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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for ACM Transactions on Information Systems (TOIS). 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
A. C. Fabian. 2006. Astronomy. Variable high-energy gamma rays from the elliptical galaxy M87. Science 314, 5804 (December 2006), 1398–1399.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ruth R. Faden and Ruth A. Karron. 2012. Public health and biosecurity. The obligation to prevent the next dual-use controversy. Science 335, 6070 (February 2012), 802–804.
A journal article with 3 authors
Juan Carlos Juanes-Marcos, Stuart C. Althorpe, and Eckart Wrede. 2005. Theoretical study of geometric phase effects in the hydrogen-exchange reaction. Science 309, 5738 (August 2005), 1227–1230.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Yong Zhang, Tingting Zuo, Yongqiang Cheng, and Peter K. Liaw. 2013. High-entropy alloys with high saturation magnetization, electrical resistivity, and malleability. Sci. Rep. 3, (2013), 1455.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Milton Orchin, Roger S. Macomber, Allan R. Pinhas, and R. Marshall Wilson. 2005. The Vocabulary and Concepts of Organic Chemistry. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Michael Schabacker, Kilian Gericke, Nikoletta Szélig, and Sándor Vajna (Eds.). 2015. Modelling and Management of Engineering Processes: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference 2013. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Sebastian Glasl and Magnus Anselm. 2008. The Droplet Spectrometer – a measuring concept for detailed precipitation characterization. In Precipitation: Advances in Measurement, Estimation and Prediction, Silas Michaelides (ed.). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 83–99.

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 Information Systems.

Blog post
Stephen Luntz. 2016. 1.7-Million-Year-Old Human Cancer Is The Oldest Ever Found. 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. 1998. FCC: Reconsideration of the Rules and Policies for the 220-222 MHz Radio Service. 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
Robert Corey Sink. 2010. Exploring a high school community relations and parent involvement program. Lindenwood University, St. Charles, MO.

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
Linda Saslow. 2007. Suffolk Seeks Ways to Ease School Taxes. New York Times, LI2.

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 [2,4,6,8].

About the journal

Full journal titleACM Transactions on Information Systems
AbbreviationACM Trans. Inf. Syst.
ISSN (print)1046-8188
ISSN (online)1558-2868

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