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. Abbott. 2000. Space-station airlock to serve as temporary lab. Nature 405, 6782 (May 2000), 7.
A journal article with 2 authors
Yue Li and Zhaolei Zhang. 2014. Potential microRNA-mediated oncogenic intercellular communication revealed by pan-cancer analysis. Sci. Rep. 4, (November 2014), 7097.
A journal article with 3 authors
Jungsul Lee, Junseong Park, and Chulhee Choi. 2014. Identification of phenotype deterministic genes using systemic analysis of transcriptional response. Sci. Rep. 4, (March 2014), 4413.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
James M. Murphy, David M. H. Sexton, David N. Barnett, Gareth S. Jones, Mark J. Webb, Matthew Collins, and David A. Stainforth. 2004. Quantification of modelling uncertainties in a large ensemble of climate change simulations. Nature 430, 7001 (August 2004), 768–772.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Weihong Zhang and Min Wan. 2016. Milling Simulation. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Tijana T. Ivancevic. 2009. Complex Sports Biodynamics: With Practical Applications in Tennis. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Kenneth G. Nepple, Gurdarshan S. Sandhu, and Adam S. Kibel. 2013. Percent Free PSA. In Prostate Cancer Diagnosis: PSA, Biopsy and Beyond, J. Stephen Jones (ed.). Humana Press, Totowa, NJ, 51–60.

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. 2016. We Mightn’t Like It, But There Are Ethical Reasons To Use Animals In Medical Research. 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. 1995. VA Student Financial Aid: Opportunity to Reduce Overlap in Approving Education and Training Programs. 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
Erika R. Gonzalez. 2015. Technology and adiposity: Effects of television time, video or computer game time, and computer use on body fat among Latino youth. 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
George Gene Gustines. 2010. Makeover for Wonder Woman at 69. New York Times, C9.

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 Information Systems
AbbreviationACM Trans. Inf. Syst.
ISSN (print)1046-8188
ISSN (online)1558-2868

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