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Chemistry Lab Resources (for CHM 1XX and 2XX Labs): Citing your sources

Here you can find tips about organizing your lab notebook, how to effectively create graphs and table for lab reports, places to locate protocols and property information, and how to properly cite resources.

Citing your sources

Why should you cite your sources?

  • Shows you have done your research
  • Lends credibilty and support to your research and recommendations
  • Allows others to reproduce your research process
  • Acknowledges others' contributions

Be as specific as you can: cite specific pages if possible; cite a particular chapter instead of the whole book, especially if chapters are written by different authors, etc.

There are thousands of different styles available for you to cite your sources. So while you can choose practically any style that is appropriate, it is important to stick to that one style and remain consistent.  If your instructor or TA indicates a particular style, be sure to use that.

To help you create citations, you can use EasyBib (free service), EndNote Web (free), or EndNote ($$).

Details of two styles you might use are found at the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) website. You will need to scroll to the bottom of the page and chose the Reference List options to see how to site a book, journal article, web site, etc.

ACS (Amercian Chemical Society) Style of Citation

General structure for citing books and articles:

Book with Author(s):

—Author, A. A.; Author, B. B. Book Title (italics), Edition (if any); Publisher: Place of Publication, Year; Pagination.
—Dill, K. A.; Bromberg, S. Molecular Driving Forces: Statistical Thermodynamics in Chemistry and Biology; Garland Science: New York, 2003.


Journal Articles:

—Author, A. A; Author, B. B; Author, C. C. Title of Article. Journal Abbreviation (italics) [Online if online] Year (boldface), Volume (italics), Pagination.

Deno, N. C.; Richey, H. G.; Liu, J. S.; Lincoln, D. N.; Turner, J. O. Carbonium Ions. XIX. The Intense Conjugation in Cyclopropyl Carbonium Ions. J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 1965, 87, 4533-4538.

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Dave Zwicky
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