Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Chemistry/References and external links

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


When to cite

Citations should be used whenever non-obvious information is presented.

What to cite

General properties and characteristics should cite textbooks or reviews. The primary literature (journal articles) should be cited only where tertiary or secondary sources do not exist, or are inadequate. They should be used to illustrate examples, not to justify general statements, as their interpretation can lead to problems with our

neutral point of view
policy: they can also be difficult for the general reader to access. Some occasions where it is normal practice within Wikipedia chemistry to cite the primary literature include:

  • the first report of a discovery/synthesis of a (compound, reaction, etc.), if the citation is known;
  • the report of a crystal structure determination, if we have used the atomic coordinates to create the picture (the citation may go on the image description page);
  • IUPAC recommendations for chemical nomenclature and other terminology.

The secondary literature includes review articles, monographs, chemical encyclopedias and specialist textbooks. The use of the available secondary literature is strongly recommended to reference information on chemical safety, in preference to either (primary) journal articles or (tertiary) generalist textbooks: see

Wikipedia:Manual of Style (chemistry)/Safety for more details and examples of secondary sources. Organic Syntheses and Inorganic Syntheses
are considered to be secondary sources rather than primary sources.

Websites are normally not considered authoritative but are sometimes appropriate. A few websites which are well regarded include:

The official websites of various government bodies (e.g.

) can often provide useful information as well.

How to cite

The <ref> style of inline citations is to be used throughout chemistry and chemicals articles, preferably using {{citation}} or similar citation templates, although this is not mandatory. For papers published in Organic Syntheses, there is a special citation template ({{OrgSynth}}), which is simpler to fill in.

Citation templates have been created for a number of commonly used textbooks: some examples are given below, and the complete list can be found at Category:Chemistry citation templates. Please include page numbers or page ranges (page = or pages = parameters respectively) when using these templates. If you create a new template, please remember to categorize it in Category:Chemistry citation templates (so that others can find it and use it), and to make the name of the template specific for the edition of the textbook which is cited (to avoid future cleanup problems).

Template Reference
BLB11th Brown, Theodore E.; Lemay, H. Eugene; Bursten, Bruce E.; Murphy, Catherine; Woodward, Patrick (2008). Chemistry: The Central Science (11 ed.). New York: Prentice-Hall. .
Elschenbroich2nd Elschenbroich, C.; Salzer, A. (1992). Organometallics: A Concise Introduction (2nd ed.). Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. .
Elschenbroich3rd Elschenbroich, C. (2006). Organometallics (3rd ed.). Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. .
{{Greenwood&Earnshaw2nd}} .
Loudon4th Loudon, G. Marc (2005), Organic Chemistry (4th ed.), New York: Oxford University Press,
{{Merck12th}} Budavari, Susan, ed. (1996),
{{OrgSynth}} Various; see Template:OrgSynth/doc for details
{{RubberBible53rd}} Weast, R. C., ed. (1972). Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (53rd ed.). Cleveland, OH: Chemical Rubber Co.
{{RubberBible83rd}} Lide, D. R., ed. (2002). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (83rd ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. .
{{RubberBible86th}} Lide, D. R., ed. (2005). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (86th ed.). Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press. .
{{VogelOrganic5th}} Furniss, B. S.; Hannaford, A. J.; Smith, P. W. G.; Tatchell, A. R. (1989), Vogel's Textbook of Practical Organic Chemistry (5th ed.), Harlow: Longman,
{{VogelQualitative5th}} Vogel, Arthur I.; Svehla, G. (1979), Vogel's Textbook of Macro and Semimicro Qualitative Inorganic Analysis (5th ed.), London: Longman,
{{VogelQuantitative6th}} Mendham, J.; Denney, R. C.; Barnes, J. D.; Thomas, M. J. K. (2000), Vogel's Quantitative Chemical Analysis (6th ed.), New York: Prentice Hall,

External links

Avoid adding external links to general sites. Rather, link to the particular article which is relevant. There is absolutely no need to link every national or state regulatory body for a regulated chemical. Instead, use them as inline references in the body of the article, if necessary.

A certain number of frequently used sites have their own templates for the external link. Note that some of these templates need parameters to specify a link to a specific page on the website; read the documentation for the individual template for more details.

Template Link
{{nist}} Linstrom, Peter J.; Mallard, William G. (eds.); NIST Chemistry WebBook, NIST Standard Reference Database Number 69, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg (MD)
{{ICSC|xxyy|xx}} International Chemical Safety Card xxyy
Institut national de recherche et de sécurité ({{{year}}}). "{{{title}}}." Fiche toxicologique n° {{{number}}}. Paris:INRS. (in French)
CID xxx from PubChem