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
A. C. Fabian. 2006. Astronomy. Variable high-energy gamma rays from the elliptical galaxy M87. Science 314, 5804 (December 2006), 1398–1399.
A journal article with 2 authors
D. N. Matsukevich and A. Kuzmich. 2004. Quantum state transfer between matter and light. Science 306, 5696 (October 2004), 663–666.
A journal article with 3 authors
J. I. Schroeder, J. M. Kwak, and G. J. Allen. 2001. Guard cell abscisic acid signalling and engineering drought hardiness in plants. Nature 410, 6826 (March 2001), 327–330.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Michael Tri H. Do, Shin H. Kang, Tian Xue, Haining Zhong, Hsi-Wen Liao, Dwight E. Bergles, and King-Wai Yau. 2009. Photon capture and signalling by melanopsin retinal ganglion cells. Nature 457, 7227 (January 2009), 281–287.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bruce R. Hopkins. 2009. Fundraising Law Made Easy. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Deborah Lewis, Gunther Eysenbach, Rita Kukafka, P. Zoë Stavri, and Holly B. Jimison (Eds.). 2005. Consumer Health Informatics: Informing Consumers and Improving Health Care. Springer, New York, NY.
A chapter in an edited book
G. Rottman. 2007. Measurement of Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance. In Solar Variability and Planetary Climates, Y. Calisesi, R-M Bonnet, L. Gray, J. Langen and M. Lockwood (eds.). Springer, New York, NY, 39–51.

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
Josh Davis. 2016. Oldest Known Fish Hooks Found In A Japanese Island Cave. 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. 1992. Apprenticeship Training: Administration, Use, and Equal Opportunity. 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
Truc HaMai. 2014. The “other” women: What about the experiences of women faculty of color in community colleges? 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
Kelly Crow. 2002. A Rowdy Club Closes, and the Sleepless Rest Easy. New York Times, 146.

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 [3,5,7,8].

About the journal

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

Other styles