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A Guide to Good Referencing Skills: IEEE Style

IEEE Style

This section will explain how to make references based on the The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Editorial Style Manual for Authors.

Video on How to Cite in IEEE Style

In-Text Reference

When a reference is cited in the text, it appears on the line, in square brackets, inside the punctuation, such as:

  • as shown by Brown [2];
  • as mentioned earlier [2], [4]–[7], [9];
  • Smith [4] and Brown and Jones [5];
  • Wood et al. [7]

Note: Use et al. when the article has three or more authors.

End-of-paper References

  • Include all sources you have cited (make in-text reference to) in your paper
  • General format for articles:
    Author Initials. Author surname,  "Article title," Magazine/Journal title, volume no. (issue no.), page range. Publication Month Publication Year.
  • General format for patents
    Author Initials. Author surname, "Title of patent," Country Patent number, Abbrev. Month, day, year.

    Note: Use "issued date" if several dates are given.
  • If the author can't be identified, article title will come first.
  • Sources should be numbered in the order in which they are cited in the text.
  • Examples:


[1] P. Waurzyniak, "Machining with robots," Manufacturing Engineering, vol. 143, no. 5, pp. 63-69, Nov. 2009.

[2] J. N. Payne, "Vehicle and track system for flying corner amusement park rides," U.S. Patent 7 677 179, March 16, 2010.

[3] A. Cheng, "Inject our own magic," South China Morning Post, News p. 9, January 31, 2009.

More Examples on IEEE Style


[1] W.K. Chen, Linear Networks and systems, 2nd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1993, pp. 123-135.

In text reference = [1]

Article or Chapter in a Book

[2] G. K. Knopf, "Biological-based optical sensors and transducers," in Opto-mechatronic Systems Handbook: Techniques and Applications, Hyungsuck Cho, Ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2003, pp. 195-210.

In-text reference=  [2]

Journal Article  - 1 author

[3] E. P. Wigner, "Theory of traveling-wave optical laser," Phys. Rev., vol. 134, pp. A635-A646, Dec. 1965.

In-text reference = [3]

E-Journal Article – 2 authors & d.o.i.

[4] J. Farrell. (2007, May). In Wikipedia we trust? Cosmos Online [Online]. Available:

In-text reference= [4]

[5] D. Kornack and P. Rakic, “Cell Proliferation without Neurogenesis in Adult Primate Neocortex,” Science,  doi:10.1126/science.1065467.

In-text reference= [5]

Newspaper Article on the Web – author unknown

[6] "Labor defends its $43b broadband network," The West Australian, p. 5, May 14, 2010. [Online]. Available: Factiva, [Accessed May 14, 2010].

In-text reference = [6]

General Webpage – author unknown

[7] American Psychological Association. (2016). How to Cite a TED Talk in APA Style [Online]. Available:

In-text Reference = [7]

Government Report on the Web

[8] Hong Kong. Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Technical Investigation Report on Escalator Incident at Langham Place,Mong Kok, Kowloon. Hong Kong: The Department; 2018. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: March. 17, 2018].

In-text Reference = [8]

Video Clip from the Web

[9]  S. Khan, “Laplace Transform 1: Introduction to the Laplace Transform,” Differential Equations, Laplace Transform, [n.d.]. [Podcast video]. Available: [Accessed Feb. 7, 2017].

In-text reference = [9]


[10] J. N. Payne, "Vehicle and track system for flying corner amusement park rides," U.S. Patent 7 677 179, March 16, 2010.

In-text reference = [10]

Writing Guides and Manuals provides links to tips and examples on other citation styles.

See A Guide to Good Referencing Skills for more tips on how to paraphrase and summarize sources.

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