How to format your references using the ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (TOSEM). 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
Charles F. Harvey. 2002. Groundwater flow in the Ganges Delta. Science 296, 5573 (May 2002), 1563.
A journal article with 2 authors
D. di Bernardo and A. Murray. 2000. Explaining the T-wave shape in the ECG. Nature 403, 6765 (January 2000), 40.
A journal article with 3 authors
Sergei Yu Noskov, Simon Bernèche, and Benoît Roux. 2004. Control of ion selectivity in potassium channels by electrostatic and dynamic properties of carbonyl ligands. Nature 431, 7010 (October 2004), 830–834.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Suman K. Das, Sandra Eder, Silvia Schauer, Clemens Diwoky, Hannes Temmel, Barbara Guertl, Gregor Gorkiewicz, Kuppusamy P. Tamilarasan, Pooja Kumari, Michael Trauner, Robert Zimmermann, Paul Vesely, Guenter Haemmerle, Rudolf Zechner, and Gerald Hoefler. 2011. Adipose triglyceride lipase contributes to cancer-associated cachexia. Science 333, 6039 (July 2011), 233–238.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bruce Alberts, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, David Morgan, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, and Peter Walter. 2017. Molekularbiologie der Zelle. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany.
An edited book
Hastagiri Prakash. 2009. Game Theoretic Problems in Network Economics and Mechanism Design Solutions. Springer, London.
A chapter in an edited book
Renu Bhardwaj, Indu Sharma, Mukesh Kanwar, Resham Sharma, Neha Handa, Harpreet Kaur, Dhriti Kapoor, and Poonam. 2013. LEA Proteins in Salt Stress Tolerance. In Salt Stress in Plants: Signalling, Omics and Adaptations, Parvaiz Ahmad, M. M. Azooz and M. N. V. Prasad (eds.). Springer, New York, NY, 79–112.

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 Software Engineering and Methodology.

Blog post
Elise Andrew. 2014. How To Find Micrometeorites In Your Home. 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. 1991. The Intermodal Approach to Transportation. 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
Henrietta C. McGowan. 2008. The military experience: Perceptions from senior military officers’ wives. Doctoral dissertation. Capella University, Minneapolis, MN.

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 Wagner. 2016. Cubs Slugger Admits He May Cry Over His Unlikely Return to Action. New York Times, B10.

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 [3,5,7,8].

About the journal

Full journal titleACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology
AbbreviationACM Trans. Softw. Eng. Methodol.
ISSN (print)1049-331X
ISSN (online)1557-7392

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