The title should be short and straightforward to appeal to a general reader, but detailed enough to properly reflect the contents of the article. Think about keywords and using recognisable, searchable terms – around 70% of our readers come directly via search engines. Avoid the use of non-standard abbreviations and symbols; examples follow.
An effective title
‘Alkylation of active methylene compounds with alcohols catalysed by an iridium complex’.
An ineffective title
‘Active methylene compounds are alkylated with ROH under catalysis of [IrCl(cod)]2’.
Full names and affiliations for all the authors should be included. Everyone who made a significant contribution to the conception, design or implementation of the work should be listed as co-authors. The corresponding author has the responsibility to include all (and only) co-authors. The corresponding author also signs a copyright licence on behalf of all the authors.
If there are more than 10 co-authors on the manuscript, the corresponding author should provide a statement to specify the contribution of each co-author. It is possible to have two corresponding authors. Please identify co-corresponding authors on your manuscript's first page and also mention this in your comments to the editor and/or cover letter.
The abstract should be a single paragraph (50–250 words) that summarises the content of the article. It will help readers to decide whether your article is of interest to them.
It should set out briefly and clearly the main objectives and results of the work; it should give the reader a clear idea of what has been achieved. Like your title, make sure you use recognisable, searchable terms and keywords.
An introduction should 'set the scene' of the work. It should clearly explain both the nature of the problem under investigation and its background. It should start off general and then focus in to the specific research question you are investigating. Ensure you include all relevant references.
You should provide descriptions of the experiments in enough detail so that a skilled researcher is able to repeat them. Standard techniques and methods used throughout the work should just be stated at the beginning of the section; descriptions of these are not needed. Any unusual hazards about the chemicals, procedures or equipment should be clearly identified.
Authors are encouraged to make use of electronic supplementary information (ESI) for lengthy synthetic sections. In general there is no need to report unsuccessful experiments.
Only non-standard apparatus should be described; commercially available instruments are referred to by their stock numbers (for example, Perkin-Elmer 457 or Varian HA-100 spectrometers). The accuracy of primary measurements should be stated.
Suitable characterisations of compounds must be included - read our experimental data guidelines.
For studies that involve the use of live animals or human subjects please refer to our Human & Animal Welfare policy.
Results & discussion
This is arguably the most important section of your article.
Your results should be organised into an orderly and logical sequence. Only the most relevant results should be described in the text; to highlight the most important points. Figures, tables, and equations should be used for purposes of clarity and brevity. Data should not be reproduced in more than one form, for example in both figures and tables, without good reason.
The purpose of the discussion is to explain the meaning of your results and why they are important. You should state the impact of your results compared with recent work and relate it back to the problem or question you posed in your introduction. Ensure claims are backed up by evidence and explain any complex arguments.
This is for interpretation of the key results and to highlight the novelty and significance of the work. The conclusions should not summarise information already present in the article or abstract. Plans for relevant future work can also be included.
Contributors (that are not included as co-authors) may be acknowledged; they should be as brief as possible. All sources of funding should be declared.
Footnotes relating to the title and/or authors, including affiliations, should appear at the very bottom of the first page of the article. If ESI is available this is also stated here.
Bibliographic references & notes
We will format your content according to our house style before publication; however, it’s important you use Vancouver style (not Harvard style) for all journals except Chemistry Education Research and Practice, which requires the use of Harvard referencing.
You can also automatically format references from your Endnote citation manager using our style files.
Notes relating to the main text should appear at the end of the article, just above the references. These might include:
- comments relevant to but not central to the matter under discussion
- limited experimental and spectral data
- crystallographic data.
Referencing in the text
Use superscript numbers to show the reference source of statements in the text – for example, reactive small molecule species.3 Usually these should appear at the end of the sentence (after the punctuation), but can be after the relevant word or compound. The reference numbers should be cited in the correct sequence through the text (including those in tables and figure captions, numbered according to where the table or figure is designated to appear).
If a statement has multiple references you should reference all of the citations in the text. If you have two citations, or if you have more than two and the numbers are not consecutive, use commas (with no spaces) between numbers, examples: 12,13 or 12,14,15. If there are more than two numbers and they are consecutive, use an en-dash to separate the first and last citation – for example, 14–20.
The author(s) can be mentioned at their first citation in the text, but initials are not necessary. For papers with one or two authors simply state the surname(s), and for papers with three or more authors you should use the first author’s surname followed by et al.
Listing your references
The references themselves are listed in numerical order at the end of the main article. The names and initials of all authors should be given in the reference.
The journal abbreviations to be used in Royal Society of Chemistry publications are defined in Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index (CASSI). If you cannot find a recognised abbreviation for a journal and it is not obvious how the title should be abbreviated, please cite the full journal title.
Journal articles should be cited in the form: A. Name, B. Name and C. Name, Journal Title, year, volume, page.
Inclusion of article title is optional for most journals, but required for Food & Function, Metallomics and Toxicology Research.
When page numbers are not yet known, articles should be cited by DOI (Digital Object Identifier) – for example, T. J. Hebden, R. R. Schrock, M. K. Takase and P. Müller, Chem. Commun., 2012, DOI: 10.1039/C2CC17634C.
A. Name, B. Name and C. Name, Book Title, Publisher, Publisher Location, year. For example, S T Beckett, Science of Chocolate, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, 2000. If you are referencing published conference proceedings, these should be cited like a book.
A. Name, in Book Title, ed. Editor Name(s), Publisher, Publisher Location, edition, year, chapter, pages. The ‘ed.’ in the example above stands for ‘edited by’, that is, the editor(s) of the book; if the book has no editors this can be left out.
A. Name, PhD thesis, University Name, year.
Lectures, meetings & conferences
A. Name, presented in part at Conference Title, Place, Month, year.
Reference to unpublished material
If you reference unpublished material in your article you must provide the editor with copies of the manuscripts with your submission. You should not reference unpublished work without the permission of those who completed the work.
For material accepted for publication, but not yet published: A. Name, Journal Title, in press. For material submitted for publication, but not yet accepted: A. Name, Journal Title, submitted. For material that has yet to be submitted for publication: A. Name, unpublished work.
Online resources (including databases, websites & wikis)
Name of resource, URL, (accessed date). Please note the most important information to include is the URL and the date accessed. For example, The Merck Index Online, http://www.rsc.org/Merck-Index/monograph/mono1500000841, (accessed October 2013).
Preprint servers (for example, arXiv)
For example: V. Krstic and M. Glerup, 2006, arXiv:cond-mat/0601513.
You should provide the name of the patentee(s), patent issuer, patent number and year. For example: J. C. Chung, US Pat., 20100105549A1, 2010; Nippon Telegraph & Telephone, Jpn. Pat., 2013034915A, 2013.
T. Bellander, M. Lewne and B. Brunekreef, GAUSSIAN 3 (Revision B.05), Gaussian Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, 2003.