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
Spitale, J. N. Asteroid Hazard Mitigation Using the Yarkovsky Effect. Science 2002, 296 (5565), 77.
A journal article with 2 authors
Weis, S. M.; Cheresh, D. A. Pathophysiological Consequences of VEGF-Induced Vascular Permeability. Nature 2005, 437 (7058), 497–504.
A journal article with 3 authors
Guilbaud, R.; Butler, I. B.; Ellam, R. M. Abiotic Pyrite Formation Produces a Large Fe Isotope Fractionation. Science 2011, 332 (6037), 1548–1551.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Lamsa, K. P.; Heeroma, J. H.; Somogyi, P.; Rusakov, D. A.; Kullmann, D. M. Anti-Hebbian Long-Term Potentiation in the Hippocampal Feedback Inhibitory Circuit. Science 2007, 315 (5816), 1262–1266.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Halpert, B. Auditing Cloud Computing; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, 2011.
An edited book
Ashar, N. G. A Practical Guide to the Manufacture of Sulfuric Acid, Oleums, and Sulfonating Agents; Golwalkar, K. R., Ed.; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2013.
A chapter in an edited book
Chrysikou, E. Inclusive Design and Mental Health: Policy and Legislation Challenges from the Perspective of Social Inclusion. In Designing Around People: CWUAAT 2016; Langdon, P., Lazar, J., Heylighen, A., Dong, H., Eds.; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2016; pp 33–42.

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. Astronomers Spot Planet Forming. 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. Social Security Student Benefits for Postsecondary Students Should Be Discontinued; HRD-79-108; 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
Borogovac, A. Novel Method for Superior Detection of Functional Changes in CBF Using Arterial Spin Labeling FMRI. Doctoral dissertation, Columbia University, New York, NY, 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
Protess, B.; Stevenson, A. For Using Jobs to Entice China’s Elite, Chase Agrees to Pay a $264 Million Penalty. New York Times. November 17, 2016, p B1.

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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