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
Murray Stewart. 2003. Structural biology. Nuclear trafficking. Science 302, 5650 (November 2003), 1513–1514.
A journal article with 2 authors
Christopher M. Fedo and Martin J. Whitehouse. 2002. Metasomatic origin of quartz-pyroxene rock, Akilia, Greenland, and implications for Earth’s earliest life. Science 296, 5572 (May 2002), 1448–1452.
A journal article with 3 authors
C. Spandler, H. St C. O’Neill, and V. S. Kamenetsky. 2007. Survival times of anomalous melt inclusions from element diffusion in olivine and chromite. Nature 447, 7142 (May 2007), 303–306.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Günter Kramer, Thomas Rauch, Wolfgang Rist, Sonja Vorderwülbecke, Holger Patzelt, Agnes Schulze-Specking, Nenad Ban, Elke Deuerling, and Bernd Bukau. 2002. L23 protein functions as a chaperone docking site on the ribosome. Nature 419, 6903 (September 2002), 171–174.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Khalid Ahmad. 2005. Sourcebook of ATM and IP Internetworking. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Antonella Tosti, Pearl E. Grimes, and Maria Pia De Padova (Eds.). 2006. Color Atlas of Chemical Peels. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
A. S. Bode and J. H. M. Tordoir. 2013. Vascular Access For Hemodialysis Therapy. In Modelling and Control of Dialysis Systems: Volume 1: Modeling Techniques of Hemodialysis Systems, Ahmad Taher Azar (ed.). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 235–303.

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. 10 Weirdest Species of Shark. 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. 1980. Basic Sources of International Petroleum Statistics. 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
Solange Smita Lewis. 2006. Identification of Stress-Responsive Genes in the Early Larval Stage of the Fathead Minnow Pimephales promelas. Doctoral dissertation. University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.

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 B. Stewart. 2016. Tax Cuts for Americans Like Trump. 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 [3,4].
This sentence cites four references [3,6–8].

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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