How to format your references using the ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. 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
Cook, R. F. Materials Science. Probing the Nanoscale. Science 2010, 328 (5975), 183–184.
A journal article with 2 authors
Gut, P.; Verdin, E. The Nexus of Chromatin Regulation and Intermediary Metabolism. Nature 2013, 502 (7472), 489–498.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kobayashi, T.; Saito, T.; Ohtani, H. Real-Time Spectroscopy of Transition States in Bacteriorhodopsin during Retinal Isomerization. Nature 2001, 414 (6863), 531–534.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Lin, J.-H.; Patil, R. A.; Devan, R. S.; Liu, Z.-A.; Wang, Y.-P.; Ho, C.-H.; Liou, Y.; Ma, Y.-R. Photoluminescence Mechanisms of Metallic Zn Nanospheres, Semiconducting ZnO Nanoballoons, and Metal-Semiconductor Zn/ZnO Nanospheres. Sci. Rep. 2014, 4, 6967.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Dunlop, J.; Girma, D.; Irvine, J. Digital Mobile Communications and the Tetra System; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.: West Sussex, England, 2013.
An edited book
McGee, R. W. Accounting and Financial System Reform in a Transition Economy: A Case Study of Russia; Preobragenskaya, G. G., Ed.; Springer US: Boston, MA, 2005.
A chapter in an edited book
Gil, G. B.; Bustamante, A. L.; Berlanga, A.; Molina, J. M. ContextCare: Autonomous Video Surveillance System Using Multi-Camera and Smartphones. In Management Intelligent Systems: First International Symposium; Casillas, J., Martínez-López, F. J., Corchado Rodríguez, J. M., Eds.; Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2012; pp 47–56.

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 Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.

Blog post
Carpineti, A. No-Drip Wine Bottle Devised By Physicist (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. EOS Data Policy: Questions Remain About U.S. Commercial Access; IMTEC-92-44; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1992.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Narita, D. Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS) and Climate Change Mitigation: An Analysis of Economic Optimality and Policy Making. Doctoral dissertation, Columbia University: New York, NY, 2008.

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
Wagner, J. Taking His Off-Season Cuts, Conforto Leaves Demotions Behind. New York Times. March 7, 2017, p B11.

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 Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering
AbbreviationACS Sustain. Chem. Eng.
ISSN (online)2168-0485

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