IEEE style

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The IEEE style (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) style is generally used for in-text citations and end references in research papers in engineering and computer science fields. It is a numerical citation system, that is, numerals are used as in-text references, rather than author+date information in other systems. The end references are usually listed numerical order, rather than alphabetical order, i.e., they are listed in the order in which they are cited in the text.

1 In-text citations

Within the body of a paper, sources are cited by numbers in square brackets, e.g., [1]. This is different from other systems that cite an author’s name and year in the text; in science and engineering, one does not care so much about names and years (but it is generally assumed that the sources cited are rather recent anyway). The numbered reference is before the full stop (period or other ending punctuation), and the numbered references appear in numerical order, in the order that they are cited within the text. The number corresponds to an entry in the end references. Note these examples, and how multiple references together are handled.

It is generally assumed that electronic communication is bound by the speed of light [1], as well as by the physical constraints of the transmission media [2], [3]. Data transmission algorithms and technology for interstellar communication have generally been found to be sub-optimal [2], [4]. This will be particularly problematic when earthlings attempt to colonize space, first, in the Centauri and Epsilon Eridani star systems, and then particularly for colonies and space-faring vessels beyond this local galactic neighborhood [5]. A few proposals have been put forward [6] – [9], but all these methods suffer from critical flaws inherent in known relativistic constraints on faster-than-light speeds [10]. However, we propose a form of signal transmission for subspace communication based on negative energy [11] – [14], which is essentially the same concept behind supraluminal warp drive engines [6], [14], [15]. For multiple references, one may sometimes see, e.g.,: … [2, 4] or [6, 14, 15], and for successive references, [11-14].

2 End references

Authors’ names are usually First-name Last-name, or Personal-name Family-name (e.g., John Smith), and personal names are abbreviated. Titles of articles (and chapters, papers, etc.) are in quotation marks, and publication titles (books, journals, etc.) are in italics. The sources are usually listed in the order in which they appear in the text (citation order), though some publications might follow alphabetical order instead (according to the family/last name of the first name of a source). Note also the handing paragraph indents [1].

Source type Format
Book (one author) [1] W. K. Chen, Linear Networks and Systems. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1993.
Book (two authors) [2] F. Giannini and G. Leuzzi, Nonlinear Microwave Circuit Design. Chichester: J. Wiley and Sons, 2004.
Book (three or more authors) [3] U. J. Gelinas, et al., Business Processes and Information Technology. Cincinnati: South-Western/Thomson Learning, 2004.
Chapter in an edited book [4] D. Ginat, “Overlooking number patterns in algorithmic problem solving,” in Number Theory in Mathematics Education: Perspectives and Prospects, R. Zazkis and S. R. Campbell, Eds. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2006, pp. 223-247.
Conference paper (published) [5] 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. Davie

Note: Information on the location or publisher may not be available, and may be omitted.

Journal article [6] J. R. Beveridge and E. M. Riseman, “How easy is matching 2D line models using local search?” IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, vol. 19, no. 6, pp. 564-579, June 1997.
Electronic journal [7] A. Paul. (1987, Oct.). “Electrical properties of flying machines.” Flying Machines. [Online]. 38(1), pp. 778-998. Available: www.flyingmachjourn/properties/ [Dec. 1, 2003].
E-book [8] S. Calmer. (1999, June 1). Engineering and Art. (2nd edition). [On-line]. 27(3). Available: [May 21, 2003].
Website with author [9] J. Amos (2012, Feb. 12). Eavesdropping on the Squid World. BBC News [Online]. Available:[Accessed: Feb. 27, 2012]
Website with no author [10] Apple. IEEE Standards Power & Energy Dictionary, itunes. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: Feb. 27, 2012]

3 References and notes

3.1 More IEEE style guides

  1. York Univ. IEEE Style Guide (PDF)
  2. Murdoch Univ. IEEE style guide
  3. IEEE guide from Intl. J. Simulation Systems, Science & Technology (PDF)

3.2 Other pages on referencing / citation systems and source use