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
Seth Berkley. 2015. Make vaccine coverage a key UN health indicator. Nature 526, 7572 (October 2015), 165.
A journal article with 2 authors
Heng Li and Richard Durbin. 2011. Inference of human population history from individual whole-genome sequences. Nature 475, 7357 (July 2011), 493–496.
A journal article with 3 authors
Brenden M. Lake, Ruslan Salakhutdinov, and Joshua B. Tenenbaum. 2015. Human-level concept learning through probabilistic program induction. Science 350, 6266 (December 2015), 1332–1338.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Guanhao Wu, Mayumi Takahashi, Kaoru Arai, Hajime Inaba, and Kaoru Minoshima. 2013. Extremely high-accuracy correction of air refractive index using two-colour optical frequency combs. Sci. Rep. 3, (2013), 1894.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Olive Stevenson. 2008. Neglected Children and Their Families. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford, UK.
An edited book
Stergios Logothetidis (Ed.). 2012. Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Gernot Stoeglehner, Michael Narodoslawsky, Susanna Erker, and Georg Neugebauer. 2016. Fields of Action for Integrated Spatial and Energy Planning. In Integrated Spatial and Energy Planning: Supporting Climate Protection and the Energy Turn with Means of Spatial Planning, Georg Neugebauer, Susanna Erker and Michael Narodoslawsky (eds.). Springer International Publishing, Cham, 55–72.

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 Transactions on Database Systems.

Blog post
Josh Davis. 2016. The Rise Of Border Fences Across Europe And Asia Has Unintended Consequences For Wildlife. 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. 2010. Aviation Safety: Improved Data Quality and Analysis Capabilities Are Needed as FAA Plans a Risk-Based Approach to Safety Oversight. 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
Murat Seckin Ayhan. 2015. A Probabilistic Biomarker for Alzheimer’s Disease. 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
Michael Schwirtz, Michael Winerip, and Robert Gebeloff. 2016. The Scourge of Racial Bias in New York State’s Prisons. 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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