Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
rutgers library logo dark

Organic Chemistry Lab 311 Fall 2021: Citations

This guide was created specifically for Dr. Geeta Govindarajoo's Organic Chemistry Labs, Fall 2021


Citation managers are useful for citing and organizing your references. They will generate a citation for you, and even create an entire bibliography for your paper!

At Rutgers, we have RefWorks, Flow, and Endnote available to all students and faculty. Others are available online, such as Zotero (free)

For information on how to use RefWorks, take a look at these resources:       

Refworks 3 is an updated version of RefWorks. For information about Refworks 3 and how to create an account, see this page:

For information about downloading and using Endnote, see


What is the difference between an Index and a Database?

An index contains citation information about an item (books, articles, or other kinds of documents). This includes the title, authors, year of publication, journal name and pages, and usually an abstract. It does not contain full text of the article. SciFinder is an index; when you get full text it is actually coming from the Libraries' journal subscriptions.

A database usually contains the full text of the article or other document, in addition to the bibliographic information listed above. However, the term database may sometimes be used to refer to an index.

Is it Scholarly?

For your assignment you will need to find scholarly journal articles. Not everything in a journal is scholarly, or even an article. For example, the following are NOT scholarly:

  • Book reviews
  • Editorials
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Short news items

Typical features of a scholarly article include:

  • Length: scholarly articles are longer, usually at least 8 pages, but there is no set rule, and they usually include diagrams, charts, or graphs

  • Bibliography: scholarly articles always have a list of cited works

  • Language: scholarly articles are written for scholars and not the general public, so the language is specialized and technical

  • Authors: scholarly articles are written by experts who usually have PhDs and academic affiliation

If you are unsure, please contact me at

This information was adapted from English 201: Research in the Disciplines by Jill Nathanson.

ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication

ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication - contains information on citing in ACS Style, in addition to information on writing and publishing in the field of chemistry, and more. It is available in digital format only, through the Libraries. Go to this page and click where it says American Chemical Society Miscellaneous Publications. You will need to be logged in to view the book chapters.

The official Quick Guide to ACS Style is located here:

The ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication replaces the ACS Style Guide.

Formatting citations

Note that the journal name is abbreviated for ACS Style citations. These abbreviations can be found in the Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index or CASSI, which is available in the library. A search tool is also available online. For a core list of journal abbreviations, see this link from CAS. (Use the journal abbreviation under the journal title, not the CODEN.)

The following examples of citations for journal articles are taken from the ACS Style Quick Guide. Bolding, italics, and punctuation are all important.


For an article taken from an online index (Such as SciFinder):

Lanzotti A.; Grasso M.; Staiano G.; Martorelli M. The Impact of Process Parameters on Mechanical Properties of Parts Fabricated in PLA with an Open-source 3-D Printer. Rapid Prototyp. J. 2015, 21 (5), 604−617. DOI: 10.1108/RPJ-09-2014-0135 (accessed 2019-11-22 from ProQuest: Materials Science & Engineering Collection).

For an article from an online journal:

Foster, J. C.; Varlas, S.; Couturaud, B.; Coe, J.; O’Reilly, R. K. Getting into Shape: Reflections on a New Generation of Cylindrical Nanostructures’ Self-Assembly Using Polymer Building Block. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141 (7), 2742−2753. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.8b08648


Some publications list the first 10 authors followed by a semi-colon and et. al.; check the guidelines. (from the ACS Style Guide)

The journal Biochemistry is an exception. Consult this journal’s instructions to authors for the correct format. Refer to the style guide for differences between online and print sources.

When using ACS Style, if you have any questions you should refer to the ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication, Chapter 4, References.



© , Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Rutgers is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to direct suggestions, comments, or complaints concerning any accessibility issues with Rutgers websites to or complete the Report Accessibility Barrier / Provide Feedback form.