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MLA Style Comparison Guide: IEEE

IEEE Citation Style

IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) Citation Style is often used in the disciplines of engineering, electronics, telecommunications, computer science, and information technology.

In-text Citations

IEEE has a simple form of in-text citation wherein only a number placed within brackets is included in-text. This number will correspond to the numbered reference on the References page, and the numbers will ascend in order of the reference's appearance in the text.  However, if you reference a citation more than one time, you reference it with the same number in which it appeared the first time. In other words, your references will only appear once on your References page.

Unlike other citation styles, it is not necessary to include the author's name or the date of publication unless it is relevant to your paper.


  • There were inconclusive findings to the study [1].
  • This theory builds upon the previous study conducted in 1999 [2].
  • Smith [3] has argued that...
  • Many studies [4]--[6] refute this claim.
  • Two studies [4], [6] refute this claim.
  • As mentioned earlier [2], [4]--[5], ... 

Examples by Format

The below examples are from the IEEE Citation Reference Guide and Murdoch University's IEEE Style LibGuide which were compiled by the University Library System, University of Pittsburgh.

Examples of citations for different materials:

Material Type

Works Cited

Book in print

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

Chapter in book

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


[3] L. Bass, P. Clements, and R. Kazman, Software Architecture in Practice, 2nd ed. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley, 2003. [E-book] Available: Safari e-book.

Journal article

[4] J. U. Duncombe, "Infrared navigation - Part I: An assessment of feasability," IEEE Trans. Electron. Devices, vol. ED-11, pp. 34-39, Jan. 1959.

eJournal (from database)

[5] H. K. Edwards and V. Sridhar, "Analysis of software requirements engineering exercises in a global virtual team setup," Journal of Global Information Management, vol. 13, no. 2, p. 21+, April-June 2005. [Online]. Available: Academic OneFile, [Accessed May 31, 2005].

eJournal (from internet)

[6] A. Altun, "Understanding hypertext in the context of reading on the web: Language learners' experience," Current Issues in Education, vol. 6, no. 12, July 2003. [Online]. Available: [Accessed Dec. 2, 2004].

Conference paper

[7] L. Liu and H. Miao, "A specification based approach to testing polymorphic attributes," in Formal Methods and Software Engineering: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Formal Engineering Methods, ICFEM 2004, Seattle, WA, USA, November 8-12, 2004, J. Davies, W. Schulte, M. Barnett, Eds. Berlin: Springer, 2004. pp. 306-19.

Conference proceedings

[8] T. J. van Weert and R. K. Munro, Eds., Informatics and the Digital Society: Social, ethical and cognitive issues: IFIP TC3/WG3.1&3.2 Open Conference on Social, Ethical and Cognitive Issues of Informatics and ICT, July 22-26, 2002, Dortmund, Germany. Boston: Kluwer Academic, 2003.

Newspaper article (from database)

[9] J. Riley, "Call for new look at skilled migrants," The Australian, p. 35, May 31, 2005. [Online]. Available: Factiva, [Accessed May 31, 2005].

Technical report

[10] J. H. Davis and J. R. Cogdell, “Calibration program for the 16-foot antenna,” Elect. Eng. Res. Lab., Univ. Texas,
Austin, Tech. Memo. NGL-006-69-3, Nov. 15, 1987.


[11] J. P. Wilkinson, “Nonlinear resonant circuit devices,” U.S. Patent 3 624 125, July 16, 1990.


[12] IEEE Criteria for Class IE Electric Systems, IEEE Standard 308, 1969.


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

Useful Links

Formatting the Reference List

- Your reference list will appear as a separate page at the end of your paper.

- The word, "References" (without quotes), will be on the left-hand side or centered.

- Your sequential order of references will be listed below with a hanging indent so that the "words" of your reference are flush with each other.

An example may be found on Murdoch University's IEEE Style Libguide.