To cite the articles you’ve found, in chemistry you’ll mostly likely be using some version of the American Chemical Society (ACS) citation format. Different citation styles are used depending on the subject area you’re in, and different journals also often have specific formats they require for publication. American Psychological Association (APA) style is often used in the social sciences and sciences as well. What’s the difference? Let’s look at this online journal article citation in both formats.
Dessent, C. E. H., Dawood, R. A., Jones, L. C., Matharu, A. S., Smith, D. K., & Uleanya, K. O. (2022). Decolonizing the Undergraduate Chemistry Curriculum: An Account of How to Start. Journal of Chemical Education, 99(1), 5–9. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jchemed.1c00397
Besides punctuation, you’ll notice that the order of the citation is different and that ACS format uses a journal abbreviation (which you can find by searching the Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index) and depending on what kind of in-text citation you’re using, you may have numbered references. For more information on the reference formats for different type of publications, see the ACS Style Quick Guide (see this section for style conventions for listing complete reference citations and the rest of this chapter for citing references within a manuscript.)
You’ll also want to manage your information (both citations and data), not only to make tracking and properly citing what you’ve found easier for you but also to be able to share in a team environment. If you are working with others, organization becomes even more critical for transparency and reproducibility.
Though you can manually cite your articles, the best and easiest way to keep yourself organized and cite properly is to use a citation management tool. You can see a list of the citation managers we support and choose the one that meets your needs. For more help with this, make an appointment with a librarian. Note that no automatic citation tool is error-free; you’ll always want to proofread your citations, but it does give you a head start.
Additionally, you may already have your own research log or an electronic lab notebook or, if you are working in a lab, your PI might have their own data management procedures but if not, you’ll want to consider how you are organizing your data at the beginning of your project.