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Citation Styles and Tools: IEEE


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About IEEE Style


IEEE style is mainly used in Electronic and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Information Technology, Telecommunication. This number referencing system that includes two elements:

  • in-text citations in your paper
  • reference list at the end of your paper.

Do You Know That...

A reference list or end-text citations is the full list of sources you have referred to or cited in the body of your work.

A bibliography is the full list of works that you have used in the preparation of your written work.

A citation or in-text citation is the reference you make to a specific author's work when presenting a specific argument in your own work.

The references include the number of citations, in order of appearance in your paper, in [square brackets].

IEEE style doesn't allow the secondary citation. You have to locate the original source of information otherwise, it should not be cited.

The style allows abbreviations of journal title, months, names of organizations and conferences.


When creating your reference list entry for a book, always include:

  • Initials and last name of author(s)
  • Title in italicsCapitalize all words except for conjunctions like and, the, of, etc.
  • Edition (only if it is not the first edition). Abbreviate to ed
  • Place of publication: Publisher
  • Publication date
For example:

[1] C. Lampton, Unified Field Theory: For the Engineer and the Applied Scientist. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH, 2009

More than one author:

[2] C. Jensen, J.D. Helsel, and D.R. Short, Engineering Drawing and Design. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill, 2008


[3] J.W. Smither, Ed., Performance Appraisal: State of the Art in Practice. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1998

When creating your reference list entry for a book chapter, always include:

  • Author of chapter or section (first initials, last name)
  • Title of chapter or section in "quotation marks"
  • Title of book in italics.
  • Editor(s) if named
  • Place of publication: Publisher. Date
  • Page number
For example:

[4] L.J. Slater, "Confluent hypergeometric functions," in Handbook of Mathematical Functions with Formulas, Graphs, and Mathematical Tables, vol. 55, Applied Mathematics Series, M. Abramowitz and I.A. Stegun, Eds. New York, NY: Dover Publications, 1972, pp. 502-555

When creating your reference list entry for a journal article, always include:

  • Author(s): initials and last name
  • Title of article "in quotation marks"
  • Title of journal in italics. Capitalize the first letter of each word except for conjuntions (and, of, the, for, etc.)
  • Volume number, issue number, and page numbers
  • Date of publication (month and year)

Note: You can write the full name of the journal title, or abbreviate the titles of IEEE journals (see IEEE Abbreviations for Transactions, Letters, Journals and Magazines for a full list of standard abbreviations).

For example:

[5] E. Strickland, "24 hours at Fukushima", IEEE Spectr., vol. 48, no. 11, pp. 35-42, Nov. 2011

When creating your reference list entry for a web site or online document, always include:

  • Author(s) or editor(s): initials and last name
  • Date of publication (in round brackets). Abbreviate the month
  • Title in italics. Only capitalize the first letter and proper nouns
  • Format [in square brackets]
  • URL

For example:

[6] K. Bonsor and J. Strickland. (2007, Mar. 20). How nanotechnology works. [Online]. Available:      

If there is no author, start the entry with the title of the site or document. Use (n.d.) if there is no date

[7] Electrical engineer. (n.d.) [Online]. Available:

When creating your reference list entry for an electronic patent, always include:

  • Title of patent, by Author’s initial & last name or the corporate author
  • Abbreviated Month, Day and Year of Publication
  • Patent’s country of origin and the patent’s number
  • Accessed on: Month, Day, Year
  • Type in [square brackets]
  • Available: site/path/file, i.e. the patent’s URL or database

[3]     Fixing system for an electrical plate, by Legrand Australia Pty Ltd. (2016, Dec. 22). Patent 2016905338. Accessed on: Feb. 1, 2018. [Online]. Available: AusPat database

When creating your reference list entry for a standard, always include:

  • Title of standard in italic
  • Standard number
  • Date

For example:

[8] IEEE Criteria for Class IE Electric Systems, IEEE Standard 308, 1969

When creating your reference list entry for a patent, always include:

  • Inventor(s); initials and last name
  • Title "in quotation marks"
  • Issuing office
  • Patent number
  • Date of issue

For example:

[9] J.P. Wilkinson, "Nonlinear resonant circuit devices," U.S. Patent 3 624 125, July 16, 1990

When creating your reference list entry for a technical report, always include:

  • Author’s initial & last name
  • Title of the Report, in "double quotation marks". Capitalized important words.
  • Publisher, i.e. the abbreviated name of company or institution that published the report
  • Place of publication
  • Report number and volume and/or issue number
  • Abbreviated Month and Year of publication

For example:

[9] D. Smith, “17th Construction Squadron Relocation Infrastructure Project,” Canberra Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works, Canberra, ACT, Rep. no. 5, June 2015

When creating your reference list entry for a thesis or dissertation, always include:

  • Author; initials and last name
  • Title
  • Degree awarded
  • Department
  • University
  • City, state or province, and country
  • Date

Note: Names of universities and university departments should be abbreviated according to IEEE standards. Please see IEEE Standard Abbreviations for more information

For example:

[11] N. Kawasaki, "Parametric study of thermal and chemical nonequilibrium nozzle flow," M.S. Thesis, Dept. of Electron. Eng., Osaka Univ., Osaka, Japan, 1993

When creating your reference list entry for a conference paper, always include:

  • Author(s); initials and last name
  • Title of the paper "in quotation marks"
  • Name of conference
  • City and state and/or country of conference
  • Year

For example:

[10] H. Zhang, "LaB6 field emission gun: Making a decades old dream come true with nanotechnology," presented at the International Conference on Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology for Sustainable Development, Kathmandu, Nepal, 2011

In-text Citations

A citation or in-text citation is the reference you make to a specific author's work when presenting a specific argument in your own work.

General in-text citation rules

  • You do not have to include the authors' names or publication dates in your in-text citations
  • All citations are indicated by a number in square brackets
  • You must number your references in your reference list and in your in-text citations according to the order in which they appear in your document

For example:

"...end of the line for my research [13]."
"The theory was first put forward in 1987 [1]." "Scholtz [2] has argued that......."
"Several recent studies [3, 4, 15, 16] have suggested that..."
"For example, see [7]."

Table of examples



Single reference Jones notes [5]...
Single reference ... according to [7], it should be seen that...
Multiple references .. Wright demonstrates this in [7]-[8].
Multiple references  ... in [9] and [1]-[3], it appears that...
Three or more authors ... Singh et al. [6]... argue that...
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