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Environmental Resources Engineering Research Guide

Getting Started with ASCE Style

This page provides a basic introduction to the ASCE citation style. It is based on the Publishing in ASCE Journals: A Guide for Authors published by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2014. The ASCE manual is generally used for academic writing in the engineering sciences. 

How to Format In-Text Citations

ASCE uses the author-date method for in-text references, whereby the source reads as the last names of the authors, then the year (e.g., Smith 2004 or Smith and Jones 2004).

Unpublished Material — ASCE does not permit unpublished material to be included in the References list. It may be cited in the text in the following forms: 

...other researchers (Orton et al., unpublished data, 1992)... 

In some cases (A. W. Pinter, personal communication, 1979)... 

Working papers and submitted papers are considered unpublished and should be cited in the text as follows: 

(B. Smith, “[title of paper],” working paper, Salk Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) 

(B. Smith, “[title of paper],” submitted, Salk Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) 

Unpublished reports should be cited in text according to one of the following formats: 

(author name(s), name of report, presented at ___, 2012) (author name(s), name of report, unpublished report) 

A paper that has been presented at a conference or meeting but is otherwise unpublished should be cited as an “unpublished report”:

... in Chang and McTavish (unpublished report, 1991)... 

For more information see Chapter 5, Manuscript Submission and Revision Requirements, in the ASCE guide.

Reference List

A References section must be included that lists all references alphabetically by last name of the first author. References must be published works only. Exceptions to this rule are theses, dissertations, and “in press” articles, all of which are allowed in the References list. References cited in text that are not found in the reference list will be deleted but queried by the copyeditor. Likewise, all references included in the References section must be cited in the text.

Examples of reference formatting are below:

Books — If a whole book is used (or pages here and there throughout the book), page numbers need not be given. If no author is listed, titles should be alphabetized. If a specific chapter is being used, the chapter title and inclusive page numbers should be included. Reports must include the full institution name and location.

Evans, G. M., and Furlong, J. C. (2003). Environmental biotechnology: Theory and applications, Wiley, Chichester, U.K.

Moody’s municipal and government manual. (1988). Moody’s Investors Service, New York.

Building Codes and Provisions — Building codes, provisions, and standards should be listed alphabetically by the name of the promulgating institution. If a title and code number are given, the title should be in quotes, and the code number in italics; if only a title is given, the title should be in italics.

ACI (American Concrete Institute). (1989). “Building code requirement for reinforced concrete.” ACI 318-89, Farmington Hills, MI.

Building Officials and Code Administrators International (BOCA). (1993). The BOCA national building code, Country Club Hills, IL.

CEN (European Committee for Standardization). (1992). “Design of steel structures, part 1.1.” Eurocode 3, Brussels.

Electronic Materials

CD-ROM — The section, chapter, and page numbers should be provided if available:
Liggett, J. A., and Caughey, D. A. (1998). “Fluid statistics.” Fluid mechanics (CD-ROM), ASCE, Reston, VA, Section ..., Chapter ..., pp. ...

Website — The following elements should be included: author’s name (if known); year of publication or last revision (if available); full title of the document, in quotation marks; title of the complete work (if applicable), in italics; full web address, enclosed within angle brackets; and date of the visit (if applicable), in parentheses. If the Web page shows no year of publication, the year of the visit may be used in its place.

Arizona Dept. of Commerce. (2005). “Community profile: Hualapai Indian Reservation.” http://www.azcommerce/com/doclib/commune/hualapai.pdf(Mar. 17, 2014).

“Acquisition reform network.” (1998). Arnet, http://www.arnet.gov(Jan. 21, 2010).

Journal Articles — The standard format for a paper published in a U.S. journal is as follows:

Beskos, D. E. (1987). “Boundary element methods in dynamic analysis.” Appl. Mech. Rev., 40(1), 123.

ASCE Journals — ASCE no longer uses page numbers and has adopted a new format for its references (including those older papers that still contain page numbers). Use the following style for citation to an ASCE journal:

Authors. (Year of initial publication). “Title of paper.Journal abbr., DOI, CID/page range.

Irish, J. L., and Resio, D. T. (2013). “Method for estimating future hurricane flood probabilities and associated uncertainty.” J. Waterway, Port, Coastal, Ocean Eng., 10.1061/(ASCE)WW.1943- 5460.0000157, 04013015.

ASCE Committee/Technical Reports — ASCE committees, task forces, etc. publish reports, proposed codes and standards, commentaries on codes and standards, and so on. The committee is the author.

ASCE Task Force on Friction Factors in Open Channels. (1963). “Friction factors in open channels.” J. Hydraul. Div., 89(2), 97143.

Foreign Journals — Authors may want to give an English translation of a non-English-language title. Some non-English-language journals also have titles and abstracts in English, with the research papers being in the foreign language.

Glock, D. (1977). “Überkritisches Verhalten eines starr ummautelten Kreisrohres bei Wasserdruck von aussen und Temperaturdehnung [Critical behavior of liners of rigid pipeline under external water pressure and thermal expansion].” Der Stahlbau, 7, 212217 (in German).

The original title should not be included if the language uses an alphabet other than Latin (Cyrillic, CJK, etc.).

In-Press Articles — Articles that are “in press” (i.e., those that have been accepted but have not yet been published) may be included in the References list. Include the year of acceptance, if possible, or the current year as follows:

Dasgupta, G. (2008). “Stiffness matrix from isoparametric closed form shape functions using exact integration.” J. Aerosp. Eng., in press. 

MapsThe following style is used for maps:
Brown, R. J. E. (1967). Permafrost in Canada, Map 1246A, Geol. Surv. of Can., Ottawa, ON.

Smith, R. L., Bailey, R. A., and Ross, C. A. (1970). Geologic map of the Jemez Mountains, New Mexico, U.S. Geol. Surv. Misc. Invest. Map, I-571.

Newspaper Articles — The article author (if known), year in parentheses, title of the article in quotes, name of the newspaper in italics, and section/page numbers (if applicable) should be included for article citations:

Mossberg, W. S. (1993). “Word isn’t perfect but new WordPerfect is too much for words.” Wall Street Journal., Dec. 2, B1.

Proceedings — The location of a conference or symposium is required only if it is part of the title or proceedings. The name and location of the publisher is required. If there is no “publisher,” the name of the location of the sponsor are required. The name of the sponsor is sometimes part of the title of a conference proceeding. Editor name(s) and volume number should be included if available.

Eshenaur, S. R., Kulicki, J. M., and Mertz, D. R. (1991). “Retrofitting distortion-induced fatigue cracking of noncomposite steel girder-floorbeam-stringer bridges.” Proc., 8th Annual Int. Bridge Conf., Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, 380–388.

Karam, G. N. (1991). “Effect of fiber volume on the strength properties of short fiber reinforced cements with application to bending strength of WFRC.” Proc., 6th Technical. Conf. of the American Society for Composites, A. Smith, ed., Vol. 1, Technomics, Lancaster, PA, 548557.

Unpublished Material — ASCE does not permit unpublished material to be included in the References list.

For more information see Chapter 5, Manuscript Submission and Revision Requirements, in the ASCE guide.

Citation Managers