I am writing my thesis and the university is requiring me to use their own document class so I am not using acmart.

The problem is I am trying to use ACM-Reference-Format.bst file to produce the references. but the references I get look so weird and has nothing to do with the correct ACM format. For example, They are being created as a new chapter (chapter 4), they do not have indices and they use the wrong naming format (first name printed before last name) here is the behavior here

and here: Any idea on what might be causing this? And it seems like removing the .bst file from the directory doesn't have any impact. So maybe Latex is not using it at all. Note: it produces the correct references when I use plain style or any other standard style.

here is my code:

%%% -*-LaTeX-*-
%%% ====================================================================
%%% This is a sample top-level LaTeX-2e file for typesetting a thesis
%%% or dissertation at the University of Utah.  Most students find it
%%% convenient to start with a COPY of this file as a template, and
%%% then alter that copy to match their needs.
%%% There is an associated Unix Makefile that can be similarly
%%% customized, and then the only command ever needed to typeset the
%%% complete thesis is the single word "make".  Of course, during
%%% writing and typesetting, not all of the steps are needed, so
%%% often, one can just name a convenience target such as "make
%%% dvi-pass" or "make pdf-pass" to do just a single pass of LaTeX and
%%% BibTeX.
%%% There should be no, or very few, macro definitions in this file;
%%% any needed belong in a private style file, called mythesis.sty,
%%% and input below after all other packages.  The bulk of this file
%%% should just be command invocations, and any arguments that they
%%% need.
%%% We exploit the fact that TeX ignores spaces after command names to
%%% line up arguments for better readability.
%%% Each chapter should be a separate complete file, so that you can
%%% insert a command like \includeonly{chap_intro} before the first
%%% \include{chap_xxx} command to avoid typesetting all but the
%%% chapter that you are currently working on, to save time.
%%% Remember that occupants of job positions change jobs from time to
%%% time: YOU are responsible for ensuring correct names of all humans
%%% mentioned in this file!
%%% [16-Mar-2016]
%%% ====================================================================


%%% Undefine two macros from uuthesis2e.cls that conflict with
%%% definitions in amsthm.sty that fail to check for prior definitions!
%%% NB: The amsthm package refines the LaTeX theorem environment,
%%% and the uuthesis-color-headings wraps that definition, so the
%%% amsthm package must be read first!
\let \proof    = \relax
\let \endproof = \relax
\usepackage {amsthm}

%%% ====================================================================
%%% Choose an alternate font family for the document if the TeX default
%%% of Computer Modern is not wanted:


%%% ====================================================================
%%% Some miscellaneous Utah- and student-specific settings:
%%% Chapter is one level, section and subsection are the next two levels.


%%% ====================================================================
%%% The remaining packages are required by this particular thesis,
%%% but other theses will almost certainly need different packages:
%%% WARNING: MANY \LaTeX{} packages change dimensions, glue, and/or
%%% formatting styles, and such changes are likely to conflict with
%%% University of Utah Thesis Office requirements.  Therefore, minimize
%%% the number of packages that you include!

\usepackage {amsmath}
\usepackage {amssymb}
\usepackage {bm}
\usepackage {bibnames}
\usepackage {citesort}
\usepackage {graphicx}
\usepackage {graphpap}
\usepackage {longtable}
\usepackage {multirow}
\usepackage {tikz}
\usetikzlibrary {decorations.markings}
\usepackage {varioref}


%%% ====================================================================
%%% Support for a subject index:

\usepackage {uuthesis-index}

%%% ====================================================================
%%% The various uuthesis-*.sty packages must come AFTER all other
%%% system-provided packages, so that they can correctly override
%%% settings from those packages.

%%% Include latest updates for 2016 (WARNING: the name is subject to
%%% change: see http://www.math.utah.edu/pub/uuthesis/ for the most
%%% current version.)

\usepackage {uuthesis-2016-h}  % MANDATORY package

%%% This is an OPTIONAL package that sets chapter and sectional headings
%%% in color:
%%% Use one or the other of these:
% \usepackage {color}
\usepackage {uuthesis-color-headings}
\definecolor{utahheadingcolor} {rgb}  {0.7, 0.0, 0.0}
\definecolor{utahtheoremcolor} {rgb}  {0.490,0.149,0.804} % purple4
\definecolor{utahtheoremcolor} {rgb}  {0.545,0.137,0.137} % brown4

%%% Here is another, and more convenient, way to define colors, via
%%% aliases of named colors in the X11-derived rgb.sty file


%%% The default heading color is utahred (defined by University Printing
%%% Services as 0.8 red, 0.0 green, 0.0 blue), but you could redefine
%%% that to, for example, a dark blue color, like this AFTER including
%%% the package:
%%%     \definecolor{utahheading}{rgb}{0,0,0.8}
%%% NB: Be careful with use of colors in typesetting, and in figures,
%%% because about 6 percent of the human male population is red/green
%%% color blind: they see those colors as shades of brown.  Red and
%%% blue, or blue and green, are better choices for choosing
%%% distinguishable colors.  Also, avoid light colors, especially
%%% yellow, because they are hard to see against white paper and
%%% screen backgrounds, and when printed on black-and-white printers,
%%% where they are rendered in gray, they may be too faint to read.

%%% ====================================================================
%%% Support for a subject index:

\usepackage {uuthesis-index}

%%% ====================================================================
%%% This single user-specific file is where all personal customizations
%%% and macro definitions should be placed, and it should come LAST,
%%% after ALL OTHER packages, in case it needs to override some of their
%%% definitions.

\usepackage {mythesis}

%%% ====================================================================
%%% The student-specific front matter fields are defined here:

\author                 {}
\title                  {}
\thesistype             {dissertation}

\dedication             {}

\degree                 {Doctor of Philosophy}
%%% However, multiline degrees are possible, and are done like this:
\degree                 {Doctor of Philosophy \\
                         in \\
                         Computer Science}

%%% College- and Department-level definitions:
\approvaldepartment     {Computing}
\department             {School of Computing}
\graduatedean           {}
\departmentchair        {}

%%% The graduate student's committee members:
\committeechair         {}
\firstreader            {}
\secondreader           {}
\thirdreader            {}
\fourthreader           {}
\chairtitle             {Professor}

%%% NB: It is rare, but possible, for there to be two chairs, For
%%% example, one student had
%%% \committeechair{\mbox{\small Andrej Cherkaev and Andrejs Treibergs}}
%%% The \mbox{} ensures that line breaks cannot happen, and the \small
%%% is necessary to make the names fit on the Dissertation Approval form

%%% Dates that must be adjusted for each academic term, and be permitted
%%% according to the University of Utah Thesis Office:
\submitdate             {December 2021}
\copyrightyear          {2021}

%%% Dates on which committee members approved the thesis
\chairdateapproved      {17 Feb 2016}
\firstdateapproved      {17 Feb 2016}
\seconddateapproved     {17 Feb 2016}
\thirddateapproved      {17 Feb 2016}
\fourthdateapproved     {17 Feb 2016}

%%% ====================================================================
%%% Typesetting begins here:


%% Comment out items by inserting a percent % character
\setcounter {page}     {2}             % UofU Thesis Office demands abstract on p. iii: start one lower
\preface    {abstract} {Abstract}
%%% Optional front matter page(s), made from source "notation.tex". If
%%% you don't need it, then comment out the \optionalfront command
%%% line!  The first argument is the (unnumbered) section header for
%%% the text supplied by the file input by the second argument; that
%%% file must NOT contain \chapter, \section, \subsection, \ldots{}
%%% sectioning commands.

%\optionalfront {Notation and Symbols} {\input{notation}}

%%% Uncomment this is you want the contents of acknowledge.tex typeset here.
%%% Note that both "Acknowledgement" and "Acknowledgment" are accepted
%%% spellings of that word.

% \preface{acknowledge}{Acknowledgements}

%%% Demonstrations of thesis typesetting features for the sample thesis.
%%% Once you have seen the examples, you can comment out this line.
%\optionalfront {Typesetting Experiments} {\input{samples.tex}}
\maintext       % Start normal page numbering: parts and chapters follow.

\pagestyle{headings} % NEW for sample-thesis-6

\include {chap1}
\include {chap2}
\include {chap3}

% \numberofappendices = 1   % Set 0 for none, else number of appendices.
\numberofappendices = 3
%\appendix       % Chapters, sections are now appendix style A, A.1, A.2, B, C, D, ...

%\include {appa}
%\include {appb}
%\include {appc}

%%% The choice of bibliography style is a major decision, jointly made
%%% by you, your thesis advisor and the thesis editor. Common choices are
%%% one of the four standard BibTeX styles (abbrv, alpha, plain, and unsrt),
%%% or enhanced styles like acm, amsplain, siam, and hundreds of others
%%% available in TeX Live, and other Unix and Windows TeX distributions.
%%% Do NOT handcode your reference list, because you are unlikely to
%%% achieve consistency or conformance to the University of Utah Thesis Office
%%% requirements: let BibTeX do that tedious job for you!
%%% Remember that reference-list metadata in BibTeX files remains
%%% constant across journals and publishers, and is are often reused
%%% in other documents and shared with others, whereas formatted
%%% reference-list styles change: with BibTeX, you only need to record
%%% the metadata once.
%%% If you prefer named, rather than numeric or tagged citations, you
%%% may use styles such as authordate{1,2,3,4}, chicago, harvard, or
%%% natbib.  Be aware, however, that most of those require an
%%% additional \usepackage{} command to supply \LaTeX{} with
%%% definitions of commands that the style needs, and that there are
%%% usually several flavors of LaTeX citation commands beyond the
%%% standard \cite{} command that you need to understand before you
%%% can use them properly in your prose.

%%% This tells BibTeX to read siam.bst from the first directory where
%%% it is found in the BSTINPUTS search path:
\newcommand\newblock{\hskip .11em\@plus.33em\@minus.07em}

%%% This can also specify a comma-separated list (without embedded
%%% spaces) of *.bib files found by BibTeX in its BIBINPUTS search
%%% path.  The argument \jobname means the base name of the top-level
%%% LaTeX file, avoiding an unnecessary filename dependence here.
%%% BibTeX writes only one .bbl file, no matter how many *.bib files
%%% are listed here, using the name \jobname.bbl.
%%% LaTeX reads BibTeX's formatted reference list from the file
%%% \jobname.bbl.


%%% The last part of this sample thesis is two specialized indexes,
%%% and a general topic index.  If the companion Makefile is used to
%%% create the DVI or PDF file for this work, the topic index excludes
%%% the lengthy list of free software packages.  However, the biology
%%% names of the first index are included in the topic index.

%%% Switch from thesis double spacing to single spacing for the three
%%% indexes, as a matter of style (to match the reference list), and
%%% for compactness.


%%% Define several index cross references (there are many more such
%%% in chap1.tex, but the examples here give a useful summary of how
%%% they are made):

\index{DCT|see{discrete cosine transform}}
\index{DWT|see{discrete wavelet transform}}
\index{Borel measure ($\mu$)}
\index{mu@$\mu$ (mu)|see{Borel measure}}
\index{Escherichia coli@\bioname{Escherichia coli}|see{E. coli}}
\index{transform|seealso{Discrete DCT Transform}}
\index{transform|seealso{Fast Fourier Transform}}

%\renewcommand {\bioname} [1] {\emph{#1}}   % redefine to suppress color and indexing in index
%\renewcommand {\fsfname} [1] {\texttt{#1}} % redefine to suppress color and indexing in index

%\renewcommand {\indexname} {Binomial Nomenclature Index}


%\renewcommand {\indexname} {Free Software Index}


%\renewcommand {\indexname} {Topic Index}

%\overfullrule = 0pt % suppress visible warnings about overfull hboxes

\end {document}

Any suggestions are appreciated.

  • Welcome to TeX.SE!
    – Mensch
    Oct 16, 2021 at 18:36
  • Thank you, @Mensch! Much appreciated.
    – Ruf
    Oct 16, 2021 at 18:37

1 Answer 1


This style uses natbib for formatting references, so you need to add \usepackage{natbib} to your preamble.


After I used your class file, I got references exactly like you had - which is how ACM wants them. You university preferes siam.bst, so \bibliographystyle{siam} might be a better choice

  • I am already using it, you can see it in the code : \usepackage {amsmath} \usepackage {amssymb} \usepackage {bm} \usepackage {bibnames} \usepackage {citesort} \usepackage {graphicx} \usepackage {graphpap} \usepackage {longtable} \usepackage {multirow} \usepackage {tikz} \usetikzlibrary {decorations.markings} \usepackage {varioref} \usepackage{natbib}
    – Ruf
    Oct 16, 2021 at 20:39
  • Then you need to post your class file
    – Boris
    Oct 16, 2021 at 22:14
  • this is the class file. I appreciate the help.
    – Ruf
    Oct 16, 2021 at 22:20
  • Agree, I ended up using Siam. Thank you for the help!
    – Ruf
    Oct 18, 2021 at 10:58

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