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
Karyn Hede. 2013. Emergency medicine: The need for speed. Nature 503, 7475 (November 2013), S14-5.
A journal article with 2 authors
Andrew McMichael and Paul Klenerman. 2002. HIV/AIDS. HLA leaves its footprints on HIV. Science 296, 5572 (May 2002), 1410–1411.
A journal article with 3 authors
Sougata Roy, Frank Hsiung, and Thomas B. Kornberg. 2011. Specificity of Drosophila cytonemes for distinct signaling pathways. Science 332, 6027 (April 2011), 354–358.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
N. Schlosser, G. Reymond, I. Protsenko, and P. Grangier. 2001. Sub-poissonian loading of single atoms in a microscopic dipole trap. Nature 411, 6841 (June 2001), 1024–1027.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lee Dian Rainey. 2010. Confucius & Confucianism. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK.
An edited book
Manmohan Singh (Ed.). 2013. Novel Immune Potentiators and Delivery Technologies for Next Generation Vaccines. Springer US, Boston, MA.
A chapter in an edited book
Santiago Escobar, Ralf Sasse, and José Meseguer. 2010. Folding Variant Narrowing and Optimal Variant Termination. In Rewriting Logic and Its Applications: 8th International Workshop, WRLA 2010, Held as a Satellite Event of ETAPS 2010, Paphos, Cyprus, March 20-21, 2010, Revised Selected Papers, Peter Csaba Ölveczky (ed.). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 52–68.

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. 2015. Here’s How The White House Would Deal With A Huge Solar Storm That Could Send Us Back To The Dark Age. 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. 2013. Fiscal Year 2013 Agreed-Upon Procedures: Excise Tax Distributions to the Airport and Airway Trust Fund and the Highway Trust Fund. 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
Dawn Garrett. 2013. A quantitative study of STEM goal and role alignment across stakeholder leaders in California: Advocacy for application of a systems solution approach. Pepperdine University, Malibu, 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
George Vecsey. 2012. Alchemists Needed for Mets’ Golden Anniversary. New York Times, SP9.

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 [2,4,6,8].

About the journal

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

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