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Citing Sources

Learn how to cite your sources



Basic Format:

[1] J. K. Author, “Title of chapter in the book,” in Title of Published Book, xth ed. City of Publisher, (only if U.S. State), Country: 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, USA: MIT Press, 1986.

[2] L. Stein, “Random patterns,” in Computers and You, J. S. Brake, Ed. New York:, NY, USA: 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, USA: Academic, 1977, pp. 47-160.

[4] M. Abramowitz and I. A. Stegun, Eds., Handbook of Mathematical Functions (Applied Mathematics Series 55). Washington, DC, USA: 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, USA: Princeton Univ. Press, 1965, pp. 129-153.

[6] Westinghouse Electric Corporation (Staff of Technology and Science, Aerospace Div.), Integrated Electronic Systems. Englewood Cliffs, NJ, USA: 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, NY, USA: Interscience, 1962, ch. 2, sec. 3, pp. 127-135).

Books, Monographs (online)

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


Basic Format:

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


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

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

[3] RCA Receiving Tube Manual, Radio Corp. of America, Electronic Components and Devices, Harrison, NJ, USA, 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, Country, Rep. xxx, year.  


[1] E. E. Reber, R.L. Mitchell, and C.I. Carter, “Oxygen absorption in the earth’s atmosphere,” Aerospace Corp., Los Angeles, CA, USA, Tech. Rep. TR-0200 (4230-46)-3, Nov. 1988.

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

[3] 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, USA,Contract NOBSR-87615, Final Rep., Feb. 1995, vol. 1.

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

Conference and Conference Proceedings

Conference and Conference Proceedings

The general form for citing conference proceedings is to list the author and title of the paper, followed by the name (and location, if given) of the conference 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: (Paper Presented at a Conference)

[1] J. K. Author, “Title of paper,” presented at the Abbreviated Name of Conf., City of Conf., Abbrev. State, Country, Month and Day(s), year, Paper number. 

Conference Proceeding With DOI: 

[1] J. K. Author, “Title of paper,” in Abbreviated Name of Conf. (location of conference is optional), year,, doi:xxx.


[2] J. Zhao, G. Sun, G.H. Luh adn Y. Xie, "Energy-efficient GPU design wiht reconfigurable in-package praghics memory," in Proc. ACM/IEEE Int. Symp. Low Power Electron Design (ISLPED), Jul. 2012, pp. 403-408, doi:101145/2333660.2333752.

Conference Proceeding Online:

[1] J. K. Author, “Title of paper,” in Aabbrev. Name of Conf., (location of conference is optional), year, pp. xxx-xxx. [Online]. Available:

[2] T. Schuber, “Real challenges and solutions for validating system-on-chip high level formal verification of next-generation microprocessors,” in Proc. 40th Design Automation Conf., (lDAC'03), Jun. 2-6, 2003. [Online]. Available:


The most basic entry for a website consists of the author name(s), page titel, website title, web address, and date assessed:


[1] J. Smith and J. Doe. "Obama inaugerated as President." (accessed Feb. 1, 2009).



Basic Format:

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

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


[1] 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).

[2] 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.

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




Basic Format:

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

Retain or request the day of the month when referencing a patent

NOTE: Use “issued date” if several dates are given. 


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


Basic Format:

[1] Title of Standard, Standard number, Corporate Author, location, date.

[2]] 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, Country, year.

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

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


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

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

[4] D. Schwartz, "Development of a computationally efficient full human body finite element model," M.S. thesis, Virginia Tech- Wake Forest University School of Biomed. Eng. Sci., Winston-Salem, NC, USA, 2015. [online]. Available:



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.