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
C. Seife. 2000. INFORMATION THEORY: “Ultimate PC” Would Be a Hot Little Number. Science 289, 5484 (September 2000), 1447a–8a.
A journal article with 2 authors
Steven M. Reppert and David R. Weaver. 2002. Coordination of circadian timing in mammals. Nature 418, 6901 (August 2002), 935–941.
A journal article with 3 authors
Gabriela V. Depine, Christopher L. Andronicos, and Jason Phipps-Morgan. 2008. Near-isothermal conditions in the middle and lower crust induced by melt migration. Nature 452, 7183 (March 2008), 80–83.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
H. Coqueugniot, J-J Hublin, F. Veillon, F. Houët, and T. Jacob. 2004. Early brain growth in Homo erectus and implications for cognitive ability. Nature 431, 7006 (September 2004), 299–302.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ivor Horton. 2010. Ivor Horton’s Beginning Visual C++® 2010. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Juan M. Coronado, Fernando Fresno, María D. Hernández-Alonso, and Raquel Portela (Eds.). 2013. Design of Advanced Photocatalytic Materials for Energy and Environmental Applications. Springer, London.
A chapter in an edited book
Takashi Nagata, Munehiro Takimoto, and Yasushi Kambayashi. 2013. Cooperatively Searching Objects Based on Mobile Agents. In Transactions on Computational Collective Intelligence XI, Ngoc Thanh Nguyen (ed.). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 119–136.

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
Danielle Andrew. 2015. Watch This Stingray “Inhale” A Spider Crab. 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. Electronic Signature Prototype System. 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
Gordon Mims Lackey. 2015. The efficacy of using a natural soil additive for the establishment, survival and diversity of native prairie and spontaneously colonizing plant communities on unirrigated green roofs in a humid subtropical climate. Doctoral dissertation. Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS.

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
Michael M. Grynbaum and Emily Steel. 2016. After Ailes’s Departure, a Stony Silence at Fox. 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 [3,4].
This sentence cites four references [5–8].

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

Other styles