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Citation Styles

Citing tips and tricks from several styles.

IEEE Style

What is IEEE Style? 

Developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). 

For more information and examples, see the IEEEDataPort document 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 or conference paper, etc in quotation marks 
  • Title of journal or books 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 researc may be required.

In-Text Citation

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.

Formatting the Reference List 

  • Place references flush left 
  • Single-space entries, double space between 
  • Place number of entry at left margin, enclose in brackets. 
  • Indent text of entries. 



IEEE Citation Examples

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]. Available: 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.



[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,” in Sensory 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.

Subjects: Interdisciplinary