How to format your references using the ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software (TOMS). 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
Carol J. Burns. 2005. Chemistry. Bridging a gap in actinide chemistry. Science 309, 5742 (September 2005), 1823–1824.
A journal article with 2 authors
Matthew C. Nisbet and Chris Mooney. 2007. Science and society. Framing Science. Science 316, 5821 (April 2007), 56.
A journal article with 3 authors
Daniel Huber, Pierre Veinante, and Ron Stoop. 2005. Vasopressin and oxytocin excite distinct neuronal populations in the central amygdala. Science 308, 5719 (April 2005), 245–248.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Asa Strand, Tadao Asami, Jose Alonso, Joseph R. Ecker, and Joanne Chory. 2003. Chloroplast to nucleus communication triggered by accumulation of Mg-protoporphyrinIX. Nature 421, 6918 (January 2003), 79–83.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Edward Keedwell and Ajit Narayanan. 2005. Intelligent Bioinformatics. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Laurent Amsaleg, Michael E. Houle, and Erich Schubert (Eds.). 2016. Similarity Search and Applications: 9th International Conference, SISAP 2016, Tokyo, Japan, October 24-26, 2016, Proceedings. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
William Sin. 2016. The Water Margin, Moral Degradation, and the Virtue of Zhixing. In Sociological and Philosophical Perspectives on Education in the Asia-Pacific Region, Chi-Ming Lam and Jae Park (eds.). Springer, Singapore, 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 Mathematical Software.

Blog post
Elise Andrew. 2014. Watch A Snowflake Form Before Your Eyes! 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. 2016. Inland Waterways Fuel Tax: Additional Data Could Enhance IRS’s Efforts to Ensure Taxpayer Compliance. 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
Lindsey Beaven. 2014. Epiphanies of soul: “When the bolts of the universe fly open.” A depth psychological contemplation of wonder. Doctoral dissertation. Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, 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
Michael Kelly. 1992. THE 1992 ELECTIONS: CELEBRATION MAN IN THE NEWS: William Jefferson Blythe Clinton; A Man Who Wants to Be Liked, and Is. New York Times, A1.

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 Mathematical Software
AbbreviationACM Trans. Math. Softw.
ISSN (print)0098-3500
ISSN (online)1557-7295

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