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ACS - Referencing Guide

Personal Communications


 Personal communications include the following when they are saved in written, audio, or multimedia formats:

  • AI generated text  e.g. CoPilot
  • conversations
  • electronic bulletin boards
  • emails
  • interviews
  • letters
  • memos
  • messages from discussion boards
  • online chats
  • personal interviews
  • telephone conversations
  • text messages

• An entry should be given in the reference list for any form of personal communication.

• Details should include:

  • The name of the person who is the source of your information.
  • Any academic or professional affiliation.
  • The year of the communication.
  • Additional information about the date of the communication can be given if known.

The ACS doesn't cover every type of personal communication. The standard format given below covers many types, but sometimes personal judgement may be required. Keep in mind the major reasons for citing, especially to enable the reader to find and use the source.

Follow the In Text Citation Guidelines for Citing Personal Communication when citing a personal communication in text.


Standard format for citation

Author, A. A. Affiliation, Location of Affiliated Institution as City, State. Personal communication or other phrase describing the material, year.


1. Saul, B. J. Chemistry Department, Yale University, New Haven, CT. Personal communication, 2002.