Learn more about how the Cal Poly Humboldt Library can help
support your research and learning needs.

Stay updated at Campus Ready.

Skip to Main Content

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 2022 revision of Publishing in ASCE Journals: A Guide for Authors (<< follow this link for a PDF copy of the style guide) published by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

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 citation 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Unpublished Material — ASCE does not permit unpublished material to be included in the References list (except for journal articles that are forthcoming). Unpublished material may be cited in the text in the following forms:
…other researchers (Orton et al., unpublished data, 1992)… 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)…

Cite unpublished working papers and submitted papers in text with a reference to the publisher as follows:

(B. Smith, “Weldment design for RHS truss connections,” working paper, Salk Institute, Pittsburgh)

(J. Brown, “Field-scale sprinkler irrigation system,” submitted, J. Eng. Mech., ASCE, Reston, Virginia)


Unpublished reports should be cited in text according to one of the following formats:
(author name(s), name of report, presented at _    , year)

(author name(s), name of report, unpublished report)

A paper that has been presented at a conference or meeting but is otherwise unpublished should be cited as an “unpublished report”:
… in Chang and McTavish (unpublished report, 1991)…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 Crediting Photography the following guidelines should be used:
Include the photographer’s name whenever possible.
Use “image by author(s)” (for all authors) if the photo was taken by an author of the paper.
Use “image by [individual name(s)]” when it is one author of many, and ensure that the author name(s) matches the byline in the manuscript.
Use "Reprinted from [referenced source], with permission" if the images are from a published/referenced source. Here, "referenced source" should be replaced with the referenced name(s) and date, like an in-text citation. Complete reference should be included in the References section.


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 “forthcoming” 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 follow:

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 J. C. Furlong. 2003. Environmental biotechnology: Theory and applications. Chichester, UK: Wiley.

Moody’s municipal and government manual. 1988. New York: Moody’s Investors Service.


Building Codes and Provisions — Building codes, provisions, and standards should be listed alphabetically by the abbreviated name of the promulgating institution.

ACI (American Concrete Institute). 1989. Building code requirement for reinforced concrete. ACI 318-89. Farmington Hills, MI: ACI.
BOCA (Building Officials and Code Administrators International). 1993. The BOCA national building code. Country Club Hills, IL: BOCA.

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


Data Sets — References for data sets should include author name, year of publication, titles (followed by edition or version number) in quotation marks, publisher or distributor, access date, and electronic identifier (DOI or URL).

Ansolabehere, S., M. Palmer, and A. Lee. 2014. “Precinct-level election data. V1.” Harvard Election Data Archive. Accessed January 20, 2017. https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/YN4TLR.

Thernstrom, S. 1986. “Boston mobility study, 1880.” ICPSR 7550. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. Accessed November 28, 2017. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07550.


Electronic Materials — CD-ROM—The section, chapter, and page numbers should be provided if available:

Liggett, J. A., and D. A. Caughey. 1998. “Fluid statistics.” Sec. 7 in Fluid mechanics, 140–156. Reston, VA: ASCE. CD-ROM.


Website—The following elements should be included: author’s name or owner of the website (if known); year of publication or last revision (if available; use “n.d.” if no date is available); full title of the specific page, in quotation marks; title of website (if applicable), in italics; the date of access, and the full web address.

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

Foucher, J. 2017. “The role of construction companies before, during, and after disaster.” Construct Connect (blog). Accessed October 11, 2017. https://www.constructconnect.com/blog/operating-insights/role-construction-companies- disaster/.


Non-ASCE Journal Articles — The standard format for a paper published in a US journal is as follows:

Beskos, D. E. 1987. “Boundary element methods in dynamic analysis.” Appl. Mech. Rev., 40 (1), 1–23. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.3149529.


ASCE Journal Articles — 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. Volume (Issue): CID/page range. DOI.

Irish, J. L., and D. T. Resio. 2013. “Method for estimating future hurricane flood probabilities and associated uncertainty.” J. Waterway, Port, Coastal, Ocean Eng. 139 (2): 04013001. https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)WW.1943-5460.0000157.


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.

Technical Committee for the Underground Technology Research Council. 2007. Geotechnical baseline reports for underground construction: Suggested guidelines. Reston, VA: ASCE.


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]. [In German.] Der Stahlbau 7, 212–217.

For journal articles written in a foreign language that uses the Latin alphabet, the English translation and original language are optional. For journal articles written in a foreign language that does not use the Latin alphabet, provide a translated title only and specify the language of publication in brackets following the article title.

Forthcoming Articles — Articles that are “forthcoming” (i.e., those that have been accepted but have not yet been published, sometimes known as “in press”) may be included in the References list. Authors will be asked to review any “forthcoming” references during page proofs to make sure they are updated. Do not include a date. ASCE journal articles that are “forthcoming” should include the article DOI.

Smith, D. O., J. E. Lee, and E. M. Kim. Forthcoming. “Influence of the geometric and material characteristics on the strength of chestnut timber joints.” Mater. Des.

Han, C.-Y., J.-H. Wang, X.-H. Xia, and J.-J. Chen. Forthcoming. “Limit analysis for local and overall stability of slurry trench in cohesive soil.” Int. J. Geomech. https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)GM.1943-5622.0000268.


Maps — The following style is used for maps:

Brown, R. J. E., cartographer. 1967. Permafrost in Canada. Map 1246A. Ottawa: Geologic Survey of Canada.

Smith, R. L., R. A. Bailey, and C. A. Ross, cartographers. 1970. Geologic map of the Jemez Mountains, New Mexico. USGS Misc. Invest. Map, I-571. Washington, DC: USGS.


Newspaper Articles — The article author (if known), year, title of the article in quotes, name of the newspaper in italics, and date 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, December 2, 1993.


Proceedings —  Provide the name and location of the publisher. If there is no “publisher,” the name and location of the conference sponsor are required. For sponsors that are virtual groups (without a physical location), include the conference location instead of sponsor location and the URL for the group’s website before the DOI (if provided).

The name of the sponsor or the location of the conference or symposium is sometimes part of the title of a proceedings; if so, this information should remain in the title. If given, include the editor name(s), volume number, URL, and/or DOI.

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

Tommelein, I. D., and S. Gholami. 2012. “Root causes of clashes in building information models (BIM).” In Proc., 20th Annual Conf. Int. Group for Lean Construction, 121–130. San Diego: International Group for Lean Construction. https://www.iglc.net. https://doi.org/10.5642/jhummath.201102.05.


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

Citation Managers