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
Frank Wilczek. 2015. Particle physics: A weighty mass difference. Nature 520, 7547 (April 2015), 303–304.
A journal article with 2 authors
Baoquan Ding and Nadrian C. Seeman. 2006. Operation of a DNA robot arm inserted into a 2D DNA crystalline substrate. Science 314, 5805 (December 2006), 1583–1585.
A journal article with 3 authors
Young Hwa Soung, Kevin Pruitt, and Jun Chung. 2014. Epigenetic silencing of ARRDC3 expression in basal-like breast cancer cells. Sci. Rep. 4, (January 2014), 3846.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Hyo Jin Kang, Yong Weon Yi, Young Bin Hong, Hee Jeong Kim, Young-Joo Jang, Yeon-Sun Seong, and Insoo Bae. 2014. HER2 confers drug resistance of human breast cancer cells through activation of NRF2 by direct interaction. Sci. Rep. 4, (December 2014), 7201.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Gregory J. Fell. 2013. Decoding the IT Value Problem. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Jean-François Férard and Christian Blaise (Eds.). 2013. Encyclopedia of Aquatic Ecotoxicology. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht.
A chapter in an edited book
Ingrid Stober and Kurt Bucher. 2013. Potential Perspectives of Geothermal Energy Utilization. In Geothermal Energy: From Theoretical Models to Exploration and Development, Kurt Bucher (ed.). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 61–63.

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
Elise Andrew. 2015. What Makes The Spring Equinox? 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. 1980. Use of Computerized Information for Local and National Health Care Planning Purposes. 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
Maria Odiamar Racho. 2012. Attributes of Asian American senior leaders who have retained their cultural identity and been successful in American corporations. Doctoral dissertation. 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 GENE GUSTINES; Compiled by RACHEL LEE HARRIS. 2010. Pilgrim, The Final Volume. New York Times, C2.

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 [3,4].
This sentence cites four references [3,6–8].

About the journal

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

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