IEEE is an acronym for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

The IEEE Editorial Guidelines, which outline style, format and referencing for journals, transactions, etc. published by IEEE, serve as the house style of a large number of publications. The guidelines are also a reference style used at university departments, for instance.

The complete guidelines can be downloaded on the IEEE website, together with a number of related resources.

The AWELU section on IEEE referencing contains the following items:

In-text citations

In the text, sources are referred to with Arabic numerals within square brackets, and the full reference is then provided in a list of references after the text.

Only one source is given in a reference; if several sources are referred to at the same time, they have to be placed in individual reference entries.

The following example is the opening paragraph of an article in the IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems, which deals with a closed-loop wireless
power transmission system:


Passive radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags and certain implantable microelectronic devices (IMDs) such as cochlear implants do not include batteries due to cost, size, weight, safety, and lifetime limitations. Inductive power transmission provides these devices with the required power on a continuous basis [1], [2]. In these systems, wireless power transmission across a pair of loosely coupled coils is preceded by a power amplifier (PA) in the external unit and followed by an efficient rectifier in the implanted unit to provide the IMD with an unregulated supply [3].

(Kiani & Ghovanloo, 2010, p.  260)

Comment: The sources are not integrated into the sentences but provided via the reference numeral. For information about the differences between disciplines in the manner in which references are referred to, see


In the list of References, the references are numbered in the order in which they first appear in the text.

The references of the example above look like this:

[1]   K. Finkenzeller, RFID—Handbook, 2nd ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley,
[2]   M. Catrysse, B. Hermans, and R. Puers, “An inductive power
       system with integrated bidirectional data-transmission,” Sens.
       Actuators A, Phys
., vol. 115, no. 2/3, pp. 221–229, Sep. 2004.
[3]   G. Bawa and M. Ghovanloo, “Active high power conversion
       efficiency rectifier with built-in dual-mode back telemetry in
       standard CMOS technology,” IEEE Trans. Biomed. Circuits Syst.,
       vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 184–192, Sep. 2008.


The format for book references looks like this:

[ref.] Initial. Last name, Book Title. Place of Publication: Publisher,
        Year of publication.

Note that

  • Book titles are capitalised and italicised.
  • The IEEE style manual states that if the place of publication is outside of the US, country should be added after the city (e.g. Lund, Sweden)
  • if there are two or more authors, "and" is inserted in between the names of the last two authors.

Example: Book (click to expand/contract)

[3]  J. P. Bentley, Principles of Measurement Systems. Harlow:
     Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005.

Journal articles

The format for journal articles looks like this:

[ref.]  Initial. Last name, "Article title". Abbreviated Title of
, vol. X, no. X, pp. inclusive page numbers.
       Abbreviated Month, Year.

 Note that

  • journal titles are abbreviated. A list of abbreviated words that are common in references (and journal titles) is found in the IEEE guidelines.

Example (click to expand/contract)

[3]  H. R. Millwater, "A simple and accurate method for computing
    stress intensity factors of collinear interacting cracks," Aerosp. Sci.
vol. 14, no. 8, pp. 542-550, April, 2010.

IEEE style online resources

The IEEE Editorial Style Manual is freely available in the IEEE Author digital toolbox on the IEEE website, together with other resources for writers, such as templates for IEEE publications: