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
Nosonovsky, M. Materials Science: Slippery When Wetted. Nature 2011, 477 (7365), 412–413.
A journal article with 2 authors
Yeston, J.; Coontz, R. Industrial Chemistry. Chemistry Writ Large. Introduction. Science 2009, 325 (5941), 691.
A journal article with 3 authors
Williamson, C. E.; Saros, J. E.; Schindler, D. W. Climate Change. Sentinels of Change. Science 2009, 323 (5916), 887–888.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Riedelsheimer, C.; Brotman, Y.; Méret, M.; Melchinger, A. E.; Willmitzer, L. The Maize Leaf Lipidome Shows Multilevel Genetic Control and High Predictive Value for Agronomic Traits. Sci. Rep. 2013, 3, 2479.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Reid, R.; Fraser-King, G.; Schwaderer, W. D. Data Lifecycles; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester, UK, 2006.
An edited book
The Role of Biotechnology in Improvement of Livestock: Animal Health and Biotechnology; Abubakar, M., Saeed, A., Kul, O., Eds.; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2015.
A chapter in an edited book
Zhang, J. Do Other Customers Matter? Examining The Impact of Other Customers In Retail/Service Settings. In Revolution in Marketing: Market Driving Changes: Proceedings of the 2006 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference; Spotts, H. E., Ed.; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2015; pp 5–5.

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
Andrew, E. Philae Sends Back First Images, But Problems Mean Its Mission Could Soon Be Over (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. Information Technology: DLA Needs to Strengthen Its Investment Management Capability; GAO-02-314; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 2002.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Randall, R. Department of Children and Family Services Workers’ Knowledge of Childhood Obesity and Services for Obese Children. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA, 2009.

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
Poniewozik, J. Heard the One About the Angsty Comic? New York Times. May 24, 2017, p AR18.

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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