IEEE Citation Style Resources

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) style is a reference style used in electronics, engineering, telecommunications, computer science, information technology and other technical fields. IEEE helps the reader easily identify the information sources used in a report.

Recommended Resources

In-Text Citations and Sample Reference List

When to use in-text citations

In-text citations are used to inform the reader when your work has been influenced by someone else’s work.

In text citations should be used...

  1. When paraphrasing someone else's work
  2. When directly quoting someone else's work

In IEEE, in-text citations use a number in square brackets to indicate the relevant reference.

General Guidelines for IEEE In-Text Citations

  • Use a number in square brackets for each reference citation, eg. [4] or [35]
  • Place the citation directly after the information you wish to cite
  • Place reference numbers in square brackets in the same line as the text, before punctuation, and with a space before the bracket
  • Number citations in the order they appear within your work
  • Once a source has been cited, the same number is used in all subsequent references

Note: In-text citations do not need to include the author’s name(s), pages used, or date of publication. Additionally, there is no distinction made between print and electronic references within in-text citations.

For example:

“Smith [4] states that…”

“... will be further addressed [8].”

Citing multiple references at once

According to IEEE citation guidelines, the preferred method to cite more than one reference at a time is to list each reference in its own brackets.

“Studies [5], [11], [20] have proposed...”

Note: As long as you are consistent, it is also acceptable to cite multiple references within a bracket.

“Studies [5,11, 20] have proposed…”

In both cases, reference numbers should be separated by a comma (eg. [4, 23, 6] or [4], [23], [6]), or a dash to indicate a range (eg. [4-11] or [4] - [11]).

Citing a reference more than once

Once you have cited a reference in-text, use the same reference number throughout the document for any subsequent citations.

When repeating a citation, do not use ibid. or op. cit.

Providing more information

Although not required, if you wish to provide the reader with more information, follow the format below.

[1, see figure 12]

[4, pp. 45-90]

[7, p.12]

Sample Reference List Page Formatting Guidelines

  • Place your reference list at the end of your work
  • Begin the reference list on a new page
  • Use the title "References" and center it in the page
  • Order references in the numerical order they appear in-text
  • Assign only one reference per number
  • Place reference numbers flush left in square brackets
  • Entries must be single spaced, with a double space between each
  • Use a hanging indent for each reference to align the numerical sequence

Sample Reference List


[1]IEEE Canada, "About," IEEE Canada. [Website]. Available: [Accessed Feb. 14, 2019].

[2]H. Ammari et al., “Integral representation of solutions to the full maxwell equations,” in Mathematical and computational methods in photonics and phononics. Providence, RH: American Mathematical Society, 2018, ch. 2, sec. 2.14, pp. 120-140.

[3]A. Chakrabarti, N. Sharma, and V. E. Balas, Eds., Advances in computing applications. Singapore: Springer, 2016 [E-book]. Available: Scholars Portal Books.

[4]T. Keane, “Partial differential equations versus cellular automata for modeling combat,” Journal of Defense Modeling and Simulation, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 191-204, Oct. 2011. [Online]. Available: Sage Journals, [Accessed Jan 28, 2019].

[5]A. Shah, “The critical need for 5G cellular service,”, Feb. 1, 2019. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: Feb. 11, 2019].

[6]European Telecommunications Standards Institute, “Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB): Implementation guide for DVB terrestrial services; transmission aspects,” European Telecommunications Standards Institute, ETSI-TR 101, 2007. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: Nov. 12, 2007].

[7]D. E. Lehman, “Seismic performance of well-confined concrete bridge columns,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, CA, 1998. [Online] Available: ProQuest Dissertations Publishing. [Accessed Jan. 28, 2019].

[8]OpenOffice, User Guide for Version 2.x. (2005). [PDF]. Apache Open Office. Available: [Accessed Feb. 14, 2019].

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