How to Cite References: IEEE Documentation Style

How to Cite References: IEEE Documentation Style

IEEE citation style is used primarily for electronics, engineering, telecommunications, computer science, and information technology reports. The three main parts of a reference are as follows:

  • Author’s name listed as first initial of first name, then full last.

  • Title of article, patent, conference paper, etc., in quotation marks.

  • Title of journal or book in italics.

This system allows the reader to identify the information source at a glance. All punctuation, dates, and page numbers depend on the type of reference cited, so follow the examples with care. Please note this style guide is wide ranging, but not all sources are identified. Further research may be required.

Citation Within The Text

The first step of the reference citation process is within the report itself. Each citation must be noted within the text through use of simple sequential numbers. A number enclosed in square brackets, placed in the text of the report, indicates the specific reference. Citations are numbered in the order in which they appear. Once a source has been cited, the same number is used in all subsequent references in the report. No distinction is made between electronic and print sources, except in the citation reference details.

Each reference number should be enclosed in square brackets on the same line as the text, before any punctuation, with a space before the bracket.

“. . .end of the line for my research [13].”

“The theory was first put forward in 1987 [1].”
“Scholtz [2] has argued. . . .”
“For example, see [7].”
“Several recent studies [3, 4, 15, 22] have suggested that. . . .”

Note: Authors and dates do not have to be written out after the first reference; use the bracketed number. Also, it is not necessary to write “in reference [2].” Just write “in [2].”

The preferred method to cite more than one source at a time is to list each reference in its own brackets, then separate with a comma or dash:

[1], [3], [5] [1] – [5]

Reference Lists

To finish citing sources, a numbered list of references must be provided at the end of the paper. The list is comprised of the sequential enumerated citations, with details, beginning with [1], and is not alphabetical.

Page Format

  • Place references flush left

  • Single-space entries, double-space between.

  • Place number of entry at left margin, enclose in brackets.

  • Indent text of entries.

The following examples demonstrate the format for a variety of electronic and print sources. These citations are ones in widest use. Not everything is listed.

Electronic Documents


[1] L. Bass, P. Clements, and R. Kazman, Software Architecture in Practice, 2nd ed. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley, 2003. [E-book] Available: Safari e-book.

Article in Online Encyclopedia

[2] D. Ince, “Acoustic coupler,” in A Dictionary of the Internet. Oxford University Press, [online document ], 2001. Available: Oxford Reference Online, [Accessed: May 24, 2007].

Journal Article Abstract (accessed from online database)

[1] M. T. Kimour and D. Meslati, “Deriving objects from use cases in real-time embedded systems,” Information and Software Technology, vol. 47, no. 8, p. 533, June 2005. [Abstract]. Ava ilable: ProQuest, [Accessed November 12, 2007].

Journal Article in Scholarly Journal (published free of charge on the Internet)

[2] A. Altun, “Understanding hypertext in the context of reading on the web: Language learners’ experience,” Current Issues in Education, vol. 6, no. 12, July, 2005. [Online serial]. Available: [Accessed Dec. 2, 2007].

Newspaper Article from the Internet

[3] C. Wilson-Clark, “Computers ranked as key literacy,” The Atlanta Journal Constitution, para. 3, March 29, 2007. [Online], Available: [Accessed Sept. 18, 2007].

Internet Documents

Professional Internet Site

[1] European Telecommunications Standards Institute, “Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB): Implementation guide for DVB terrestrial services; transmission aspects,”European Telecommunications Standards Institute, ETSI-TR-101, 2007. [Online].

Available: [Accessed: Nov. 12, 2007].

General Internet Site

[2] J. Geralds, “Sega Ends Production of Dreamcast,”, para. 2, Jan. 31, 2007. [Online]. Available: [Accessed Sept.

12, 2007].

Personal Internet Site

[3] G. Sussman, “Home Page-Dr. Gerald Sussman,” July, 2002. [Online]. Available: [Accessed Nov. 14, 2007].


[4] J. Aston. “RE: new location, okay?” Personal email (July 3, 2007).

Internet Newsgroup

[5] G. G. Gavin, “Climbing and limb torsion #3387,” USENET: sci.climb.torsion, August 19, 2007. [Accessed December 4, 2007].


[6] W. D. Scott, Information Technology in the US. [Microform]. W. D. Scott & Co., Canberra: Department of Science and Technology, 2004.

Computer Game

[7] The Hobbit: The prelude to the Lord of the Rings. [CD-ROM]. United Kingdom: Vivendi Universal Games, 2003.


[8] Thomson ISI, Endnote 7. [CD-ROM]. Berkeley, CA: ISI ResearchSoft, 2006.


[1] S. Bhanndahar. ECE 4321. Class Lecture, Topic: “Bluetooth can’t help you.” School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, Jan. 9, 2008.

Print Documents


Single Author

[1] W. K. Chen, Linear Networks and Systems. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Press, 2003.

Edited Book

[2] J. L. Spudich and B. H. Satir, Eds., Sensory Receptors and Signal Transduction. New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001.

Selection in an Edited Book

[3] E. D. Lipson and B. D. Horwitz, “Photosensory reception and transduction,” inSensory Receptors and Signal Transduction, J. L. Spudich and B. H. Satir, Eds. New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001, pp-1-64.

Three or More Authors

[4] R. Hayes, G. Pisano, and S. Wheelwright, Operations, Strategy, and Technical Knowledge. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2007.

Book by an Institutional or Organizational Author

[5] Council of Biology Editors, Scientific Style and Format: The CBE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers, 6th ed., Chicago: Cambridge University Press, 2006.


[6] Bell Telephone Laboratories Technical Staff, Transmission System for Communication, Bell Telephone Lab, 2005.

Application Note

[7] Hewlett-Packard, Appl. Note 935, pp.25-29.

Note: Titles of unpublished works are not italicized or capitalized. Capitalize only the first word.

Technical Report

[8] K. E. Elliott and C. M. Greene, “A local adaptive protocol,” Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, France, Tech. Report. 916-1010-BB, 7 Apr. 2007.

Patent /Standard

[9] K. Kimura and A. Lipeles, “Fuzzy controller component,” U. S. Patent 14, 860,040, 14 Dec., 2006.

Data Sheet

[10] Texas Instruments, “High speed CMOS logic analog multiplexers/demultiplexers,” 74HC4051 datasheet, Nov. 1997 [Revised Sept. 2002].

Government Publication

[11] National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA Pocket Statistics. Washington, DC: Office of Headquarters Operations, 2007.

Paper Published in Conference Proceedings

[12] J. Smith, R. Jones, and K. Trello, “Adaptive filtering in data communications with self improved error reference,” In Proc. IEEE International Conference on

Wireless Communications ’04, 2004, pp. 65-68.

Papers Presented at Conferences (unpublished)

[13] H. A. Nimr, “Defuzzification of the outputs of fuzzy controllers,” presented at 5thInternational Conference on Fuzzy Systems, Cairo, Egypt, 2006.

Thesis or Dissertation (unpublished)

[14] H. Zhang, “Delay-insensitive networks,” M. S. thesis, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2007.

Article in Encyclopedia, Signed

[15] O. Singh, “Computer graphics,” in McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2007, pp. 279-291.


Journal Articles

Article in Journal (paginated by annual volume)

[8] K. A. Nelson, R. J. Davis, D. R. Lutz, and W. Smith, “Optical generation of tunable ultrasonic waves,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 53, no. 2, Feb., pp. 1144-1149, 2002.

Article in Professional Journal (paginated by issue)

[9] J. Attapangittya, “Social studies in gibberish,” Quarterly Review of Doublespeak, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 9-10, 2003.

Article in Monthly or Bimonthly Periodical

[10] J. Fallows, “Networking technology,” Atlantic Monthly, Jul., pp. 34-36, 2007.

Article in Daily, Weekly, or Biweekly Newspaper or Magazine

[11] B. Metcalfe, “The numbers show how slowly the Internet runs today,” Infoworld, 30 Sep., p. 34, 2006.

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