I'm using the acmart class and proceedings items in my bibliography look rather odd, e.g.,

[1] IEEE 1997. Proc. 12th Symposium on Logic in Computer Science. IEEE.

I've tried a few variations, without success.

What I'd like is something like:

[X] IEEE. Proc. 12th Symposium on Logic in Computer Science, 1997.

(for X, I don't really care, but I guess it should be sorted as if IEEE was the author).

Here is a MEWB:



  author = {},
  key = {LICS 1997},
  organization = {IEEE},
  year      = {1997},
  title     = {Proc.\ 12th Symposium on Logic in Computer Science},





Any hints please?

  • 1
    Welcome to TeX.SX! Please add a minimal working example with bibliography (MWEB) to your question. We need it not only to reproduce your problem but also to test our suggestions. So it would help us to help you. BTW: Do you want this change only for proceedings? Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 9:01
  • @Schweinebacke Thanks, just edited. And yes, only proceedings appear to be problematic, as far as I can see. Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 10:18
  • The format of the references is “author. year. Full text.”; the only oddity I see is that there is no period in the case of @proceedings after the editor/organization.
    – egreg
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 10:43
  • @egreg And organization is used twice. At the beginning (instead of empty author) and at the end. Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 10:45
  • @Schweinebacke That seems a precise choice.
    – egreg
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 10:51

2 Answers 2


First of all: If you want to publish an article at ACM, you should not do any change on the style but use it as it is or you should at least ask the editor/publisher before doing such changes! Often editors/publishers will not accept such changes and undo them.

With natbib (used by default by acmart) you need to change ACM-Reference-Format.bst. To do so:

  • make a copy of ACM-Reference-Format.bst in your document folder and name it, e.g., Non-ACM-Reference-Format.bst.
  • open Non-ACM-Reference-Format.bst in a text editor and search for FUNCTION { proceedings }.
  • replace the whole function by

    FUNCTION { proceedings }
      editor empty.or.unknown
        { organization output
          organization format.key output }  % gnp - changed from author format.key
        { format.editors output.nonnull }
      % author format.key output             % gnp - removed (should be either
      %                                        editor or organization
      % output.year.check                    % added (newapa); Schweinebacke: removed
      format.btitle format.city "title" output.check        % jtb: added city
      format.bvolume output
      format.number.series output
      editor empty.or.unknown % schweinebacke: added
      { } % schweinebacke: added
      { % schweinebacke: added
        organization output
      }% schweinebacke: added
      if$ % schweinebacke: added
      % jtb: normal order: publisher, address
      publisher empty.or.unknown
         { }
         { "\bibinfo{publisher}{" publisher * "}" * output }
      address empty.or.unknown
         { }
         { "\bibinfo{address}{" address * "}" * output }
      new.block                        % schweinebacke: added
      output.year.check                % schweinebacke: added
  • change


    in your document into

  • do again run bibtex and also pdflatex.

The result would be

enter image description here

Note: In our days often usage of biblatex is recommended, because you can do changes of the bibliography with biblatex without bst hacking. To use biblatex with acmart you have to pass option natbib=false. In this case you could start with standard numeric style and change the formatting of the entries step by step.

  • Great, thanks! Regarding biblatex, the documentation for acmart says You may disable loading of natbib by using the option natbib=false in \documentclass. However, it is not recommended, as well as the use of BibTEX styles other than ACM-Reference-Format.bst, and may delay the processing of the manuscript. So will stick to bibtex for now :) Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 12:39
  • @TomHirschowitz But in this case you also should not change ACM-Reference-Format but use the format as it is, because the change could delay the processing of the manuscript and even the publisher/editor could undo the change. Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 12:48
  • @TomHirschowitz Nevertheless, if the answer was useful, you should vote for it. Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 12:54
  • You may be right. I did vote for your answer but my reputation is too low for it to count! Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 13:02

I'd like to add to @Schweinebacke's answer.

It is relatively easy to change bibliographic formatting. However, when you use "official" styles like ACM, you'd better not do it. The reason is, publishers like ACM created their own 'house style', and insist on it being followed. This is the reason their styles are given to the authors. Changing this subverts the purpose of "official" styles. You may prefer your way of formatting, but if you do not want problems with the publisher, please use theirs.

A self-respecting publisher just cannot allow two papers in the same journal or book to use different formatting.

I am afraid that the right way to change the formatting is to petition ACM to change their specifications. Then it would be easy for me to accommodate. This is not a TeXnical question, but a design question.

  • Agreed, but I was more using acmart because I like it! Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 15:06
  • 2
    Thanks - as the acmart maintainer I am glad people like it!
    – Boris
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 16:03

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