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
Eric H. Chudler. 2010. SPORE series winner. Resources for anyone interested in the brain. Science 328, 5986 (June 2010), 1648–1649.
A journal article with 2 authors
Jonathan W. Olson and Robert J. Maier. 2002. Molecular hydrogen as an energy source for Helicobacter pylori. Science 298, 5599 (November 2002), 1788–1790.
A journal article with 3 authors
Xubin Pan, Fengqiao Liu, and Mi Zhang. 2012. Comment on “Productivity is a poor predictor of plant species richness.” Science 335, 6075 (March 2012), 1441; author reply 1441.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
M. Bayer, P. Hawrylak, K. Hinzer, S. Fafard, M. Korkusinski, Z. R. Wasilewski, O. Stern, and A. Forchel. 2001. Coupling and entangling of quantum states in quantum dot molecules. Science 291, 5503 (January 2001), 451–453.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Erich Zauderer. 2006. Partial Differential Equations of Applied Mathematics. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Steven D. Wexner, Michael J. Stamos, John Rombeau, Patricia L. Roberts, and David E. Beck (Eds.). 2009. The ASCRS Manual of Colon and Rectal Surgery. Springer, New York, NY.
A chapter in an edited book
G. Feryal Gündüz. 2016. Instructional Techniques. In Instructional Process and Concepts in Theory and Practice: Improving the Teaching Process, Celal Akdeniz (ed.). Springer, Singapore, 147–232.

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
Ben Taub. 2016. Rice And Wheat Production Use More Water Than All Other Crops Put Together. 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. 2017. Information Technology: Opportunities for Improving Acquisitions and Operations. 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
Travis John Wheeler. 2009. Efficient construction of accurate multiple alignments and large-scale phylogenies. Doctoral dissertation. University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

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
James Poniewozik. 2017. Inauguration Watch: Mr. Reality TV Goes to Washington. New York Times, A22.

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 [3,5,7,8].

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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