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
Miquel Salmeron. 2014. Chemistry. CO meets CO, one at a time. Science 343, 6175 (March 2014), 1083–1084.
A journal article with 2 authors
A. Abbott and Q. Schiermeier. 2000. Deep roots of Nazi science revealed. Nature 407, 6806 (October 2000), 823–824.
A journal article with 3 authors
Gail Whiteman, Chris Hope, and Peter Wadhams. 2013. Vast costs of Arctic change. Nature 499, 7459 (July 2013), 401–403.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Carl Djerassi, Amanda L. Lewis, Tasha K. Altheide, Ajit Varki, Karen Arden, Nissi M. Varki, and Andres Peekna. 2005. Combining Parenting and a Science Career. Science 307, 5716 (March 2005), 1720b–1721b.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Robert J. Chapman. 2012. Simple Tools and Techniques for Enterprise Risk Management. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Chichester, West Sussex, UK.
An edited book
Nilmini Wickramasinghe, Indrit Troshani, and Joseph Tan (Eds.). 2016. Contemporary Consumer Health Informatics. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
H. S. M. Coxeter. 2006. An Absolute Property of Four Mutually Tangent Circles. In Non-Euclidean Geometries: János Bolyai Memorial Volume, András Prékopa and Emil Molnár (eds.). Springer US, Boston, MA, 109–114.

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
Kristy Hamilton. 2016. Why Insights Of Nobel Physicists Could Revolutionize 21st-Century Computing. 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. 1975. Administration of the Science Education Project “Man: A Course of Study”(MACOS). 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
Katia R. Monteiro. 2012. An experimental study of corrective feedback on synchronous oral computer-mediated communication. 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
Ben Sisario. 2017. Despite Security Measures, Concert Arenas Present ‘Target-Rich’ Environments. New York Times, A11.

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 [3,5,7,8].

About the journal

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

Other styles