What Is Ieee Citation Format and When We Use It



The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is abbreviated as IEEE. IEEE format represents a citation format for a numbered reference list where numbers in square brackets are provided. In the latter part of the paper, a complete reference is given, adjacent to the citation number.

Every source of data, for example, ideas or quotes, has to be acknowledged in your paper. Any reference number is written in square brackets on one and the same line with your text. This is known as an in-content reference. Toward the finish of your paper, the full reference details of the source are supplied.

This article provides you with detailed practical information on how to use the IEEE citation format in your reference list. 

Formatting single citation

The writing guide helps students to format the assignment correctly [3].

There is absolutely no doubt that [7] represents one of the most…

In [8] there are multiple sources…

… as previously stated, [9]

… as proved by Miller [6]

Using multiple citations

The favored technique for referring to more than each source is posting every reference number independently with a dash or comma between every reference: 

[6], [1], [5]


It is noticed that numerous sources can also be written as found in some texts:

The introduction of work [4, 5, 1], [4–3], [4, 13–18] defines …



Using secondary sources

The use of secondary sources is not allowed in the IEEE style. If your goal is to refer to the thoughts or expressions of a writer found in the text that you haven’t read, yet have found out about it in another text (for instance in case you need to make a reference to David’s work found in Mirt’s), at this point you have to find the original source with this data (David’s) and cite the original source. If you have no possibility to find the original text, it ought not to be referred to.

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How to cite the source many times

In case you need to use one of the previous references, don’t give it a new reference number, don’t use ‘ibid.’ (‘the identical’) or ‘op.cit.’ ( ‘the original text referred to’) terms. If you need to bring up a source two times or on numerous occasions, basically use once more the preceding reference number and after that use that equivalent number in every single reference all through the main part of your academic writing.

When you need to point out different parts referring to one and the same work, for instance, when referring to a peculiar fact, consideration or theory form the same source found on various pages, you should use the next forms: [8, pp. 4-9], [9, eq. (8)] reference to an equation, [3, Sec. II] a section, [6, Tab. 8] a table, [5, Ch. 8] a chapter, and so forth.

Short forms of months

To denote months you can use such short forms: 

Jan., Feb., Mar., Apr., May, June, July, Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. 

You should take into consideration the fact that several months are not shortened. If you need to use a bi-monthly source, you should use a slash (Aug/Sept 2014) or an en run for a quarterly (June– July 2013).

IEEE Referencing

You should acknowledge in your paper all the data you have mentioned, for example, cites or borrowed thoughts. When you use the IEEE referencing format, [X] with a number is used where you refer to some work. The complete information on the original text [X] is given at the end of your paper. Quotations and references are given in the order they are used in your academic paper.

How to cite works used in the text

In case you use the IEEE format of citing in the text, they are denoted by figures in square brackets, which relate to the corresponding sources in the references list at the end of your project. The numbers of in-text citations begin at [1] and proceed in increasing order all through your writing– except cases when you mention the work you have previously referred to when you should use the recently appointed number. 

In case you use in-text reference numbers, it should be given in square brackets, positioned on the content line, between punctuation marks, there must be a space in front of the bracket:

“Headaches depend on the amount of liquid in the blood [18].”

It’s possible to use citations as “in [6]…”, as a substitute to “in reference [6] …”.

Moreover, citations may be treated in a sentence:

  • as footnote numbers
  • As stated by Williams [7] …

    For further recommendations, see [5], [9], [11].

    as stated before [9], [5]–[11], [15] …

    Odessit et al. [18] have written…

  • or as nouns: 
  • As mentioned in [7] …

    In accordance with [8, p. 12], it is clear that…

    As shown in [8] …

    As far as the authors are concerned, their names should be used as follows:

    Pritul [15] has stated…

    Belets [7], and Roy and Astir [6] have written …

    High et al. [28] stated that they couldn’t find out why …

In case we cite more than three names, use et al. ( ‘and others’) after the first name in the text. Et al. is usually not italicized if it is used in in-text citations. If you use it in the references list, you should mention all the authors and for up to six authors’ names, you must write et al. in case the names are not mentioned. Et al. should be also used in the list of references for more than 6 names: [13] J. A. Sonet et al.International Science New York: Jefferson, 2015.

You should not name the authors of the source or give the time of publication in the text (e.g. “in Ramet [4]” need to be changed to “in [4]”) excluding cases where the name is necessary for the clear sense of the text (e.g. “Ramet [1] suggested an overview of literary sources on the problem”).

If you need to change the in-content numbers of references, you are required your list of references to be renumbered. All the in-content references that you provide in your project have to match correlative items in your list of references.

Rules of formatting references in IEEE style

In every academic work, the author provides a numbered list where all the information of the sources that were used is contained. All the entries of such a reference list have to be provided in the same order they are cited in the text of the paper, that is, starting with [1], and proceeding in numerically ascending order. Note, that in all these cases the entries of the references list are not provided in A to Z order.

To formatting quotations in IEEE style is easy

To prove something with the use of the precise words and word combinations as in the source direct quotes ought to be used. In such cases we put citations in single quotation marks and the reference is put between square brackets following the quote or following the author’s name with page numbers.

Example of a shorter quote:

Qasder et al. have written that ‘we distinguish between low-pressure headaches and high-pressure headaches’ [27, p. 121].

Example of a longer quote:

When we use quotations of three lines and more, we set the block of quoted text as a paragraph. We use small font size for block quotations, indent them from both margins, e.g.:

As Destin states:

One of the advantages of using e-commerce is to make informational products quickly and sell a necessary amount of copies to as many customers as possible. In this case, possibilities to reach out to the world. Content is the king and we live in the world of electronic content, that is our possibility to share useful information and to build a useful business. [5, p. 78].

We normally use the in-text citation between square brackets after the quote with a number(s) of the page of the source that you consider necessary to quote.

Reference list

We in our list of references to keep to the standard should always give page numbers if you are referring to an exact section or chapter: [5] B. Deksden, “Making use of sunflower oil,” in Green Planet Publications: Wiley-IEEE Press, 2012, pp. 12-54.

How to paraphrase in IEEE

 If you paraphrase some text or quotation, that is, explain a thought or an event found in a source, in other words, you also should provide a reference. You usually give your citation number after and not before the reference: For skin to stay young and healthy you need to keep it well hydrated [16], drinking a lot of water, using moisturizer in the morning and in the evening, consuming healthy food rich in vitamins [12]-[17].

We usually don’t page numbers for paraphrases; however, we can give them the citation number inside the text of the paper if you are referring to a particular hypothesis or thought in a source, or in the references. This provides a possibility to find the particular data you use in your academic paper. In longer parts of an article, book or another source, we don’t use any page number. For example: If we speak about the speed of any website, we should take into consideration that it is influenced by the number of images and their size [6, p. 34], amount of advertisement [7]

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Page numbering in IEEE format

We normally provide the page number(s) in the in-text reference in case you give a direct quotation. To use page number(s) is not a must: (1) if you provide a reference to the whole source, (2) if you paraphrase or summarize a longer part or (3) if the paper consists of one page. Nonetheless, in the event that you are rewording, giving a summary or referring to a particular hypothesis or thought in the text, you can still give a page number, a page range or the section number along with in-text references, as this allows the reader to locate the necessary part, particularly if that it is in a long or complex text, or if you have to refer to the source several times. The number of the page or a range of page numbers can, on the other hand, be pointed out in the references list to help to identify the place in a source where the data is. Also, remember that giving page numbers may not be available for some electronic sources.

Pagination is cited as p. for one page or pp. for multiple pages.

One page … as demonstrated in [5, p. 17]

Several pages … as noted in [5, pp. 18-21]

Paragraph … as seen in [9, para. 9.2]

Chapter … as argued in [6, Ch. 2, pp. 7-13]

Example … as shown [13, Example 3]

Section … as suggested in [5, Sec. 2.3]



Place of publication

The IEEE format is mainly used in the USA and includes special rules as far as the publication data in the list of references is concerned. You should stick to the following guidelines when you mention the place of publication. 


How to use the name of the place of publication element within the reference

List example

The source is published in the U.S., the place of publication not widely known

Abbreviationsor the states: CA for California, NJ for New Jersey and so forth city, U.S. state: publisher example: Chester, NJ: Chester Pub. Co. [2] W. Sinnema, Digital, Analog, and Data Communication. Reston, NJ: Reston Pub. Co., 2014.

The source is published in the U.S., the place of publication is widely known 

In case, with widely known cities you need not mention a U.S. state well known city: publisher example: New York: Computer Science [3] B. M. Sze, Principles of Semiconductor Devices, 2nd ed. New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2014, p. 84.

The source published in any country outside the U.S., the city of publication is not well known 

city, country: publisher example: DorHarlingen, Netherlands: Harlingen A Science Publishers [4] M. J. Smith, Modern Information. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2011.

 For books published in the rest of the world, publication city well-knowncity: publisher example London: London Press [10] K. Capova et al.Electromagnetic Nondestructive Evaluation (XVII), Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2014.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI) in IEEE

A DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is a peculiar numerical id that may be given to any text, or a digital book (ebook). A DOI is an alphanumeric sequence that denotes an existent permanent link to its URL. We should provide DOI if possible, in doi:xxxxx format. If we cannot provide any DOI of an electronic book or a text, we should point out a database provider through which the source is available. It is advisable to shorten the source’s URL to its shortened version just to point out the major provider.