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A guide to resources in UVic Libraries for the study of chemistry

What does it mean to communicate responsibly in the sciences?


  • Not taking credit for the work and ideas of others.
  • Not intentionally deceiving your audience, avoiding misleading incompleteness or manipulation of results.
  • Citing original sources of information used to support your results and conclusions.


  • Providing as precise a description of scientific findings as possible.
  • Specifying uncertainty about your conclusions.


  • Keeping track of research questions, methods, and results in a lab notebook.
  • Communicating methods and results clearly, in such a way that another researcher could check the validity of your results for themselves.

List modified from Keohane, R.O.; Lane, M.; Oppenheimer, M. The ethics of scientific communication under uncertainty. Politics, Philosophy & Economics. 2014, 13(4), 343–368. (accessed Aug 08, 2019).

When and why to cite?

A citation is the quoting, paraphrasing, or summarizing of someone else's work, or recognition of previous work which is used as a basis for your own ideas and research.

  • Citations give credibility to your work by showing that you've consulted other research, and strengthen your work by putting it into meaningful context.
  • A citation should provide readers with enough information in order to easily locate the original work.


Citation styles

When writing your references, there are many different styles and formats to choose from. These styles are usually specific to subjects, or even journals, in order to make citations consistent for ease of use.

In Chemistry, we recommend following the Style Guide of the American Chemical Society (ACS).


This guide was prepared by Geneviève Boice and Shahira Khair. It can be modified and reused freely under a CC-BY license.

Creative Commons License
This work by The University of Victoria Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise indicated when material has been used from other sources.