Caleb S.
Caleb S.

How to Cite in IEEE Citation and Format Your Papers

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Published on: Jan 25, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 25, 2023

IEEE Citation Format

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The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is a professional institute that provides support to academic and research fields including computer science, engineering, and information technology. It is one of the commonly used citation styles and the organization publishes and manages a number of magazines, research journals and papers, and conference proceedings. Besides, IEEE also designs and sets standards for different industries.

The IEEE citation format is based on the Chicago Manual of Style and it is commonly used to cite and format technical papers. Other than citation and paper formatting style, IEEE has also introduced a manual or editorial guide that guides the authors and editors to format their letters, journals, and papers for IEEE publications.

Since this format style is based on the Chicago Manual of Style, it is suggested that in case of any confusion and further, a student or researcher should consult it.

For a complete IEEE citation guide, format, and referencing guidance, please refer to the following blog.

What is the IEEE Citation Format?

IEEE is a specialized form of citation format style. Like ACS and NLM citation style, this referencing style is also designed and introduced for technical subjects and papers like computer sciences, engineering, and information technology. This formatting style is widely used by students and researchers related to these fields as they use it to style and format their papers, letters, and other editorial content.

The institute, IEEE, introduces and manages several standards for many industries and fields. The style guide has a well-defined and structured format for books, journals, papers, and websites. Besides making the references and bibliography manually, you can use an online citation maker to make your paper citation.

How to Do IEEE Format Citation?

As mentioned earlier, IEEE citation uses different styles and formats for different citation content like books, journals, websites, and reference papers. Unlike APA and MLA format and citation style, the IEEE style does not use the author's name and date of publication in the in-text. Instead, a number is added in front of the relevant reference in the square parenthesis. The number is added with the reference in the reference list at the end.

IEEE In-Text Citation

In an IEEE style paper, it is not necessary that the student or the writer add the details like the author’s name, the pages from where the reference is taken, the date of publication, etc. Instead, add the reference number in the square brackets or parenthesis. This will refer to the complete citation in the references list.

When adding an in-text, consider the following points:

  • Add the citation in the brackets in front of the relevant phrase or sentence. Add it before any punctuation and make sure that you have added a space before the first bracket
  • Add the number before the sources for reference in the reference list. After numbering the source, refer to that number whenever talking about that source again
  • In case you are using multiple sources, name them separately and in their own and separate bracket, for example, [1], [2], [3], [4], or [2] – [5]
  • When citing secondary sources, mention the original source; if you have read William’s work in Jason’s book then mention William’s source

For example:

“... the theory has proved the point effectively [2].”

“The previous experiment was not as successful as expected [3].”

“Williams [4] has presented the theory forward in 2008.”

IEEE Citation Reference List Format

The reference list is added at the end of the paper. It is a complete list of works and sources that you have used in the paper. Unlike APA and MLA style papers, the references are structured numerically and the bracketed numbers are placed at the beginning of the reference.

When making your paper’s References page, consider the following points:

  • The title of the list will be References and it will be centered or left-aligned at the top of the page
  • Each reference will be added with a hanging indent and the bracketed number will be flushed to the left side of the paper. Indenting the reference will highlight the numerical order of the list
  • The author’s name is written in the first initial, last name style. For example, John Murray will be written as J. Murray
  • The main title of an article is written and added in the quotation marks
  • The name or main title of the journal or book is added in italics

Below, we have added some examples of citations for different sources.

IEEE Book Citation

  • For Printed Books:

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

  • For a Chapter in a Book:

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

  • For an eBook:

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

IEEE Citation for Multiple Authors:

If there are more than three writers in the source then use ‘et al’ after the name of the first author.

  • [8] J. D. Bellamy et al., Computer Telephony Integration, New York: Wiley, 2010.

IEEE Journal Citation

  • For a Journal Article:

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

  • For an eJournal from an Online Database:

    [5] H. K. Edwards and V. Sridhar, "Analysis of software requirements engineering exercises in 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].

  • IEEE Online Citation for an eJournal:

    [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].

IEEE Conference Citation

  • For a 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.

  • For the 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.

IEEE Citation for Online Articles of a Newspaper:

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

For a 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.

IEEE Patent Citation:

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

For a Standard:

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

For a Thesis or Dissertation:

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

IEEE Video Citation:

[1]Title. City: Publisher, Year Published.


[1]She's the man. Andy Fickman, 2006.

IEEE Image Citation:

[1]Author Initial. Author Surname, Title. Year Published.


[1]Aurora Australis from Space. 2014.

IEEE Citation for Website

When citing an online source, this could either be a document on an online database or on a website. When citing such sources, you need to take care of different things and cite it properly and correctly.

When citing a website or an online document, take care of the following things:

  • The number of references
  • The initial of the writer’s first name followed by the initials of the second name and the last name, if given
  • The main title of the document or the article written in italics
  • The publisher of the source
  • The year, month, and year of the publication
  • The date on which you accessed the source
  • [Online]
  • The online link on which the source is available

For Example:

[1], 'Social Networking Reaches Nearly One in Four Around the World', 2014. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 23- Jun- 2014].

IEEE Citation Website with No Author:

“Engineering Triumph That Forged a Nation: Panama Canal Turns 100,” Aug. 15, 2014. Accessed on: Nov. 3, 2016. [Online]. Available: http://www.

Where there is no author, the web source title is added in its place.

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Why You Should not Use an IEEE Citation Generator?

Citation generators are quite famous for high school and college students. These citation generators are online tools that help the students generate citations for different formats. However, not many of those students actually know that using these online tools blindly could endanger their grades. When using a citation maker for your IEEE paper, make sure that you have checked all the details before adding them to your research paper.

The formatting is different from APA and MLA and this is why you need to be careful that the created citation is in the correct format. Many students question if they need to check the references created from an online citation maker, yes they do need to check them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is IEEE citation the same as Harvard?

The Harvard style of referencing is to record the author’s surname and publication year within written work. Then, a bibliography at the end provides more information on sources used in your writing. 

The IEEE style uses numerical references which correspond with an alphabetical list of references found at the back or end of papers presented. 

Caleb S.


Caleb S. (Literature, Marketing)

Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

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