How to format your references using the Journal of the ACM citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Journal of the ACM (JACM). 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
David C. Baulcombe. 2007. Molecular biology. Amplified silencing. Science 315, 5809 (January 2007), 199–200.
A journal article with 2 authors
A. C. Bell and G. Felsenfeld. 2000. Methylation of a CTCF-dependent boundary controls imprinted expression of the Igf2 gene. Nature 405, 6785 (May 2000), 482–485.
A journal article with 3 authors
Mark D. Powell, Peter J. Vickery, and Timothy A. Reinhold. 2003. Reduced drag coefficient for high wind speeds in tropical cyclones. Nature 422, 6929 (March 2003), 279–283.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
J. R. R. Verlet, A. E. Bragg, A. Kammrath, O. Cheshnovsky, and D. M. Neumark. 2005. Observation of large water-cluster anions with surface-bound excess electrons. Science 307, 5706 (January 2005), 93–96.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Flamholtz Eric G. and Randle Yvonne. 2015. Growing Pains. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Christoph Spengel and York Zöllkau (Eds.). 2012. Common Corporate Tax Base (CC(C)TB) and Determination of Taxable Income: An International Comparison. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Hossam Afifi, Dimitris Kyriazanos, Shahab Mirzadeh, Jordi Jaen Pallares, Andreas Pashalidis, Neeli Rashmi Prasad, Antonietta Stango, and Jan Stoter. 2010. Security in PNs. In My personal Adaptive Global NET (MAGNET), Ramjee Prasad (ed.). Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, 245–282.

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 Journal of the ACM.

Blog post
Elise Andrew. 2015. First Ever Bites Of Space-Grown Food. 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. 1994. Aviation Security: Additional Actions Needed to Meet Domestic and International Challenges. 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
Earl Steven Blasdel. 2010. A phenomenological study of barriers for women in federal law enforcement. Doctoral dissertation. University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ.

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. In Aisle 3, Merchandise and Perhaps a Masterpiece; Russia’s New Rich Amass Art Collections, Displaying Them in Varied Ways. New York Times, E1.

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 [2,4,6,8].

About the journal

Full journal titleJournal of the ACM
AbbreviationJ. ACM
ISSN (print)0004-5411
ISSN (online)1557-735X
ScopeArtificial Intelligence
Hardware and Architecture
Information Systems
Control and Systems Engineering

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