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CHEM 3123 - Organic Chemistry Lab (JVL): ACS Citations

Resources for the organic chemistry literature assignment.

ACS Style Citations

Don't Give Up!

Remember, if you get stuck or need additional help, you can always contact one of NSU's Writing Centers or your friendly librarian for assistance!

Plagiarism Can Ruin Your Life!

When using the work of other people, always remember to

  • Give credit if you use their words (quotation).
  • Give credit if you use their sentiments or ideas (paraphrasing/summarizing).
  • Give credit if you use their methods, techniques, or conclusions (replication/modification of prior work).

Avoid accidental plagiarism through proper citation methods.

Use the following GALILEO guides to understand more about citing sources:

Check out these useful sites for additional information:

Zotero Tutorial

Reference, or citation, managers can be useful tools for keeping track of your information resources when writing. This tutorial will teach you how to use the free reference manager, Zotero. Follow the directions below to download and use Zotero to track and manage your citations.

Remember, citation managers are not infallible. Always carefully double-check your citations for errors before submitting your paper for grading or publication. Use the resources provided in this Course Guide to help you.

Basic Instructions

To begin, download the Zotero app to your computer with the link below. Follow the prompts to install Zotero, then open the app to begin using it. You will need to sign in or create an account to use the app.

It is recommended that you create a separate collection in which to save your references for each individual project. Use the "new collection" button (symbol of a yellow file folder with a green circle and white plus sign) in the top left corner. Give your collection a relevant name to make it easier to locate later.

Zotero new collection button

There are multiple ways to save items in Zotero. The most common include adding an item by its unique identifier (DOI for articles, ISBN for books) and/or adding an item manually. You can also use the Zotero browser extension; see the "Zotero Support" link at the bottom of this tutorial for more information about this method.

Add items by unique identifier:

To add an item by its DOI or ISBN, click on the "magic wand" button at the top of the page, then type (or copy and paste) the number into the box. The item's metadata (information about the item, including title, author, and date) will be automatically added to your Zotero collection.

Zotero add by unique identifier

Add items manually:

To add metadata manually, click on the green circle with the white plus sign at the top of the page and choose the type of item from the drop-down menu. Type (or copy and paste) the information about the item into the appropriate boxes under the "info" tab at the right of the page.

Zotero add manually

Creating Citations and a Bibliography

When you are ready, Zotero can create citations and a bibliography, or reference list, to add to your paper. Please note that not all citation styles are included in Zotero's basic list; however, you may add additional styles through a "Style Search" in the "Zotero Style Respository" using the following directions.

Adding a Citation Style:

To add a new citation style to Zotero, click on "Edit" in the top left corner of the app, then select "Preferences" from the drop-down menu. In the pop-up box, select the "Cite" tab, then click on the blue "Get additional styles" link to go to the "Zotero Style Repository." In the "Title Search" box, type in the citation style you need. Choose the correct style from the results list to automatically add it to your Zotero Style Manager.

Zotero edit menu

Zotero cite menu

Zotero style search

Creating citations:

To create a citation, highlight your selected reference, or references, in the title list. Right click on the title and choose "Create Bibliography from Selected Item(s)." Select your preferred citation style, choose "citations" as your output mode, and decide on the output method you would like to use (note that "copy to clipboard" will allow you to paste directly into your document).

Create a bibliography or reference list:

To create a bibliography or reference list, follow the steps for creating citations and choose "Bibliography" as your output mode.

Zotero create bibliography drop-down menu

Zotero create citation menu

Additional resources:

This tutorial only covers the basic functions of Zotero; many more options for customization and use are available. For more detailed instructions, click on the link below.