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
Zoë Corbyn. 2015. Research: Biology’s big hit. Nature 528, 7580 (December 2015), S4-5.
A journal article with 2 authors
Michael R. Waters and Thomas W. Stafford Jr. 2007. Redefining the age of Clovis: implications for the peopling of the Americas. Science 315, 5815 (February 2007), 1122–1126.
A journal article with 3 authors
T. Rowe, E. F. McBride, and P. C. Sereno. 2001. Dinosaur with a heart of stone. Science 291, 5505 (February 2001), 783.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Stefano Ambrogio, Pritish Narayanan, Hsinyu Tsai, Robert M. Shelby, Irem Boybat, Carmelo di Nolfo, Severin Sidler, Massimo Giordano, Martina Bodini, Nathan C. P. Farinha, Benjamin Killeen, Christina Cheng, Yassine Jaoudi, and Geoffrey W. Burr. 2018. Equivalent-accuracy accelerated neural-network training using analogue memory. Nature 558, 7708 (June 2018), 60–67.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
C. Oliver Kappe, Alexander Stadler, and Doris Dallinger. 2012. Microwaves in Organic and Medicinal Chemistry. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany.
An edited book
Adam J. Cohen, Michael Mercandetti, and Brian Brazzo (Eds.). 2015. The Lacrimal System: Diagnosis, Management, and Surgery, Second Edition (2nd ed. 2015 ed.). Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Marina Backhaus and Yasser El Miedany. 2015. Ankylosing Spondylitis. In Musculoskeletal Ultrasonography in Rheumatic Diseases, Yasser El Miedany (ed.). Springer International Publishing, Cham, 89–106.

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
Robin Andrews. 2016. Yellowstone Microbe Piggybacks On Others To Steal Their Nutrients. 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. 2015. Aviation Security: Improved Testing, Evaluation, and Performance Measurement Could Enhance Effectiveness. 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
Matrice E. McConnell. 2017. A Dual Diagnosis of Hearing Loss and an Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Illustrative Case Study. 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
Kelly Dinardo. 2015. Sarah Aciego on Breaking Barriers to Arctic Travel. New York Times, TR3.

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 [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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