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
P. L. Gould. 2008. Physics. Cold molecules beat the shakes. Science 322, 5899 (October 2008), 203–204.
A journal article with 2 authors
Dolores R. Piperno and Hans-Dieter Sues. 2005. Paleontology. Dinosaurs dined on grass. Science 310, 5751 (November 2005), 1126–1128.
A journal article with 3 authors
W. Jonathan Lederer, Brian M. Hagen, and Guiling Zhao. 2012. Cell biology. Superresolution subspace signaling. Science 336, 6081 (May 2012), 546–547.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Damian B. van Rossum, Randen L. Patterson, Sumit Sharma, Roxanne K. Barrow, Michael Kornberg, Donald L. Gill, and Solomon H. Snyder. 2005. Phospholipase Cgamma1 controls surface expression of TRPC3 through an intermolecular PH domain. Nature 434, 7029 (March 2005), 99–104.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Michael Chaskalson. 2011. The Mindful Workplace. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Paul F. Hudson and Hans Middelkoop (Eds.). 2015. Geomorphic Approaches to Integrated Floodplain Management of Lowland Fluvial Systems in North America and Europe. Springer, New York, NY.
A chapter in an edited book
Qing Xiang, Runsheng Yin, Jintao Xu, and Xiangzheng Deng. 2009. Modeling the Driving Forces of the Land Use and Land Cover Changes Along the Upper Yangtze River. In An Integrated Assessment of China’s Ecological Restoration Programs, Runsheng Yin (ed.). Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, 69–84.

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. 2013. Bilateral gynandromorphs - animals that are quite literally, half male and half female. 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. 2016. DOD Major Automated Information Systems: Improvements Can Be Made in Reporting Critical Changes and Clarifying Leadership Responsibility. 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
Michael J. Conti. 2012. The online teaching skills and best practices of virtual classroom teachers: A mixed method Delphi study. University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ.

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
David A. Kelly. 2007. Fast Cellphones Aim To Unseat Laptops. New York Times, SPG9.

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 [2,5,6,8].

About the journal

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

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