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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for ACM Transactions on Database Systems (TODS). 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
Paul Smaglik. 2002. Calling for entrepreneurs London. Nature 419, 6904 (September 2002), 4–5.
A journal article with 2 authors
Hiroyuki Ogata and Jean-Michel Claverie. 2008. Microbiology. How to infect a Mimivirus. Science 321, 5894 (September 2008), 1305–1306.
A journal article with 3 authors
Yeru Liang, Dingcai Wu, and Ruowen Fu. 2013. Carbon microfibers with hierarchical porous structure from electrospun fiber-like natural biopolymer. Sci. Rep. 3, (January 2013), 1119.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
M. L. del Campo, C. I. Miles, F. C. Schroeder, C. Mueller, R. Booker, and J. A. Renwick. 2001. Host recognition by the tobacco hornworm is mediated by a host plant compound. Nature 411, 6834 (May 2001), 186–189.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chunlei Tang. 2016. The Data Industry: The Business and Economics of Information and Big Data. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Yong Huang. 2010. Novel Colloidal Forming of Ceramics. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Tian Qiu, John G. Gibbs, Debora Schamel, Andrew G. Mark, Udit Choudhury, and Peer Fischer. 2014. From Nanohelices to Magnetically Actuated Microdrills: A Universal Platform for Some of the Smallest Untethered Microrobotic Systems for Low Reynolds Number and Biological Environments. In Small-Scale Robotics. From Nano-to-Millimeter-Sized Robotic Systems and Applications: First International Workshop at ICRA 2013, Karlsruhe, Germany, May 6, 2013, Revised and Extended Papers, Igor Paprotny and Sarah Bergbreiter (eds.). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 53–65.

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 Database Systems.

Blog post
Josh Davis. 2017. First Ever Fossil Of Trilobite With Eggs Discovered In New York. 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. 2014. Transportation Disadvantaged Populations: Nonemergency Medical Transportation Not Well Coordinated, and Additional Federal Leadership Needed. 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
Ramien R. Pierre. 2019. A Phenomenological Study of the Boomerang-Employment Experience of Scientists and Engineers. George Washington University, Washington, DC.

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
Sarah Maslin Nir. 2015. Behind Perfect Nails, Ailing Salon Workers. New York Times, A1.

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 [2,5,6,8].

About the journal

Full journal titleACM Transactions on Database Systems
ISSN (print)0362-5915
ISSN (online)1557-4644
ScopeInformation Systems

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