How to format your references using the ACM Computing Surveys citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR). For a complete guide how to prepare your manuscript refer to the journal's instructions to authors.

Using reference management software

Typically you don't format your citations and bibliography by hand. The easiest way is to use a reference manager:

PaperpileThe citation style is built in and you can choose it in Settings > Citation Style or Paperpile > Citation Style in Google Docs.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
Mendeley, Zotero, Papers, and othersThe style is either built in or you can download a CSL file that is supported by most references management programs.
BibTeXBibTeX syles are usually part of a LaTeX template. Check the instructions to authors if the publisher offers a LaTeX template for this journal.

Journal articles

Those examples are references to articles in scholarly journals and how they are supposed to appear in your bibliography.

Not all journals organize their published articles in volumes and issues, so these fields are optional. Some electronic journals do not provide a page range, but instead list an article identifier. In a case like this it's safe to use the article identifier instead of the page range.

A journal article with 1 author
Johan Akerman. 2005. Applied physics. Toward a universal memory. Science 308, 5721 (April 2005), 508–510.
A journal article with 2 authors
H. J. Melosh and G. S. Collins. 2005. Planetary science: Meteor Crater formed by low-velocity impact. Nature 434, 7030 (March 2005), 157.
A journal article with 3 authors
Jan Petersen, Jürgen Volz, and Arno Rauschenbeutel. 2014. Nanophotonics. Chiral nanophotonic waveguide interface based on spin-orbit interaction of light. Science 346, 6205 (October 2014), 67–71.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Wen Li, Xibin Zhou, Robynne Lock, Serguei Patchkovskii, Albert Stolow, Henry C. Kapteyn, and Margaret M. Murnane. 2008. Time-resolved dynamics in N2O4 probed using high harmonic generation. Science 322, 5905 (November 2008), 1207–1211.

Books and book chapters

Here are examples of references for authored and edited books as well as book chapters.

An authored book
Renaud Marlet. 2012. Program Specialization. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ USA.
An edited book
Frieder Berr, Tsuneo Oyama, Thierry Ponchon, and Naohisa Yahagi (Eds.). 2014. Early Neoplasias of the Gastrointestinal Tract: Endoscopic Diagnosis and Therapeutic Decisions. Springer US, Boston, MA.
A chapter in an edited book
Matthew Rainbow Hale. 2016. Apostles of Freedom: Pro-French American Democrats and Thomas Paine as Religious Crusaders. In New Directions in Thomas Paine Studies, Scott Cleary and Ivy Linton Stabell (eds.). Palgrave Macmillan US, New York, NY, 69–91.

Web sites

Sometimes references to web sites should appear directly in the text rather than in the bibliography. Refer to the Instructions to authors for ACM Computing Surveys.

Blog post
Elise Andrew. 2015. Bill Nye Explains How The Universe Speaks To Us In A Hilarious New Video. IFLScience. Retrieved October 30, 2018 from


This example shows the general structure used for government reports, technical reports, and scientific reports. If you can't locate the report number then it might be better to cite the report as a book. For reports it is usually not individual people that are credited as authors, but a governmental department or agency like "U. S. Food and Drug Administration" or "National Cancer Institute".

Government report
Government Accountability Office. 1999. National Airspace System: Observations on American Airlines’ 1997 Study of Future Air Traffic Congestion. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Renee L. Katz. 2014. Graduate nursing students’ perceptions regarding caring for patients with HIV. Doctoral dissertation. California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

News paper articles

Unlike scholarly journals, news papers do not usually have a volume and issue number. Instead, the full date and page number is required for a correct reference.

New York Times article
Linda Greenhouse. 2017. Free Rein for Immigration Agents. New York Times, A27.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [2].
This sentence cites two references [2,4].
This sentence cites four references [2,5,7,8].

About the journal

Full journal titleACM Computing Surveys
AbbreviationACM Comput. Surv.
ISSN (print)0360-0300
ISSN (online)1557-7341

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