Any citation style is determined to give the reader direct information about sources cited in the text. In IEEE citation style, the references should be numbered and emerge through the text. Referring in IEEE needs to put the reference number in square brackets, e.g. [1].

IEEE Referencing Features

Generally, the IEEE citation style has 3 main characteristics:

  • The author’s name is first name (or initial) and last. In this point IEEE referencing is distinguished from MLA citation style where firstly is author’s last name.
  • Any title is in quotation marks.
  • But the title of journal or book is in italics.

These conventions permit the reader to distinguish between reference types at a glance. The proper location of periods, colons, commas, date and page numbers depends on the reference type. For referencing in IEEE, observe the rules exactly: put periods after author and book title; shorten all months to the first three letters (e.g. Mar.); verify the difference between print and electronic sources (especially for journals) thoroughly.
Even though IEEE referencing is considered to be the most difficult style, it is still the most effective style for striving engineers to pick up.

IEEE Citation Style: In-Text Citation Peculiarities

IEEE citation style guidelines state: the major distinction between IEEE and other styles is that IEEE style encloses reference numbers inside the paper in square brackets [1] rather than as superscripts1 or in bracketed form (Jones 98). All other bibliographical data regarding the citation is reserved for the reference list ending the document.
Referencing in IEEE supports substituting reference numbers for the author’s name whenever suitable. But there are cases (shown in IEEE citation sample) in which the author’s name is indispensable: “To a large extent, quantum mechanics remains dependent on [1]‘s theory of relativity . . . “where [1] is Einstein theory.

Personal Communication and Other “Nonrecoverable” Information

IEEE citation style guidelines note that you should cite published works only, impending published materials, and unpublished works available in a library, a depository, or an archive. For interviews or other “nonrestorable” information, no citation number is needful. This does not signify that a try to detect the author is unnecessary, but that it requires to be done in the text itself: “In a private interview with Bill Gates, he acknowledged that he would soon rule the world.”

Specified IEEE Citation Style Examples

Electronic Book:
S. Flamer. (1997, May 2). Engineering and Art. (3rd edition). [On-line]. 33(4). Available: [March 11, 2005].
Papers Presented at Conferences (unpublished):
B. Blandly and M. Dick. “Engineering names and ideas,” presented at the 4th Int. Conf. Engineering Education, Frankfurt, Germany, 1997.
Dissertations and Theses:
S. McNeal. “Hopeless Optimism.” M.A. thesis, University of Calgary, Canada, 2002.
S. Fad. Engg 341. Class Lecture, Topic: “Speed skating.” ICT 235, Faculty of Engineering.
I.A. Rebecca. “Alternating modern fed power supply.” U.S. Patent 3 737 554, Jun. 4, 1986.
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Comments (2)

  • avatar Fadila K. Posted: February 27, 2012 in 5:52 am

    IEEE citation style writing guide is amazing! It helped me greatly while I was citing the literature used for my paper. Thanks for the examples of IEEE citation style too.

  • avatar Martha Higgins Posted: March 20, 2012 in 7:37 pm

    Very instructive post on IEEE citation style! Thanks so much for excellent information with excellent examples. Have a good day!