Citing Sources

Learn how to cite your sources



Basic Format:

[1] J. K. Author, “Title of chapter in the book,” in Title of His Published Book, xth ed. City of Publisher, Country if not USA: Abbrev. of Publisher, year, ch. x, sec. x, pp. xxx–xxx. 

Note: Use et al. when three or more names are given.


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

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

[3] R. L. Myer, “Parametric oscillators and nonlinear materials,” in Nonlinear Optics, vol. 4, P. G. Harper and B. S. Wherret, Eds. San Francisco, CA: Academic, 1977, pp. 47-160.

[4] M. Abramowitz and I. A. Stegun, Eds., Handbook of Mathematical Functions (Applied Mathematics Series 55). Washington, DC: NBS, 1964, pp. 32-33.

[5] E. F. Moore, “Gedanken-experiments on sequential machines,” in Automata Studies (Ann. of Mathematical Studies, no. 1), C. E. Shannon and J. McCarthy, Eds. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 1965, pp. 129-153.

[6] Westinghouse Electric Corporation (Staff of Technology and Science, Aerospace Div.), Integrated Electronic Systems. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1970.

[7] M. Gorkii, “Optimal design,” Dokl. Akad. Nauk SSSR, vol. 12, pp. 111-122, 1961 (Transl.: in L. Pontryagin, Ed., The Mathematical Theory of Optimal Processes. New York: Interscience, 1962, ch. 2, sec. 3, pp. 127-135).

[8] G. O. Young, “Synthetic structure of industrial plastics,” in Plastics, vol. 3, Polymers of Hexadromicon, J. Peters, Ed., 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964, pp. 15-64. 


Basic Format:

[1] Name of Manual/Handbook, x ed., Abbrev. Name of Co., City of Co., Abbrev. State, year, pp. xx-xx. 


[1] Transmission Systems for Communications, 3rd ed., Western Electric Co., Winston-Salem, NC, 1985, pp. 44–60.

[2] Motorola Semiconductor Data Manual, Motorola Semiconductor Products Inc., Phoenix, AZ, 1989.

[3] RCA Receiving Tube Manual, Radio Corp. of America, Electronic Components and Devices, Harrison, NJ, Tech. Ser. RC-23, 1992. 


Basic Format:

The general form for citing technical reports is to place the name and location of the company or institution after the author and title and to give the report number and date at the end of the reference. 

[1] J. K. Author, “Title of report,” Abbrev. Name of Co., City of Co., Abbrev. State, Rep. xxx, year.  


[1] E. E. Reber et al., “Oxygen absorption in the earth’s atmosphere,” Aerospace Corp., Los Angeles, CA, Tech. Rep. TR-0200 (4230-46)-3, Nov. 1988.

[2] 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.

[3] R. E. Haskell and C. T. Case, “Transient signal propagation in lossless isotropic plasmas,” USAF Cambridge Res. Labs., Cambridge, MA, Rep. ARCRL-66-234 (II), 1994, vol. 2.

[4] M. A. Brusberg and E. N. Clark, “Installation, operation, and data evaluation of an oblique-incidence ionosphere sounder system,” in “Radio Propagation Characteristics of the Washington-Honolulu Path,” Stanford Res. Inst., Stanford, CA, Contract NOBSR-87615, Final Rep., Feb. 1995, vol. 1.

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

Conference Technical Articles

Conference Technical Articles

The general form for citing technical articles published in conference proceedings is to list the author/s and title of the paper, followed by the name (and location, if given) of the conference publication in italics using these standard abbreviations

 Word in the Conference Publication Title Abbreviate To 
Annals Ann.
Annual Annu.
Colloquium  Colloq.
Conference Conf.
Congress Congr.
Convention Conv.
Digest Dig.
Exposition Expo.
International Int.
National Nat.
Word in the Conference Publication Title Abbreviate   To  
Proceedings Proc.
Record Rec.
Symposium Symp.
Technical Digest Tech. Dig.
Technical Paper  Tech. Paper 
First 1st
Second 2nd
Third 3rd 
Fourth/nth ...  4th/nth...















Write out all the remaining words, but omit most articles and prepositions like “of the” and “on.” That is, Proceedings of the 1996 Robotics and Automation Conference becomes Proc. 1996 Robotics and Automation Conf.

Basic Format:

[1] J. K. Author, “Title of paper,” in Unabbreviated Name of Conf., City of Conf., Abbrev. State (if given), year, pp. xxx-xxx. 

For an electronic conference article when there are no page numbers: 

[1] J. K. Author [two authors: J. K. Author and A. N. Writer ] [three or more authors: J. K. Author et al.], “Title of Article,” in [Title of Conf. Record as it appears on the copyright page], [copyright year] © [IEEE or applicable copyright holder of the Conference Record]. doi: [DOI number] 

For an unpublished paper presented at a conference:

[1] J. K. Author, “Title of paper,” presented at the Unabbrev. Name of Conf., City of Conf., Abbrev. State, year.

Online Sources


Basic Format:

[1] J. K. Author. (year, month day). Title (edition) [Type of medium]. Available: http://www.(URL)


[1] J. Jones. (1991, May 10). Networks (2nd ed.) [Online]. Available: 



NOTE: When referencing IEEE Transactions, the issue number should be deleted and month carried.

Basic Format:

[1] J. K. Author, “Name of paper,” Abbrev. Title of Periodical, vol. x, no. x, pp. xxx-xxx, Abbrev. Month, year.


[1] R. E. Kalman, “New results in linear filtering and prediction theory,” J. Basic Eng., ser. D, vol. 83, pp. 95-108, Mar. 1961.

[2] Ye. V. Lavrova, “Geographic distribution of ionospheric disturbances in the F2 layer,” Tr. IZMIRAN, vol. 19, no. 29, pp. 31–43, 1961 (Transl.: E. R. Hope, Directorate of Scientific Information Services, Defence Research Board of Canada, Rep. T384R, Apr. 1963).

[3] E. P. Wigner, “On a modification of the Rayleigh–Schrodinger perturbation theory,” (in German), Math. Naturwiss. Anz. Ungar. Akad. Wiss., vol. 53, p. 475, 1935.

[4] E. H. Miller, “A note on reflector arrays,” IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag..., to be published.**

[5] C. K. Kim, “Effect of gamma rays on plasma,” submitted for publication. **

[6] W. Rafferty, “Ground antennas in NASA’s deep space telecommunications,” Proc. IEEE vol. 82, pp. 636-640, May 1994.

** Always use this style when the paper has not yet been accepted or scheduled for publication. Do not use “to appear in.”



NOTE: Use et al. when three or more names are given. 

References in Text:

References need not be cited in the text. When they are, they appear on the line, in square brackets, inside the punctuation. Grammatically, they may be treated as if they were footnote numbers:

as shown by Brown [4], [5]; as mentioned earlier [2], [4]–[7], [9]; Smith [4] and Brown and Jones [5]; Wood et al. [7]

or as nouns:

as demonstrated in [3]; according to [4] and [6]–[9]. 

References Within a Reference:

Check the reference list for ibid. or op. cit. These refer to a previous reference and should be eliminated from the reference section. In text, repeat the earlier reference number and renumber the reference section accordingly. If the ibid. gives a new page number, or other information, use the following forms:

[3, Th. 1]; [3, Lemma 2]; [3, pp. 5-10]; [3, eq. (2)]; [3, Fig. 1]; [3, Appendix I]; [3, Sec. 4.5]; [3, Ch. 2, pp. 5-10]; [3, Algorithm 5].  

NOTE: Editing of references may entail careful renumbering of references, as well as the citations in text. 


Reference numbers are set flush left and form a column of their own, hanging out beyond the body of the reference. The reference numbers are on the line, enclosed in square brackets. In all references, the given name of the author or editor is abbreviated to the initial only and precedes the last name. Use commas around Jr., Sr., and III in names. If there Grammatically, they may be treated as if they were footnote numbers, e.g., are many names, use et al. Note that when citing IEEE Transactions, if the month is not available, the number may be kept, although it is normally deleted. Keep the day of the month when referencing a patent. References may not include all information; please obtain and include relevant information. Do not combine references. There must be only one reference with e ach number. If there is a URL included with the print reference, it can be included at the end of the reference. 

Use abbreviations.



Basic Format:

[1] J. K. Author, “Title of patent,” U.S. Patent x xxx xxx, Abbrev. Month, day, year.


[1] J. P. Wilkinson, “Nonlinear resonant circuit devices,” U.S. Patent 3 624 125, July 16, 1990. NOTE: Use “issued date” if several dates are given. 


Basic Format:

[1] Title of Standard, Standard number, date.


[1] IEEE Criteria for Class IE Electric Systems, IEEE Standard 308, 1969. [2] Letter Symbols for Quantities, ANSI Standard Y10.5-1968. 

Theses (M.S.) and Dissertations (Ph.D.)

Basic Format:

[1] J. K. Author, “Title of thesis,” M.S. thesis, Abbrev. Dept., Abbrev. Univ., City of Univ., Abbrev. State, year.

[2] J. K. Author, “Title of dissertation,” Ph.D. dissertation, Abbrev. Dept., Abbrev. Univ., City of Univ., Abbrev. State, year.


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

[2] N. Kawasaki, “Parametric study of thermal and chemical nonequilibrium nozzle flow,” M.S. thesis, Dept. Electron. Eng., Osaka Univ., Osaka, Japan, 1993.

[3] N. M. Amer, “The effects of homogeneous magnetic fields on developments of tribolium confusum,” Ph.D. dissertation, Radiation Lab., Univ. California, Berkeley, Tech. Rep. 16854, 1995.***

[4] C. Becle, These de doctoral d’etat, Univ. Grenoble, Grenoble, France, 1968. 

*** The state abbreviation is omitted if the name of the university includes the state name, i.e., “Univ. California, Berkeley.”


These are the two most common types of unpublished references.

Basic Format :

[1] J. K. Author, private communication, Abbrev. Month, year.

[2] J. K. Author, “Title of paper,” unpublished.


[1] A. Harrison, private communication, May 1995.

[2] B. Smith, “An approach to graphs of linear forms,” unpublished.

[3] A. Brahms, “Representation error for real numbers in binary computer arithmetic,” IEEE Computer Group Repository, Paper R-67-85.