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
Benjamin P. Weiss. 2012. Planetary science. A vitrage of asteroid magnetism. Science 338, 6109 (November 2012), 897–898.
A journal article with 2 authors
Gilbert Chin and Elizabeth Culotta. 2014. The science of inequality. What the numbers tell us. Introduction. Science 344, 6186 (May 2014), 818–821.
A journal article with 3 authors
Soren Nielsen, Yulia Yuzenkova, and Nikolay Zenkin. 2013. Mechanism of eukaryotic RNA polymerase III transcription termination. Science 340, 6140 (June 2013), 1577–1580.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Kevin A. Janes, John G. Albeck, Suzanne Gaudet, Peter K. Sorger, Douglas A. Lauffenburger, and Michael B. Yaffe. 2005. A systems model of signaling identifies a molecular basis set for cytokine-induced apoptosis. Science 310, 5754 (December 2005), 1646–1653.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Mark Forshaw. 2006. Understanding Headaches and Migraines. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Armand Borel. 2006. Compactifications of Symmetric and Locally Symmetric Spaces. Birkhäuser, Boston, MA.
A chapter in an edited book
Alexander Herrera. 2015. Archaeology and Development: Ethics of a Fateful Relationship. In After Ethics: Ancestral Voices and Post-Disciplinary Worlds in Archaeology, Alejandro Haber and Nick Shepherd (eds.). Springer, New York, NY, 39–53.

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. 2015. What Do Parasitic Worms And Our Increasing Allergies Have In Common? 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. 1998. Air Force Aircraft: Reorganizing Mobility Aircraft Units Could Reduce Costs. 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
Ahmmad Abbas Garatli. 2014. What are the necessary skills for leading an online business in Saudi Arabia? Doctoral dissertation. Pepperdine University, Malibu, 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
Linda Saslow. 2006. Grants Will Aid First-Time Home Buyers. New York Times, 14LI2.

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

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