Citation of AOAC (Official Methods of Analysis of AOAC International)
Ranjan Kumar Mohanta
ICAR-National Rice Research Institute, Cuttack-753006, India
Corresponding author: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
AOAC International, more particularly the Official Methods of Analysis of AOAC International has an important contribution to the field of animal nutrition, analytical chemistry and microbiology. Most of the current citations still refer to AOAC as Association of Official Analytical Chemists as its broad name. This communication aims to clarify its correct citation.
AOAC International, the AOAC, is a non-profit scientific association with Headquarter in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA. The organization known as AOAC changed its name in 1991 from its previous name Association of Official Analytical Chemists or Association of Official Agricultural Chemists, emphasizing the importance on Association of Analytical Communities due to its expanded scope in analytical sciences. However, the legal name still refers it to AOAC or AOAC International.
The right form of citation therefore should be ‘AOAC. 2012. Official Methods of Analysis of AOAC international. 19th ed. Gaithersburg; AOAC International; 2012’.
Keywords: AOAC; AOAC International; Official Methods of Analysis; Correct citation
The professionals of discipline animal nutrition, microbiologists and analytical chemists rigorously follow various methodologies described by AOAC International. As an animal nutritionist, I, feel there is a need to notify the correct citation of the Official Methods of Analysis of AOAC International, which we can notice in almost every paper of Animal Nutrition related journals. AOAC International known as AOAC changed its name in 1991 from its previous name Association of Official Analytical Chemists or Association of Official Agricultural Chemists.
AOAC International, the AOAC, is a non-profit scientific association with Headquarter in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA. The AOAC is comprised of chemists, microbiologists, laboratory managers, and statisticians with nearly 3200 members from more than 90 countries involving scientists from both government institutes and industries. The Association’s primary programs focus on the validation of chemical and microbiological analytical methods. AOAC validated methods are used by government, industry, and academia throughout the world for analysis of a variety of commodities—particularly those related to food, agriculture, public health and safety, and the environment.
Brief History of AOAC
The United States Department of Agriculture established the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists on September 8, 1884 for providing methods for uniform chemical analysis of fertilizers. In 1965, the AOAC's name changed to Association of Official Analytical Chemists to reflect its scope beyond agriculture. However, subsequently, as per AOAC website, the attention of the analytical community—particularly the segment focused on foods—had changed dramatically from chemical to microbiological food contaminants and there was increasing demand for quality control of laboratories and international laboratory accreditation. Consequently, in 1991, the name of the Association was changed to AOAC International. The website further states that “the new name retained its past initials, while eliminating reference to a specific scientific discipline or profession, and reflecting the expanding international membership and focus of AOAC as the "Association of Analytical Communities", but emphasized that the latter is not the legal name as the legal name is AOAC International. As the organization wants to retain the term AOAC over AOAC International or Association of Analytical Communities International it still advocates for use of AOAC over other names.
The compendium of methods adopted by AOAC International, which contains over 3000 methods is revised every 3-5 years interval. In 2013, because of the concern for correctness of citation I had corresponded with Tien Milor of AOAC International, according to whom the correct citation is “Official Methods of Analysis of AOAC INTERNATIONAL. 2012. 19th ed. Gaithersburg; AOAC INTERNATIONAL, www.eoma.aoac.org”.
However, in terms of the reference format we use, we may adopt that version or it can better be cited as ‘AOAC. 2012. Official Methods of Analysis of AOAC international. 19th ed. Gaithersburg; AOAC International; 2012’. As the name was changed in 1991, for the editions after 1991, the old name should not be written and emphasis should be given on AOAC or AOAC International.