Bibliographic references & notes
We encourage the citation of primary research over review articles, where appropriate, in order to give credit to those who first reported a finding. This is part of our commitment to the principles of San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).
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. Please note, references cited in the electronic supplementary information (ESI) should be included in a separate references list within the ESI document.
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, Inorganic Chemistry Frontiers, Materials Chemistry Frontiers, Organic Chemistry Frontiers and Industrial Chemistry & Materials.
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, ChemRxiv, arXiv)
ChemRxiv & bioRxiv: The citation should include the author(s), the name of the preprint server, the year, the word “preprint” and the DOI (including version number).
S. Bhattacharjee, S. P. Chaudhary and S. Bhattacharyya, ChemRxiv, 2019, preprint, DOI: 10.26434/chemrxiv.9794270.v1
arXiv: The citation should include the author(s), the name of the preprint server, the year, the article number and the url (including version number).
D. Carrascal, L. Fernandez and J. Ferrer, arXiv, 2009, preprint, arXiv:0904.1138, https://arxiv.org/abs/0904.1138v1
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.