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Citation Styles: IEEE

This guide contains information & resources on the commonly used citation styles in NUS such as ACS, AMA, APA, ASA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard, IEEE, Legal style and MLA.

Guidelines for Students & Researchers

For students in CDE programmes or taking courses offered by CDE

The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) citation style is the default style used in engineering disciplines. If you are unsure what styles to use, always check with your supervisors, professors, departments, faculty, conference organisers or publishers to find out the preferred citation style.

For CDE Graduates

Some guidelines on references are given in the Handbook for Research Students (M.Eng./Ph.D.) found on MyPortal@NUS > College of Design and Engineering > Graduate Students > Student Handbook. You may want to check with your supervisors, professors, departments, faculty, conference organisers or publishers for their preferred citation styles as well.

IEEE Citation Style

You cite the references you used by inserting:

  • In-text citation :: this appears within a sentence, e.g. author-date, numbered and footnotes
  • Bibliography/references :: this appears at the end of the document

Depending on the information sources (e.g. books, books chapters, articles, conference papers, theses, patents, Internet resources) and citation style you use, the format and elements of the in-text citation and bibliography would vary.

Some main elements of a citation are:

  • Author(s)
  • Book Chapter Title or Journal Article Title
  • Book Title or Journal Title
  • Year of Publication
  • Volume or Issue Numbering
  • Page Numbering

Citing or acknowledging information sources used is not limited to writing only.  It applies to outputs in all formats, e.g. presentations, posters, video clips.

IEEE style guides/manuals provide instructions and examples of how to create footnotes and bibliographies in research papers. Some include advice on grammar and punctuation, research methods, and guidelines on formatting the final paper.

The main features of this citation style include:

  1. Each reference is numbered in square brackets, and arranged in the order of appearance
  2. Each reference has a hanging indent
  3. The author name is first name (or initial) and last name. This differs from other styles such as APA where author's last name is first
  4. The title of an article (or chapter, conference paper, patent, etc.) is in quotation marks
  5. The title of the book or journal is in italics
To learn more, click on the image below to view video (NUS-ID access required)

Refer to the following guides provided by IEEE on how to cite sources:

Here are some examples of commonly used information sources cited in this citation style. 

Guides on how to cite in this citation style are also available in the "Style Guides" tab.


[1]  B. Klaus and P. Horn, Robot Vision. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press, 1986.

Book Chapters

[2]  L. Stein, “Random patterns,” in Computers and You, J. S. Brake, Ed. New York, NY, USA:Wiley, 1994, pp. 55-70.

Journals Articles / Periodicals


[3]  G. E. Hinton, S. Osindero and Y. W. Teh, "A fast learning algorithm for deep belief nets," Neural Comput., vol. 18, No. 7, pp. 1527-1554, Jul. 2006.


[4]  W. P. Risk, G. S. Kino, and H. J. Shaw, "Fiber-optic frequency shifter using a surface acoustic wave incident at an oblique angle," Opt. Lett., vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 115-117, Feb. 1986 [Online]. Available:

(with DOI)

[5]  A. Thean and J.-P. Leburton, “Flash memory: towards single electronics,” IEEE Potentials, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 35-40, 2002, doi: 10.1109/MP.2002.1044216.


Conference Proceedings (Online)

[6]  X. Chen and K. Zhang, "Extending blockchain functionality with statechain," in 2017 IEEE 23rd Int. Conf. Parallel and Distrib. Syst., Shen Zhen, China Dec. 2017, pp. 240-247. [Online]. Available from IEEE Xplore Digital Library.


Conference Papers 


[7]  V. Chandrasekaran, S. Sanghavi, P. A. Parrilo, and A. S. Willsky. (2009). Sparse and low-rank matrix decompositions. Presented at IFAC 2009. [Online]. Available:

(Paper presented at a Conference)

[7]  J. Arrillaga and B. Giessner, "Limitation of short-circuit levels by means of HDVC," presented at the IEEE Summer Power Meeting, Los Angeles, CA, USA, Jul. 12-17, 1990, Paper 70 CP637.


Magazines Articles

[8]  S. Fujii and Y. Mikami. (1991, Apr. 20). Construction aspects of intelligent buildings. IEEE Commun. Mag. [CD-ROM]. pp.50-57. Available: UMI File: IPO (IEEE/IEE Publications Ondisc) Item: 3939837

Technical Reports

[9]  P. Diament, S. L. Richert, and W. L. Lupatkin, “V-line surface-wave radiation and scanning,” Dept. Elect. Eng., Columbia Univ., New York, Sci. Rep. 85, Aug. 1991.

Patents (Online)

[10]  Screwless clip mounted computer drive, by D. Williams. (2005, Apr. 26). U.S. Patent 6,885,550 [Online]. Available:     



[11]  Letter Symbols for Quantities, ANSI Standard Y10.5-1968.

[12] Sustainable Data Centres - Part 1: Energy and Environmental Management Systems, SS 564-1, 2020. [Online]. Available:

[13] Secondary Lithium Batteries for Light EV (Electric Vehicle) Applications. General Safety Requirements and Test Methods, BS EN 50604-1, 2016. [Online]. Available:



[14]  J. O. Williams, “Narrow-band analyzer,” Ph.D. dissertation, Dept. Elect. Eng., Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA, 1993.



(With author)

[15]  P. Norman, “U.S. unleashes military to fight fake news, disinformation.", (accessed Sep. 2, 2019). 

(No author)

[16] Machine learning helps EV batteries to charge in 10 minutes." The Engineer., (accessed Aug. 25, 2022). 

Tracing incomplete or incorrect citations waste the reader’s time and effort.  Below are some common errors made in this citation style when citing journal articles and conference papers.

Multiple Authors and Format

1. Cite author name using the format [Initials] [Family Name].

  Authors   Xin Kang; Ying-Chang Liang; Arumugam Nallanathan; Hari Krishna Garg; Peter J. Smith; Tuck Sing Terence Siew
  Incorrectly cited as    Kang, X., Liang, Y. C., Nallanathan, A., Garg H.K., Smith, P. J. and Terence Siew, T. S.
  Correctly cited as   X. Kang, Y. C. Liang, A. Nallanathan, H. K. Garg, P. J. Smith and T. S. T. Siew.


2. For more than 6 authors, use et al.

  Authors   BaoYu Zong; YuPing Wu ; Pin Ho ; Nguyen Nguyen Phuoc ; Yong Yang ; ZaiBing Guo ; Shan Zheng Ang ; ZhiHong Yang ; ZhengWen Li 
  Incorrectly cited as    B. Zong, Y. Wu, P. Ho, N. N. Phuoc, Y. Yang, Z. Guo, S. Z. Ang, Z. Yang and Z. Li.
  Correctly cited as   B. Zong et al.


3. The article title should be enclosed within quotes “” and there is a comma before the closed quote ”.


[24] L. Liu, R. Zhang and K. C. Chua, "Wireless information transfer with opportunistic energy harvesting," IEEE Trans. Wireless Commun., vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 288-300, Jan. 2013.

4. Take note of punctuation and symbols used for volume, issue, page numbering, month as well as the final full stop, i.e. 

vol. x, no. x, pp. xxx-xxx, Abbrev. Month, year.


[25] H . Eriksson and P. E. Danielsson, “Two problems on Boolean memories,” IEEE Trans. Electron. Devicesvol. EC-16, no. 3, pp. 364–365, Jun. 1967.

[26] P. Dely, A. Kassler and N. Bayer, "OpenFlow for wireless mesh networks," Proc. 20th Int. Conf. Comput. Commun. Networks, 2011, pp. 1-6.

Take note of the position of the year and absence of page numbering for citing (unpublished) papers presented at conferences.


5. Create a hanging indent for each reference with the bracketed numbers flush with the left side of the page. The hanging indent highlights the numerical sequence of your references.


[27] S. Azodolmolky et al., "Experimental demonstration of an impairment aware network planning and operation tool
=> for transparent/translucent optical networks,” J. Lightw. Technol., vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 439–448, Sep. 2011. 

Capitalization of Article Title and Journal Title

6. Capitalize only the first word of the title of an article, paper or book chapter


Parametric oscillators and nonlinear materials,”

7. Capitalize and italicize the (major) word in the title of a book, journal or conference proceedings. Abbreviate journal and conference proceedings.

Example 1

Super-Resolution Restoration and Image Reconstruction for Passive Millimeter Wave Imaging

Example 2

Proc. 20th Int. Conf. Comput. Commun. Networks