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
Gimalac, A. Recruiters and Industry. Building Biostatistics. Nature 2004, 430 (6996), 276.
A journal article with 2 authors
Tang, Y.; Cohen, A. E. Enhanced Enantioselectivity in Excitation of Chiral Molecules by Superchiral Light. Science 2011, 332 (6027), 333–336.
A journal article with 3 authors
Nazir, S.; Amin, B.; Schwingenschlögl, U. Suppression of the Two-Dimensional Electron Gas in LaGaO3/SrTiO3 by Cation Intermixing. Sci. Rep. 2013, 3, 3409.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Draper-Joyce, C. J.; Khoshouei, M.; Thal, D. M.; Liang, Y.-L.; Nguyen, A. T. N.; Furness, S. G. B.; Venugopal, H.; Baltos, J.-A.; Plitzko, J. M.; Danev, R.; Baumeister, W.; May, L. T.; Wootten, D.; Sexton, P. M.; Glukhova, A.; Christopoulos, A. Structure of the Adenosine-Bound Human Adenosine A1 Receptor-Gi Complex. Nature 2018, 558 (7711), 559–563.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
da Silva, F. S. C.; Agustí-Cullell, J. Knowledge Coordination; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester, UK, 2005.
An edited book
Gilsanz, V. Hand Bone Age: A Digital Atlas of Skeletal Maturity; Ratib, O., Ed.; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2012.
A chapter in an edited book
Boyaci, B.; Guldur, B. The Revisions for the Gusset Plate Load Rating Approach: A Comparative Case Study. In Developments in International Bridge Engineering: Selected Papers from Istanbul Bridge Conference 2014; Caner, A., Gülkan, P., Mahmoud, K., Eds.; Springer Tracts on Transportation and Traffic; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2016; pp 41–50.

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. Why Are Some Generic Drugs Getting So Expensive? (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. Effectiveness and Morale of the Colorado Wing of the Civil Air Patrol; LCD-76-416; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1976.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Fuentez, O. L. Proposition 21: Juveniles Tried as Adults. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, 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
Isherwood, C. A Puppet Musical Is Silly but Serious. New York Times. January 16, 2017, p C6.

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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