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
Zhe-Xi Luo. 2014. Evolution: Tooth structure re-engineered. Nature 512, 7512 (August 2014), 36–37.
A journal article with 2 authors
David S. Schneider and Moria C. Chambers. 2008. Microbiology. Rogue insect immunity. Science 322, 5905 (November 2008), 1199–1200.
A journal article with 3 authors
Andrew McNally, Christopher K. Prier, and David W. C. MacMillan. 2011. Discovery of an α-amino C-H arylation reaction using the strategy of accelerated serendipity. Science 334, 6059 (November 2011), 1114–1117.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Wei-Wei Pang, Ping Zhang, Guang-Cai Zhang, Ai-Guo Xu, and Xian-Geng Zhao. 2014. Morphology and growth speed of hcp domains during shock-induced phase transition in iron. Sci. Rep. 4, (January 2014), 3628.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Helmut Eggert and Wolfgang Kauschke. 2012. Structural Bearings. Ernst & Sohn Verlag für Architektur und technische Wissenschaften GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin, Germany.
An edited book
Timo Käköla and Juan Carlos Duenas (Eds.). 2006. Software Product Lines. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Zora Simic. 2015. Wog Westie Feminist. In Bread and Roses: Voices of Australian Academics from the Working Class, Dee Michell, Jacqueline Z. Wilson and Verity Archer (eds.). SensePublishers, Rotterdam, 39–47.

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
Josh Davis. 2015. Scientists Digitally Reconstruct Part Of A Rat’s Brain. 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. 2007. Joint Strike Fighter: Progress Made and Challenges Remain. 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
Vaughan P. Houger. 2011. Generational differences and the impact to employee engagement: A program design. 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
Linda Robinson. 2017. The Beginning of the End. New York Times, BR11.

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 [2,6–8].

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

Other styles