How to format your references using the ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks (TOSN). 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
Ian Wilmut. 2012. Retrospective. Keith Campbell (1954-2012). Science 338, 6114 (December 2012), 1553.
A journal article with 2 authors
Jianzeng Guo and Aike Guo. 2005. Crossmodal interactions between olfactory and visual learning in Drosophila. Science 309, 5732 (July 2005), 307–310.
A journal article with 3 authors
J. E. Strassmann, Y. Zhu, and D. C. Queller. 2000. Altruism and social cheating in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. Nature 408, 6815 (2000), 965–967.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Yichao Lin, Qiuju Yan, Chunlong Kong, and Liang Chen. 2013. Polyethyleneimine incorporated metal-organic frameworks adsorbent for highly selective CO2 capture. Sci. Rep. 3, (2013), 1859.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Yoon S. Lee. 2011. Self-Assembly and Nanotechnology Systems. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Ioannis Askoxylakis, Sotiris Ioannidis, Sokratis Katsikas, and Catherine Meadows (Eds.). 2016. Computer Security – ESORICS 2016: 21st European Symposium on Research in Computer Security, Heraklion, Greece, September 26-30, 2016, Proceedings, Part II. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Péter R. Surján and Ágnes Szabados. 2011. Perturbative Approximations to Avoid Matrix Diagonalization. In Linear-Scaling Techniques in Computational Chemistry and Physics: Methods and Applications, Robert Zalesny, Manthos G. Papadopoulos, Paul G. Mezey and Jerzy Leszczynski (eds.). Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, 83–95.

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 Sensor Networks.

Blog post
Kristy Hamilton. 2014. Does My Voice Really Sound Like That? IFLScience. Retrieved October 30, 2018 from


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. NASA Report May Overstate the Economic Benefits of Research and Development Spending. 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
April Lynn Boos. 2015. The post-abortion experience: A content analysis. 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
Sophia Hollander. 2000. Player’s Dream Takes a Detour in the Bronx. New York Times, D8.

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 Sensor Networks
AbbreviationACM Trans. Sens. Netw.
ISSN (print)1550-4859
ISSN (online)1550-4867

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