How to format your references using the ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems (TOPLAS). 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
Klaus Peters. 2005. Obituary: Saunders Mac Lane (1909-2005). Nature 435, 7040 (May 2005), 292.
A journal article with 2 authors
Laty A. Cahoon and H. Steven Seifert. 2009. An alternative DNA structure is necessary for pilin antigenic variation in Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Science 325, 5941 (August 2009), 764–767.
A journal article with 3 authors
Michael Petrides, Geneviève Cadoret, and Scott Mackey. 2005. Orofacial somatomotor responses in the macaque monkey homologue of Broca’s area. Nature 435, 7046 (June 2005), 1235–1238.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Guo-Cheng Yuan, Yuen-Jong Liu, Michael F. Dion, Michael D. Slack, Lani F. Wu, Steven J. Altschuler, and Oliver J. Rando. 2005. Genome-scale identification of nucleosome positions in S. cerevisiae. Science 309, 5734 (July 2005), 626–630.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Michel Soustelle. 2013. Handbook of Heterogenous Kinetics. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ USA.
An edited book
Jean-François Boulicaut, Luc De Raedt, and Heikki Mannila (Eds.). 2006. Constraint-Based Mining and Inductive Databases: European Workshop on Inductive Databases and Constraint Based Mining, Hinterzarten, Germany, March 11-13, 2004, Revised Selected Papers. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Tao Jia, Wen Zhao, and Lifu Wang. 2007. Pr $\mathcal{SH}$ : A Belief Description Logic. In Agent and Multi-Agent Systems: Technologies and Applications: First KES International Symposium, KES-AMSTA 2007, Wroclaw, Poland, May 31– June 1, 2007. Proceedings, Ngoc Thanh Nguyen, Adam Grzech, Robert J. Howlett and Lakhmi C. Jain (eds.). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 31–41.

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 Programming Languages and Systems.

Blog post
Elise Andrew. 2015. The Science Behind The Most Gruesome Deaths In Game of Thrones. 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. 1977. Award of Grant by the San Francisco Operations Office of the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration for the Energy Awareness Project. 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
George Allen Hrivnak. 2009. Extending a model of leader -member exchange development: Individual and dyadic effects of personality, similarity and liking. George Washington University, Washington, DC.

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
Sophia Hollander. 2000. Romance Does Not Stop Even After the Race Begins. New York Times, D1.

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 [3,4,6,8].

About the journal

Full journal titleACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems
AbbreviationACM Trans. Program. Lang. Syst.
ISSN (print)0164-0925
ISSN (online)1558-4593

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