How to format your references using the ACM Transactions on Algorithms citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for ACM Transactions on Algorithms (TALG). 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Jonathan F. Stebbins. 2002. Materials science. Dynamics in ceramics. Science 297, 5585 (August 2002), 1285–1287.
A journal article with 2 authors
Chi-Kang Tseng and Soo-Chen Cheng. 2008. Both catalytic steps of nuclear pre-mRNA splicing are reversible. Science 320, 5884 (June 2008), 1782–1784.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kathy T. Mullen, Yeon Jin Kim, and Mina Gheiratmand. 2014. Contrast normalization in colour vision: the effect of luminance contrast on colour contrast detection. Sci. Rep. 4, (December 2014), 7350.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Hsing-Chen Tsai, Feng Zhang, Antoine Adamantidis, Garret D. Stuber, Antonello Bonci, Luis de Lecea, and Karl Deisseroth. 2009. Phasic firing in dopaminergic neurons is sufficient for behavioral conditioning. Science 324, 5930 (May 2009), 1080–1084.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Jean-Max Noyer. 2016. Transformation of Collective Intelligences. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Christiane R. Timmel and Jeffrey R. Harmer (Eds.). 2013. Structural Information from Spin-Labels and Intrinsic Paramagnetic Centres in the Biosciences. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Vickie A. Vaclavik and Elizabeth W. Christian. 2014. Starches in Food. In Essentials of Food Science, Elizabeth W. Christian (ed.). 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 Transactions on Algorithms.

Blog post
Robin Andrews. 2016. Sweden Won’t Become Carbon-Free If It Ditches Its Nuclear Power. IFLScience.


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. 2004. Diploma Mills: Diploma Mills Are Easily Created and Some Have Issued Bogus Degrees to Federal Employees at Government Expense. 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
Mark E. Rabalais. 2014. STEAM: A National Study of the Integration of the Arts Into STEM Instruction and its Impact on Student Achievement. Doctoral dissertation. University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA.

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
Mary Pilon. 2012. How Do Kenyan 10K Runners Get to London? Through Raindrops in Oregon. 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 [4,5,7,8].

About the journal

Full journal titleACM Transactions on Algorithms
AbbreviationACM Trans. Algorithms
ISSN (print)1549-6325
ISSN (online)1549-6333

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