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Citation Styles: APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, IEEE: IEEE Style

Need help with formatting citations? Use this brief guide to five major styles.

IEEE Publications

What is IEEE Style?

The Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is a professional organization supporting many branches of engineering, computer science, and information technology. In addition to publishing journals, magazines, and conference proceedings, IEEE also makes many standards for a wide variety of industries.

IEEE citation style includes in-text citations, numbered in square brackets, which refer to the full citation listed in the reference list at the end of the paper. The reference list is organized numerically, not alphabetically. For examples, see the IEEE Editorial Style Manual


The Basics:

In-text Citing   It is not necessary to mention an author's name, pages used, or date of publication in the in-text citation. Instead, refer to the source with a number in a square bracket, e.g. [1], that will then correspond to the full citation in your reference list.

  • Place bracketed citations within the line of text, before any punctuation, with a space before the first bracket.
  • Number your sources as you cite them in the paper. Once you have referred to a source and given it a number, continue to use that number as you cite that source throughout the paper.
  • When citing multiple sources at once, the preferred method is to list each number separately, in its own brackets, using a comma or dash bteween numbers, as such: [1], [3], [5] or [1] - [5].

The below examples are from Murdoch University's IEEE Style LibGuide.

Examples of in-text citations:

"...end of the line for my research [13]."

"This 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]."


Creating a Reference List   The Reference List appears at the end of your paper and provides the full citations for all the references you have used.  List all references numerically in the order they've been cited within the paper, and include the bracketed number at the beginning of each reference.

  • Title your list as References either centered or aligned left at the top of the page.
  • Create a hanging indent for each reference with the bracketed numbers flush with the left side of the page. The hanging indent highlights the numerical sequence of your references.
  • The author's name is listed as first initial, last name. Example: Adel Al Muhairy would be cited as A. Al Muhairy (NOT Al Muhairy, Adel).
  • The title of an article is listed in quotation marks.
  • The title of a journal or book is listed in italics.

The below examples are from the IEEE Citation Reference Guide and Murdoch University's IEEE Style LibGuide.

Examples of citations for different materials:

Material Type

Works Cited

Book in print

[1] B. Klaus and P. Horn, Robot Vision. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1986.

Chapter in book

[2] L. Stein, “Random patterns,” in Computers and You, J. S. Brake, Ed. New York: Wiley, 1994, pp. 55-70.


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

Journal article

[4] J. U. Duncombe, "Infrared navigation - Part I: An assessment of feasability," IEEE Trans. Electron. Devices, vol. ED-11, pp. 34-39, Jan. 1959.

eJournal (from database)

[5] H. K. Edwards and V. Sridhar, "Analysis of software requirements engineering exercises in a global virtual team setup," Journal of Global Information Management, vol. 13, no. 2, p. 21+, April-June 2005. [Online]. Available: Academic OneFile, [Accessed May 31, 2005].

eJournal (from internet)

[6] A. Altun, "Understanding hypertext in the context of reading on the web: Language learners' experience," Current Issues in Education, vol. 6, no. 12, July 2003. [Online]. Available: [Accessed Dec. 2, 2004].

Conference paper

[7] L. Liu and H. Miao, "A specification based approach to testing polymorphic attributes," in Formal Methods and Software Engineering: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Formal Engineering Methods, ICFEM 2004, Seattle, WA, USA, November 8-12, 2004, J. Davies, W. Schulte, M. Barnett, Eds. Berlin: Springer, 2004. pp. 306-19.

Conference proceedings

[8] T. J. van Weert and R. K. Munro, Eds., Informatics and the Digital Society: Social, ethical and cognitive issues: IFIP TC3/WG3.1&3.2 Open Conference on Social, Ethical and Cognitive Issues of Informatics and ICT, July 22-26, 2002, Dortmund, Germany. Boston: Kluwer Academic, 2003.

Newspaper article (from database)

[9] J. Riley, "Call for new look at skilled migrants," The Australian, p. 35, May 31, 2005. [Online]. Available: Factiva, [Accessed May 31, 2005].

Technical report

[10] J. H. Davis and J. R. Cogdell, “Calibration program for the 16-foot antenna,” Elect. Eng. Res. Lab., Univ. Texas,
Austin, Tech. Memo. NGL-006-69-3, Nov. 15, 1987.


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


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


[1] J. O. Williams, “Narrow-band analyzer,” Ph.D. dissertation, Dept. Elect. Eng., Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA, 1993.

Online IEEE Citation Resources

Resources from Pitt's Writing Center