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
Ira Mellman. 2007. Private lives: reflections and challenges in understanding the cell biology of the immune system. Science 317, 5838 (August 2007), 625–627.
A journal article with 2 authors
Janet L. Smith and David H. Sherman. 2008. Biochemistry. An enzyme assembly line. Science 321, 5894 (September 2008), 1304–1305.
A journal article with 3 authors
Xiao Lin, Benoît Fauqué, and Kamran Behnia. 2015. SOLID-STATE PHYSICS. Scalable T2 resistivity in a small single-component Fermi surface. Science 349, 6251 (August 2015), 945–948.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Kazutaka Kudo, Keita Iba, Masaya Takasuga, Yutaka Kitahama, Jun-Ichi Matsumura, Masataka Danura, Yoshio Nogami, and Minoru Nohara. 2013. Emergence of superconductivity at 45 K by lanthanum and phosphorus co-doping of CaFe₂As₂. Sci. Rep. 3, (2013), 1478.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bridgit Dimond. 2010. Legal Aspects of Occupational Therapy. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK.
An edited book
Saugata Basu. 2006. Algorithms in Real Algebraic Geometry (Second Edition ed.). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Johannes Schneider and Roger Wattenhofer. 2011. Trading Bit, Message, and Time Complexity of Distributed Algorithms. In Distributed Computing: 25th International Symposium, DISC 2011, Rome, Italy, September 20-22, 2011. Proceedings, David Peleg (ed.). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 51–65.

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
Elise Andrew. 2014. Meet Phronima, The Barrel-Riding Parasite That Inspired The Movie Alien. 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. 2014. Oil and Gas Transportation: Department of Transportation Is Taking Actions to Address Rail Safety, but Additional Actions Are Needed to Improve Pipeline Safety. 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
Meghana Naik. 2017. Automating the process of antibiotic susceptibility testing. 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
Edward Wyatt and Mary Williams Walsh. 2012. For Flood Victims, Another Blow Is Possible. New York Times, B1.

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 [5–8].

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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