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
Bjorn R. Olsen. 2014. Disease models: Statins give bone growth a boost. Nature 513, 7519 (September 2014), 494–495.
A journal article with 2 authors
W. R. Ward and R. M. Canup. 2000. Origin of the Moon’s orbital inclination from resonant disk interactions. Nature 403, 6771 (February 2000), 741–743.
A journal article with 3 authors
Yoshiko Mito, Jorja G. Henikoff, and Steven Henikoff. 2007. Histone replacement marks the boundaries of cis-regulatory domains. Science 315, 5817 (March 2007), 1408–1411.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Steve Paterson, Tom Vogwill, Angus Buckling, Rebecca Benmayor, Andrew J. Spiers, Nicholas R. Thomson, Mike Quail, Frances Smith, Danielle Walker, Ben Libberton, Andrew Fenton, Neil Hall, and Michael A. Brockhurst. 2010. Antagonistic coevolution accelerates molecular evolution. Nature 464, 7286 (March 2010), 275–278.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Wolfram Jäger and Gero Marzahn. 2010. Mauerwerk. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany.
An edited book
Arnold Dashefsky and Ira Sheskin (Eds.). 2014. American Jewish Year Book 2013: The Annual Record of the North American Jewish Communities. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Uta Kiltz, Laure Gossec, Xenofon Baraliakos, and Jürgen Braun. 2016. PROMs for Spondyloarthritis. In Patient Reported Outcome Measures in Rheumatic Diseases, Yasser El Miedany (ed.). Springer International Publishing, Cham, 121–147.

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. Transiting Exoplanet With Longest Year Discovered. 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. 1976. Status of Federal and Private Research and Development Efforts To Conserve Energy by Reducing Electric Power Transmission Losses. 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
Gaetano Romano Lotrecchiano. 2012. Social Mechanisms of Team Science: A Descriptive Case Study Using a Multilevel Systems Perspective Employing Reciprocating Structuration Theory. Doctoral dissertation. 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 Kishkovsky. 2004. The Region, a Primer. New York Times, A9.

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 [4,5,7,8].

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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