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
Stephen Bradforth. 2011. Chemistry. Tracking state-to-state bimolecular reaction dynamics in solution. Science 331, 6023 (March 2011), 1398–1399.
A journal article with 2 authors
Yael Politi and James C. Weaver. 2015. Biomineralization. Built for tough conditions. Science 347, 6223 (February 2015), 712–713.
A journal article with 3 authors
James W. Vaupel, James R. Carey, and Kaare Christensen. 2003. Aging. It’s never too late. Science 301, 5640 (September 2003), 1679–1681.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
J. L. Margot, M. C. Nolan, L. A. M. Benner, S. J. Ostro, R. F. Jurgens, J. D. Giorgini, M. A. Slade, and D. B. Campbell. 2002. Binary asteroids in the near-Earth object population. Science 296, 5572 (May 2002), 1445–1448.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Basel Abu-Jamous, Rui Fa, and Asoke K. Nandi. 2015. Integrative Cluster Analysis in Bioinformatics. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Salvador García. 2015. Data Preprocessing in Data Mining. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
F. D. Fragiskos. 2007. Equipment, Instruments, and Materials. In Oral Surgery, Fragiskos D. Fragiskos (ed.). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 43–72.

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. This Is What Viper Venom Does To Blood. 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. 2002. FAA Alaska: Weak Controls Resulted in Improper and Wasteful Purchases. 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
Brandy DeLaney. 2015. Youth center for improving health and wellness. 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
Kate Kelly. 2017. At Goldman, He’s a President. At the Club, He’s D.J. D-Sol. New York Times, B1.

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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