My supervisor gave me a pdf copy of an article from one of the Nature journals. This discusses in broadest terms the citation policy, but I am unclear how it relates to my case. Is it OK for me to post a link to the pdf, or can I only post the DOI, or is it irrelevant because anyone in a position to answer my question will have access to the databases and not need the pdf?

  • $\begingroup$ What is the context? Are you planning to ask a question that requires information from the journal article? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 16, 2017 at 22:08
  • $\begingroup$ @orthocresol, yes, very much so $\endgroup$
    – jamesson
    Commented Nov 17, 2017 at 0:39
  • $\begingroup$ The following post is probably more up to date on how we have done it in the past few years: chemistry.meta.stackexchange.com/q/3529/4945 $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 17, 2017 at 2:21

1 Answer 1


Disclaimer that this is not "official policy", just what I think is a common-sense solution.

As you are undoubtedly aware of, the sharing of scientific information is a ethical grey area and is still being debated hotly. (And hence you asked this question!)

If you want to be very safe, the best option is simply to quote any relevant portions of the article in your question, or a summary of it. If you provide a full citation to the original paper, most people who work in chemistry (and perhaps even some people who do not work in chemistry) will be able to find the paper in question, if any more details are required.

  • $\begingroup$ What is the citation format? $\endgroup$
    – jamesson
    Commented Nov 17, 2017 at 1:47
  • $\begingroup$ @jamesson For our resources to learn chemistry list, we adopted the ACS style guide. You can find a brief overview here. Tl;dr: Cite it as if you were writing for a journal, if you link to the source, then DOI-links are preferred. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 17, 2017 at 2:17
  • $\begingroup$ @jamesson If you are using a citation manager which supports CSL, I could recommend to git clone this ACS style and call it a day. $\endgroup$
    – andselisk Mod
    Commented Nov 17, 2017 at 8:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .