, H., Sciammarella, C., Yoshida, S., Lamberti, L., Eds.; Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2015; pp 47–52.

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
Fang, J. How One Bird Got Three Such Different-Looking Males (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. Inadequate Monitoring of U.S. Merchant Tanker Fleet Hampers Mobilization Planning; LCD-79-215; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1979.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Coffman, M. W. A National Study of the Relationship between Home Access to a Computer and Academic Performance Scores of Grade 12 U.S. Science Students: An Analysis of the 2009 NAEP Data. Doctoral dissertation, University of Louisiana: Lafayette, LA, 2015.

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
Murphy, M. J. O. Rudolph Valentino in ‘The Sheik.’ New York Times. November 7, 2014, p C37.

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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