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Easy and Accurate IEEE Citation & Bibliography Guide

IEEE stands for Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers. In addition to being professional organization behind numerous standards in diverse engineering and electronics industries, there are certain format rules to publishing of journals, magazines, and conferences. In order to make citing duties easier for aspiring engineerings and students majoring in computer science and information technologies, we provide IEEE referencing generator. Considering the fact that IEEE is a unique styling format that is unlike popular MLA and APA writing styles, we recommend reading through our handy IEEE format rules. IEEE citation guide will cover in-text citations, references, general formatting, and paper layout rules to help you achieve the best results and meet writing mechanics and grading rubric.

Key IEEE In-Text Citations Rules

What makes IEEE citation style different is that even though it includes in-text citations per se, it uses square brackets with the numbers that refer to full citations that are listed in References list.

In IEEE format, it is not necessary to mention author’s name, the pages being used or a publication date. No matter what kind of a reference is being used, there is only a reference to a source. Just use a square bracket like [1] that corresponds to a complete citation in a Reference list.

Here are the main rules that you have to use in IEEE reference style format for in-text citations:

  • The bracketed citations in IEEE format should be put within the line of paper text before any punctuation. A space should be put before a first bracket.
  • All sources should be numbered exactly the way as they are cited in an assignment. Once there is a reference to a source with a number, continue using it as the source is cited throughout one’s essay. In other words, it does not matter if source 4 is used after the source 11. It keeps to a same number.
  • When there is a necessity to cite multiple sources at once, the latest IEEE manual edition recommends listing each number separately in its personal brackets. Use a comma or a dash between numbers. For example: [4], [7], [11] or use [2] – [9].

Let us see several examples of IEEE in-text citations:

“…which makes the research even more significant [34].”

“This theory has proven to be efficient in challenging and time-critical situations, as first noted in 1995 [2].”

“Jones [12] has argued that this theory can be…”

“Several analysis methods [13], [19], [20] have shown that…”

“As the survey shows, refer to [8].”

Note: As it can be seen from provided examples, IEEE eliminates in-text citation problems when there are more than two authors or when an author is unknown. It all comes down to references page. All that has to be done is making sure that a student uses the same numbering pattern without confusion.

Create A Perfect IEEE Reference List

Note: The Reference list in IEEE citing format should be organized numerically (by numbers) and not alphabetically like in many other style formats.

Before we provide diverse IEEE referencing style citations, look through these general rules or use Edubirdie IEEE citation generator for help:

  • A bracketed number should be included at the beginning of each reference.
  • References should be either centered or aligned left at page’s top.
  • A hanging indent for each reference has to be created with bracketed numbers flushed to page’s left side. In such way, it highlights numerical sequence of a references in an essay.
  • The author’s name should be listed as first initial and the last name. As an example: Omar Al Albi is cited as O. Al Albi instead of Al Albi, Omar.
  • Article’s title should be listed in quotation marks.
  • Journal or book titles are listed in italics.

Here are the actual citation types in IEEE format references:

  • Print Book citing

[1] B. King and D. Torn, Cybernetics Security Rules. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006.

  • No author

In such case, title or a source name are used, placed in italics.

  • Chapter in book IEEE

[2] R. Smith, “Random Generic Motherboard Patterns,” in Computer Generation, J. S. Bach, Ed. New York: Wiley, 2004, pp. 59-73.

  • E-Book citing

[3] K. Cornwell, P. Hicks, and R. Kilburn, Fortran in Practice, 2nd ed. Reading, MA: Computer Science, 2007. [E-book] Available: Apple Store e-book.

  • Article citing

[4] V. B. Dunbury, “Intraspace Analysis – Part 4: An Analysis of Particles,” Philips Corporation Trans. Particles. Devices, vol. ED-14, pp. 34-37, Feb. 2009.

  • Citing Journal article with DOI

[16] R. N. Jackson, “Modern Era Processors,” J. Scientific Engineering, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 9-24, Spring 2006. doi:10.000/00000000

Note: Use accepted journal abbreviations for specified journal title. Always italicize journal title. Capitalize all major words in journal title. Capitalize only the first word of an article and subtitle. Also, place article’s title in quotation marks. For example, if a second article above is in vol. 34, issue 3, issue 4 does not start on page 1. An issue number is therefore not given in a given citation.

  • Journal article without DOI

[17] S. S. Stills and V. Kudriashov, “Geothermal Analysis in the Sea of Azov: Aero modelling and remote sensoric analysis,” Ocean Dynam., vol. 51, pp. 333-374, Nov. 2015.

  • Website citation

[5] European Telecommunications Standards Institute, “Monochrome Television: Psycho-Visual Aspects,” European Telecommunications Standards Institute, ETSI-TR-101, 2014. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: Feb. 14, 2011]

  • If there is a personal website

[6] R. Sanders, “Home Page – Mechanics in South American Inventions,” June, 2001. [Online]. Available: [Accessed Jan. 4, 2008].

  • Social media

[7] A. A. Author (year, month day). Post Title [Description of form]. Available: Internet address. [Accessed: Month day, year]

  • Conference paper citation

[8] L. Lee and H. Michelsen, “Title,” in Advanced Methods of Software Engineering: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Software Engineering Approaches, ICFEM 2005, Seattle, WA, USA, April 1-5, 2005, N. Dalles, W. Sting, A. Nolan, Eds. London: Turner Publishing, 2006. pp. 34-37.

  • Conference proceedings citing

[9] Luke Adams and R. V. Miller, Eds., Social Networks: Psychological, ethical, cultural and cognitive issues. Open Conference on Socio-Cultural Issues and Informatics, April 21-23, 2012, Cape Town, South Africa. Johannesburg: Sanders Press, 2013.

  • Newspaper article (from database)

[10] K. Ricks, “Immigration and Science,” The Australian, p. 34, November 31, 2004. [Online]. Available: XYZ, [Accessed May 12, 2005].

  • Technical report

[11] M. D. Davis and J. A. Capwell, “Mobile Engineering,” Elect. Eng. Res. Lab., Univ. Monterey, California, Tech. Memo. NGL-034-21-2, Oct. 13, 1995.

  • Patent citation

[12] J. N. Nash, “High-energy Molecular Circuit Generator ,” U.S. Patent 4 222 75, June 1, 2017.

  • Engineering Standard IEEE Citation

[13] XYZ Criteria for ABC Systems, IEEE Standard 504, 2009.

  • Thesis/Dissertation

[14] M. A. Nicks, “Low Filter Oscillator Synthesis Software Analysis,” Ph.D. dissertation, Dept. Elect. Eng., Dallas Univ., Dallas, TX, 2004.

  • Video citing / Youtube

[number] A. C. Author (year, month day). Title of Video [Video file]. Available: Internet address. [Accessed: Month day, year]

[12] Mobile Apps Lab. (2009, Apr. 7). Novice Mobile Apps in 2009 [Video file]. Available: [Accessed: Jun. 12, 2009].

Note: These are far not all style types that are available in this format. You can use our IEEE citation generator to look through the different format types. Still, if your type of citation is not listed in our guide, make sure to ask one of our writing professionals at EduBirdie to get your assignment complete. Remember that every source has to be marked with an assigned number that remains the same throughout entire essay.

Basic IEEE Rules and Page Layout

According to IEEE standards manual, these are style’s general requirements:

  • All manuscripts should be written in English.
  • Paper layout should be 8.5 x 11-inch paper.
  • All research material for printing should be kept within a print area.
  • IEEE page numbering should be done lightly in pencil on the back of each page provided.
  • First page should be started in a one-column format, if made for printing.
  • Normal text should be single-spaced.
  • Font should be Times New Roman with 12 point size.
  • A first line of each paragraph should be indented and entire text has to be justified.
  • There should be no additional spacing between paragraphs.
  • Tables and table captions in IEEE should be in Helvetica bold font with 10-point size.
  • If using Abstract page, it should be approximately 150 words in lengths or less. Text is italicized.
  • Two spaces should be left between an Abstract and the heading of a first section.
  • Abstract font is 10 point size.
  • Main Headings Title should be 14 point size and bold, centered over print columns.
  • Author’s name(s) and Affiliation(s) should be centered in Times New Roman in font point 12, and non-bold. Two blank lines should be left before an Abstract.
  • In References page, list and number every bibliographical reference at the paper’s end. Use 9-point font size, Times New Roman with 10-point interline spacing. When placing a reference within paper text, a citation number should be enclosed in square brackets. As an example: [4].

Convenient IEEE Citation Generator

Majority of Computer Science and Electronics students always find it difficult to do correct citing in their research papers. IEEE format, while not the most difficult, may still become confusing and complex if there are several different sources. Even consulting IEEE manual with 5-7 citations can take some time. With this thought in mind, we want to offer an IEEE citation generator. Here are several benefits that you will definitely find helpful:

  • IEEE reference generator is free and accessible 24/7.
  • There are no registration forms to fill and no banners that make you wait.
  • There are both automatic and manual citations mode.
  • IEEE citation maker also includes built-in search engine as you type in required keywords or a source / journal title.
  • Only four steps to get your citation done: select from format source list, choose type of citation, type in a book or journal title, click “Generate”.
  • You can convert between different sources by manually entering your source information by choosing MLA or APA information in case of necessity.

However, if IEEE format still seems challenging or you need to find additional sources for your engineering project, turn to one of professionals at EduBirdie. Select a writer from the experts’ list, according to credentials and subject, and share your task. In addition to proofreading and format polishing help, you also receive professional guidance and detailed definitions checking.

IEEE Format Common Questions and Answers

  • What is et al and is it used in IEEE style citation?

“Et al.” phrase is a scholarly abbreviation of a Latin “et alia” phrase. Literally, it means “and others.” Speaking of IEEE format, it is used in a same case as with most other style formats when there are more than three authors. For example of an in-text citation: Lake et al. [3, p. 13] claimed that “a research has been…”

  • IEEE uses Works cited or References list?

According to the latest manual, in IEEE style format, a correct word used is References.

  • How to use an in-text citation if author’s name is unknown?

In IEEE citations, such issues are simply resolved with a reference number regardless of a source type. All you have to use for an in-text citation is use a reference number. If you have to make a reference in a text itself, use the title of an article or an organization’s name. As an example: “According to XYZ Research [2], one of the most efficient research methods have confirmed that…”

  • How to cite an unpublished dissertation and thesis?

In such case, use this template:

[Number] A. B. Author, “Thesis Title,” Thesis type, Abbrev. Dept., Abbrev. Univ., Location of University, Country/State, year.

For example:

[19] R. N. Chandler, “Novice Engineering in Python Programming for Security Systems,” M. Eng. dissertation, School Marine Env., City Univ. AU, Sydney, 2011

  • Can online forum or a newsgroup be cited?

Yes, it is possible. Follow an example below:

[Number] Z. X. Author (year, month day). Post title [Description of form]. Available: Internet address. [Accessed: Month day, year]

For example:

[20] T. Nordiwich (2007, Jul. 2). Cybernetic Knowledge in Middle School Education in Australia [Blog]. Available: [Accessed: Jan. 12, 2018]

Note: Since IEEE manual does not specifically list Internet sources, this is the most common template to follow. In case you are uncertain, contact one of our writing experts online. From templates to proofreading service, EduBirdie writing experts are always available to help you complete even the most challenging academic tasks.