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
Gerald W. Dorn 2nd. 2010. Medicine. Refugee receptors switch sides. Science 327, 5973 (March 2010), 1586–1587.
A journal article with 2 authors
Massimiliano Stengel and Nicola A. Spaldin. 2006. Origin of the dielectric dead layer in nanoscale capacitors. Nature 443, 7112 (October 2006), 679–682.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ifan E. L. Stephens, Joseph S. Elias, and Yang Shao-Horn. 2015. CATALYSIS. The importance of being together. Science 350, 6257 (October 2015), 164–165.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Lars Ferbitz, Timm Maier, Holger Patzelt, Bernd Bukau, Elke Deuerling, and Nenad Ban. 2004. Trigger factor in complex with the ribosome forms a molecular cradle for nascent proteins. Nature 431, 7008 (September 2004), 590–596.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Tom Kenny. 2014. The Nuts and Bolts of Implantable Device Therapy Pacemakers. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Riccardo Alcaro, John Peterson, and Ettore Greco (Eds.). 2016. The West and the Global Power Shift: Transatlantic Relations and Global Governance. Palgrave Macmillan UK, London.
A chapter in an edited book
Mike K. Smith, Jonathan L. French, Kenneth G. Kowalski, Matthew M. Hutmacher, and Wayne Ewy. 2011. Decision-Making in Drug Development: Application of a Model Based Framework for Assessing Trial Performance. In Clinical Trial Simulations: Applications and Trends, Holly H. C. Kimko and Carl C. Peck (eds.). Springer, New York, NY, 61–83.

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
Tom Hale. 2016. Antarctica’s Massive Crack Is Growing At A Worrying Rate. 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. 1987. Telephone Communications: Cost and Funding Information on Lifeline Telephone Service. 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
Corey Noxon. 2017. Sedentism, Agriculture, and the Neolithic Demographic Transition: Insights from Jōmon Paleodemography. Doctoral dissertation. Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL.

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
Catherine Rampell. 2009. Outsourced Chores Come Back Home. New York Times, B1.

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 [2,5,7,8].

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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