How to format your references using the Theory of Computing Systems citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Theory of Computing Systems. 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
Lynch-Stieglitz, J.: Ocean science. Hemispheric asynchrony of abrupt climate change. Science. 304, 1919–1920 (2004)
A journal article with 2 authors
Li, H., Durbin, R.: Inference of human population history from individual whole-genome sequences. Nature. 475, 493–496 (2011)
A journal article with 3 authors
Long, J.A., Trinajstic, K., Johanson, Z.: Devonian arthrodire embryos and the origin of internal fertilization in vertebrates. Nature. 457, 1124–1127 (2009)
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Shen, H., Fallas, J.A., Lynch, E., Sheffler, W., Parry, B., Jannetty, N., Decarreau, J., Wagenbach, M., Vicente, J.J., Chen, J., Wang, L., Dowling, Q., Oberdorfer, G., Stewart, L., Wordeman, L., De Yoreo, J., Jacobs-Wagner, C., Kollman, J., Baker, D.: De novo design of self-assembling helical protein filaments. Science. 362, 705–709 (2018)

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Smith, J.D.H., Romanowska, A.B.: Post-Modern Algebra. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ (1999)
An edited book
Queffélec, H.: Diophantine Approximation and Dirichlet Series. Hindustan Book Agency, Gurgaon (2013)
A chapter in an edited book
Dempsey, G.T., Wang, W., Zhuang, X.: Fluorescence Imaging at Sub-Diffraction-Limit Resolution with Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy. In: Hinterdorfer, P. and Oijen, A. (eds.) Handbook of Single-Molecule Biophysics. pp. 95–127. Springer US, New York, NY (2009)

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 Theory of Computing Systems.

Blog post
Andrew, D.: Why Do We Keep Seeing Crazy Stuff On Mars?,


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: Arthur Schoenhaut. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC (1988)

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Gwaduri, E.: A personal narrative: Struggles and experiences of acculturation as a Pakistani Shia Muslim while battling immigration, (2009)

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
Billard, M.: Scouting Report, (2010)

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1, 2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titleTheory of Computing Systems
AbbreviationTheory Comput. Syst.
ISSN (print)1432-4350
ISSN (online)1433-0490
ScopeComputational Theory and Mathematics
Theoretical Computer Science

Other styles