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Citation Help: Engineering Citation

ACS Style Guide

The ACS Style Guide is used primarily in the fields of:

  • chemistry
  • engineering

ACS requires citations to appear two places in your writing:

  1. the in-text citation, which provides brief identifying information within the text, and
  2. the reference list, which is a list of sources that provide the full bibliographic information.

How to Cite Patents

Citing a patent or a patent application varies depending on the style manual used. It is important to check with your instructor, editor or publisher to know which citation format to use.

Examples of how to cite US Patent 3,597,875 using three different style manuals:

ACS Style Guide

The minimum data required for an acceptable citation are the name(s) of the patent owner(s), the patent number, and the date. Ensure that the patent stage (Patent, Patent Application, etc.) is indicated and that the pattern of the number (e.g., spaces, commas, dashes) follows that of the original patent document. If possible, include the title and the Chemical Abstracts reference (preceded by a semicolon) as well. Patents p. 310

U.S. patent numbers are always written with commas: U.S. Patent 6,555,655. The patent numbers of other countries should be presented as on the original patent number. p. 208

Christensen, Godtfred Kirk. Toy buildings set. U.S. Patent 3,597,875, August 10, 1971.

AMA Manual of Style (10th edition) Online

3.13.7 Patents

Christensen, Godtfred Kirk, inventor; Interlego Ag, assignee. Toy building set. US patent 3,597,875. August 10, 1971.

Chicago Manual of Style

14.230 Patents Patents are cited under the names of the creators and dated by the year of filing.

15.50 Patents or other documents cited by more than one date Cite patents and other documents that include more than one date as follows (note that the year of issue is repeated to avoid ambiguity).

Christensen, Godtfred Kirk. US Patent 3,597,875 filed November 18, 1968, and issued August 10, 1971.

How to Cite Industry Standards

First thing's first...

  • There is no such thing as a separate style guide for industry standards. How to cite an industry standard varies depending on the style manual.
  • Style manuals do not mention how to specifically cite standards. However standards generally are treated similar to a book, journal, or book series depending on the situation.
  • Whichever style manual is used, enough information needs to be provided so the original document can be located.

Best Practices for citing industry standards

Consult with your instructor, editor or publisher as to which style manual is preferred.

Industry publishers and associations suggest the following:

The basic format structure:

  • Issuing Agency (or publication name)
  • Standard Number
  • Standard Title
  • Publication Date
  • Specific Version
    • Standards can be reprinted, altered/reissued by a number of different standard organizations.


IEEE Criteria for Class IE Electric Systems, IEEE Standard 308, 1969. Letter Symbols for Quantities, ANSI Standard Y10.5-1968.

British Standards Institution. Code of Practice for Noise and Vibration Control on Contruction and Open Sites - Part 2: Vibration. BS 5228-2:2009.

"Headlamp Design Guidelines for Mature Drivers," SAE J1606-1997, in SAE Ground Vehicle Lighting Standards Manual, 2002 edition, Warrendale, PA: Society of Automotive Engineers, 2002, p. 104.

Keyboarding Speed Tests (formerly known as 'Typing Speed Tests'). AS 2708-2001. Sydney, N.S.W.: Standards Australia International. Safety Code and Requirements for Dry Martinis. ANSI K100.1-1974 (R1984).

Safety Standard for Portable Automotive Lifting Devices. ANSI/ASME PALD-2005. New York: American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2006.

"Standard Specification for Ice Hockey Helmets," ASTM F1045-07, in Annual Book of ASTM Standards, vol. 15.07.

Underwriters Laboratories. Standard for safety for household electric storage tank water heaters. ANSI/UL 174:1996. Northbrook, IL : Underwriters' Laboratories.

Wind Turbines - Part 4: Design and Specification of Gearboxes. ISO 81400-4:2005. Geneva, Switzerland : ISO.

Engineering Citation Help:

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Kari Kozak
Lichtenberger Engineering Library
2001 Seamans Center
ph: 319-335-6046
Subjects: Engineering

Need Help?

2001 Seamans Center
Phone: 319-335-6046
Text: 319-250-2176

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