IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

Printable version of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) PDF.

IEEE is a reference style guide that uses numbered references in square brackets. It is most often used in engineering and technical fields for stylistic consistency. The absence of in-text bibliographic information provides better flow and saves space.

This guide explains how to cite common sources using IEEE. For information on the citation format for sources not covered in this guide, refer to the IEEE website.

Documenting Sources

Sources must be documented in two places: in in-text square bracket citations and in a reference list.In-text square bracket citations and reference list create a complete entry.

In-text Citations

In-text citations direct readers to the specific sources you used. Insert a citation when you use a direct quote or paraphrase information from another source. Each source is assigned a reference number based on the order in which it appears in your paper. For example, the first source you use is [1], the second source you use is [2], and the third source you use is [3].

To retain your writing flow, place citations at a natural pause as close as possible to the information being cited, and directly before the punctuation that concludes the sentence or clause.

Sample citation:

Several major health organizations have approved GMOs for human consumption [1], [2], [3]. After a recent metastudy was completed [3], the European Union also began a process to regulate the production of GMOs [4].

In-text Citation Formatting for Different Kinds of Sources

General Format

Assign a number to each source based on the order in which they appear in your work. This number will correspond with this specific source for the duration of your paper. When referring to the source specifically, such as in a literature review, refer to it by the citation number only.

e.g., Many birds migrate in the winter [6].
e.g., The basis for this experiment was established in

Citing Multiple Sources at Once

List each source individually in square brackets separated by commas. Note that you do not need toplace an “and” before the last citation.

e.g., As has been noted by scholars [2], [6], [18], [20], nanotechnology is a complex field.

Specific Parts of a Source

In most cases, in-text citations will only include the assigned number of the work being cited. However, when including a direct quote or referring to a specific part of the text, include a comma followed by the page number, chapter number, or section number after the reference number.

e.g., Higher temperatures resulted in increased colonization [3, 54].

Reference List Formatting for Different Kinds of Sources

The reference list itemizes all material you cited in your text. Sources are listed numerically in the order they appear in your text. Place this separate section, titled “References,” at the very end of your text.

Helpful Tip: Sources that you consulted, but did not cite, are not included in this list.

References are arranged numerically using the number you assigned. Each reference begins with this number. Abbreviated versions of company names, months, periodical titles, and provinces are required.

Helpful Tip: All IEEE conference articles use standard abbreviations. Some samples are listed below. For a complete list, see the IEEE website.

  • Annals … Ann.
  • Annual … Annu.
  • Colloquium … Colloq.
  • Conference … Conf.
  • Congress … Congr.
  • Convention … Conv.
  • Digest … Dig.
  • Exposition … Expo.
  • International … Int.
  • National … Nat.
  • Proceedings … Proc.
  • Record … Rec.
  • Symposium … Symp.
  • Technical Digest … Tech. Dig.
  • Technical Paper … Tech. Paper
  • First … 1st
  • Second … 2nd
  • Third … 3rd
  • Fourth/nth ... 4th/nth ...

Write out all the remaining words, but omit most articles and prepositions like of, the, and on.

Before abbreviation:

e.g., Proceedings of the 1996 Robotics and Automation Conference

After abbreviation:

e.g., Proc. 1996 Robotics and Automation Conf.

Sample IEEE works cited list (PDF)

Back to Writing Centre Resources.