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Electrical Engineering Subject Guide


IEEE citation style is usually used in the electronic and electrical engineering, computer science, and other technology fields. This quick guide presents some general citation guidelines and examples based on the IEEE Reference Guide.

[This page has detailed examples for IEEE citation style. For other citation style, check ACM Citation Style and Reference Format]

In-Text Citation

In the main body of the text, use sequential numbers to note citations. The in-text citation numbers must correspond to the citations in the reference list at the end of your paper. 

In-Text Citing Format:

  • Put reference (citation) number in square brackets (e.g., [1]), before any punctuation. 
  • When a source has been cited, the same number should be used in all subsequent references (citations) throughout your paper.
  • When citing more than one reference, list each reference in brackets and separate the citations with commas, e.g., [1], [6], [10].
  • If a reference refers to three or more consecutively-numbered sources, include the first and last sources, separated by an en-dash, e.g., [6] – [8].
  • If there are three or more authors, cite using the first author's name plus et al. (italicised) in the text, e.g., " shown by Johnson et al. [15]

Various Examples:

"...end of the line for my research [13]."
"This theory was first put forward in 1987 [1]."
"Scholtz [2] has argued that..."
"For example, see [7]."
"Several recent studies [3], [4], [22] have suggested that..."
[The above examples are adopted from IEEE Documentation Style.]

Reference List

The references should be arranged in the order of the in-text citations (not by alphabetical order), beginning with the number [1] and continuing in ascending order. Reference numbers aligned flush left form a column of their own. Single-space each reference, double-space between references.

Reference Format:

  • An author name should be provided using Initials + Family Name, e.g., "E. M. Armstrong". Suffixes such as Jr. or Sr. should also be included but separated by a comma, e.g., "R. D. Smith, Jr.".
  • All author names should be listed in the reference, but if there are more than six authors, use “et al” after the first author. (note: there is no comma before et al., e.g., "E. P. Wigner et al").
  • Books and journal titles should be capitalized and italicized.
  • Title of journal articles, conference papers, and technical reports should be put in double quotation marks and in lower case.
  • When citing IEEE journals, reference them by journal abbreviation. For a list of IEEE journal abbreviations, check here.
  • Include volume, issue (month), page numbers and publication year.
  • Names of months are shortened as Jan., Feb., Mar., Apr., May, June, July, Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec.

Citing Journal Articles

Basic Format: 

A. B. Author, "Title of article," Abbreviated Name of Journal, vol. x, no. y (if this is non-IEEE journal), pp. 123-678, Month, year.


S. T. R. Rizvi, A. Dengel, and S. Ahmed, "A hybrid approach and unified framework for bibliographic reference extraction," IEEE Access, vol. 8, pp. 217231-217245, Dec. 2020.

P. Bernard, N. Mimmo, and L. Marconi, "On the semi-global stability of an EK-like filter," in IEEE Contr. Syst. Lett., vol. 5, pp. 1771-1776, Nov. 2021, doi: 10.1109/LCSYS.2020.3044030.
(Note: When referencing IEEE Transactions, include DOIs if they are available.) 

Citing Books and Book Chapters

Basic Format:

Print book:
A. B.  Author, Title of  Book, xth ed. City, State: Publisher, year.

Chapter in an E-book:
A. B.  Author, “Title of chapter in the book,” in Title of  Book, xth ed. City, State: Publisher, year, ch. x, pp. 123–678. [Online]. Available: 


Print book: T. Cormen et al., Introduction to Algorithms, 3rd ed. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2009.
E-book: T. Cormen et al., Introduction to Algorithms, 3rd ed. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press, 2009. [E-book] Available: EBSCO e-book.

Chapter in E-book:
M. A. Iqbal, S. Hussain, H. Xing, and M. A. Imran, "IoT cloud and fog computing," in Enabling the Internet of Things: Fundamentals, Design and Applications, 1st ed. Hoboken, NJ, USA: Wiley-IEEE, 2020, pp.127-145. [Online]. Available: enter web link here.

Citing Conference Proceedings, Technical Reports, and Standards

Article in Conference Proceedings:

Basic Format:

A. B. Author, "Title of paper," in Title of Conference Proceedings: Proc of the Title of Conf.: Subtitle of conference, (Month and days if provided), year, (Location is optional), X and Y Eds. Place of publication: Publisher, year. pp. 1234-5678.  


A. Ashraf and A. Nadeem, “Automating the generation of test cases from Object-Z specifications,” in Proc.  of the Int. Computer Software and Applications Conf., COMPSAC, Sept. 17-21, 2006, vol. 2, pp. 101–104, doi: 10.1109/COMPSAC.2006.120.

A. Lager, A. Papadopoulos, and T. Nolte, “IoT and Fog Analytics for Industrial Robot Applications,” in IEEE Symp. on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation, ETFA, 2020, vol. 2020-Septe, pp. 1297–1300, doi: 10.1109/ETFA46521.2020.9212065.

Technical Reports:

Basic Format:

Print report: A. B. Author, “Title of report,” Abbrev. Name of Co., City of Co., Abbrev. State, Country, Rep. xyz, (date if available) year.

Online report: A. B. Author, “Title of report,” Abbrev. Name of Co., City of Co., Abbrev. State, Country, Rep. xyz, (date if available) year. [Online]. Available:


R. R. Wagner and T. J. Weir, "Department of defense use of commercial cloud computing capabilities and services," DoD, Washington, DC., USA, Rep. 1002758, 2013.

B. Schoettle and M. Sivak, "Potential impact of self-driving vehicles on household vehicle demand and usage," The Univ. of Michigan Transportation Research Inst., Ann Arbor, MI, USA, Rep. UMTRI-2015-3, Feb. 2015. Accessed on: Dec. 7, 2021. [Online]. Available: 


Basic Format:

Print standard: Title of Standard, Standard number, Corporate author (if provided), location (if provided), date.

Online standard: Title of Standard, Standard number, Corporate author (if provided), location (if provided), date. [Online]. Available:


IEEE Standard for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks - Timing and Synchronization for Time-Sensitive Applications in Bridged Local Area Networks, IEEE Std 802.1AS-2011, 2011.

Frequency Response and Bias, NERC Reliability Standard BAL-003-0.1b, May 2009. [Online]. Available: (Adopted from IEEE Reference Guide).

Citing Web Resources, Theses/Dissertations, and Manuals/Software

Web Resources:

Basic Format:

A. B. Author. “Web Page Title.” Website Title. Published date, year. [Online]. Available:


Individual author: D. Garisto. "How Much Has Quantum Computing Actually Advanced?" IEEE Spectrum. Dec. 2, 2021. [Online]. Available: (accessed Dec. 6, 2021).

Group author: Congressional Research Service. "Cloud Computing: Background, Status of Adoption by Federal Agencies, and Congressional Action." 2020. [Online] Available" (accessed Dec. 8, 2021).


Basic Format:

A. B. Author, “Title of thesis,” M.S. thesis, Dept., Univ., City of Univ., State, year.
A. B. Author, “Title of dissertation,” Ph.D. dissertation, Dept., Univ., City of Univ., State, year.


Z. Chen, "Sparse activity detection for massive random access," M.S. thesis, Dept. Elect. and Comp. Eng., Univ. of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, 2020. 

D. D. Cherry, "Optimal placement of distributed generation on a power system using particle swarm optimization," Ph.D. dissertation, Dept. Elect. and Comp. Eng., Mississippi State Univ., Mississippi State, MS, USA, 2012. [Online]. Available: 


Basic Format:

A. B. Author (or Name of Co., City of Co. Abbrev. State, Country). Name of Manual/Software, x ed. (year). Accessed: Date. [Online]. Available:


H. Ishwaran and U. B. Kogalur. Package ‘randomForestSRC' (2021). Assessed: Dec. 08, 2021. [Online]. Available: 

Adobe Photoshop (21.1.0). Adobe Inc., 2021.

(If you have questions, you are welcome to contact Li Zhang for assistance.)