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
Samudra S. Gangopadhyay. 2013. Systemic administration of follistatin288 increases muscle mass and reduces fat accumulation in mice. Sci. Rep. 3, (2013), 2441.
A journal article with 2 authors
Z. Josh Huang and Liqun Luo. 2015. NEUROSCIENCE. It takes the world to understand the brain. Science 350, 6256 (October 2015), 42–44.
A journal article with 3 authors
Tobias Preis, Helen Susannah Moat, and H. Eugene Stanley. 2013. Quantifying trading behavior in financial markets using Google Trends. Sci. Rep. 3, (2013), 1684.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Thierry Lahaye, Tobias Koch, Bernd Fröhlich, Marco Fattori, Jonas Metz, Axel Griesmaier, Stefano Giovanazzi, and Tilman Pfau. 2007. Strong dipolar effects in a quantum ferrofluid. Nature 448, 7154 (August 2007), 672–675.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Joe Calloway. 2007. Work Like You’re Showing Off! John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Rebecca Stein-Wexler, Sandra L. Wootton-Gorges, and M. B. Ozonoff (Eds.). 2015. Pediatric Orthopedic Imaging. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Trong Hai Duong, Ngoc Thanh Nguyen, Adrianna Kozierkiewicz-Hetmańska, and Geun Sik Jo. 2011. Fuzzy Ontology Integration Using Consensus to Solve Conflicts on Concept Level. In New Challenges for Intelligent Information and Database Systems, Ngoc Thanh Nguyen, Bogdan Trawiński and Jason J. Jung (eds.). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 33–42.

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. 2014. Scientists Discover Smallest Known Star. 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. 1987. Bilingual Education: Research and Evaluation Contracts. 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
Joseph B. Baugh. 2008. Deregulation and management strategies: A case study of Georgia System Operations Corporation. Doctoral dissertation. Capella University, Minneapolis, MN.

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
John Leland. 2016. The Innocents of Times Square. New York Times, MB7.

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 [2,4,7,8].

About the journal

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

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