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What is IEE Citation Style?

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics (IEEE) citation style is used by School of Engineering and Chemical Engineering students in Temasek Polytechnic. The rest of the students cite using APA citation style.

This guide shows you how to cite various types of resources using the IEEE citation style. It also covers author names and place of publication. For a detailed guide on the IEEE citation style, please refer to the editorial style manual.


Cite to Avoid Plagiarism

Whenever you use ideas, words or content from someone else, you will need to cite the source. These may be in various forms including but not limited to text, data, charts, images, and videos. Note that using answers from AI-powered chatbots (e.g. Chatgpt) can also be considered as plagiarism

Even when you paraphrase, summarise or quote directly from someone else's work, you will need to cite the source. Failure to cite is considered plagiarism, which is a form of academic theft and a serious offence for students!

Citing your sources is important because citations:

  • acknowledge the author of the original content
  • support your arguments by providing clear evidence
  • point the reader to related research that they can check out
  • show good academic values and practice on your part


Learn about TP's plagiarism policy.

The in-text citation

Whenever you use a fact, data, idea or information that is not your own, you need to cite it in two places: within the sentence (in-text citation) and at the end of your assignment (reference list).

For IEEE citation style, each in-text citation appears as a sequential number in square brackets. The first citation you use will be numbered [1], and the next citation will be [2], and so on. For example:

Perl noted that labels such as the EPA Energy Star educate consumers to pay for greater energy savings [1]. In [2], it was shown that…For more details, refer to [3] and [4].

Remember: whether you quote an author directly or paraphrase (restate the idea using your own words), you will still need to cite the source.

The reference list

The reference list appears at the end of your assignment. It is numbered according to your sequence of citing your sources in the in-text citation and contains the full details of the sources cited in the in-text citations. After each number in square brackets, leave a few spaces before typing the author’s name. The references are left aligned, for example:



[1]   J. Perl, Sustainability Engineering: A Design Guide for the Chemical Process Industry. Chicago, IL, USA: Springer, 2016.

[2]   M. Matthews and P. Home-Douglas, “Engineering for catastrophe,” ASEE Prism, vol. 27,no. 3, pp. 24-29, Nov. 2017. Accessed on: Jan. 31, 2018. [Online]. Available:

[3]   N. Alamdari, “Cyborg locusts? Washington University researchers think bugs could be used to sniff out bombs,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A4,  Jul. 8, 2016. Accessed on: Feb. 2, 2018. [Online]. Available:


A note on incomplete information

If you had tried looking as hard as possible and can't find the publication or last updated date, use the abbreviation n.d. (which stands for no date).

If there is no page information, use the abbreviation n.p. (which stands for no page).

Books and e-books

LibSearch allows you to search for books, e-books, magazine titles, and audio-visual materials.


Book with one author:

F. R. Spellman, Handbook of Environmental Engineering. Boca Raton, FL, USA: CRC Press, 2016.

(Notice that the title of the book is in italics. All the important words in the title are in uppercase.)


Book with two or three authors:

J. R. Reisel and K. McIver, Principles of Engineering Thermodynamics. Boston, MA, USA: Cengage Learning, 2016.

B. Striebig, A. A. Ogundipe, and M. Papadakis, Engineering Applications in Sustainable Design and Development. Boston, MA, USA: Cengage Learning, 2016.


Book with more than three authors:

E. L. Houghton, et al., Aerodynamics for Engineering Students, 7th ed. Oxford, United Kingdom: Butterwort-Heinemann, 2017.

(Use 'et al.' to indicate more authors who are not listed)


Book with one or more editors:

J. Redlin, Ed., Chemical Engineering: Principles and Practices. New York, NY, USA: Willford Press, 2016.

B. Aziz, A. Arenas, and B. Crispo, Eds., Engineering Secure Internet of Things Systems. London, United Kingdom: Institution of Engineering and Technology, 2016.

(Use 'Ed.' to indicate 'editor')


Book with edition number (but not the first edition)

J. A. Wickert and K. E. Lewis, An Introduction to Mechanical Engineering, 4th ed. Boston, MA, USA: Cengage Learning, 2017.


E-Book from ProQuest E-Book Central & Safari Books

G. N. Cook and B. G. Billig, Airline Operations and Management: A Management Textbook.
Accessed on: Apr. 9, 2018. [Online]. Available:

F, Tsui, O. Karam, and B. Bernal, Essentials of Software Engineering, 2018. Accessed on: Apr. 9, 2018. [Online]. Available:

(Place of publication and name of publisher are not needed for e-books. Use the base form for the url--not the full url--for ProQuest E-Book Central and Safari Books.)



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

Articles from databases

The library subscribes to many newspaper, magazine and journal article databases. Magazines are aimed at the general public while journals are aimed at specialists or researchers and usually contain references. Use the base form for the url  for articles
found in databases.

Newspaper articles

N. Perpitch, "Green groups battle to overturn gas plan," The Australian, p. 2, Sept. 7, 2010.

Magazine article from EBSCOhost

M. Matthews and P. Home-Douglas, "Engineering for catastrophe," ASEE Prism, vol. 27, no.3, pp. 24-29, Nov. 2017. Accessed on: Apr. 5, 2018. [Online]. Available:


Newspaper article from Newslink

J. Hong, "The man behind S'pore's chemical engineering drive," Straits Times, pp. B13, Jul 28, 2017. Accessed on: Mar. 28, 2018 [Online]. Available:

Other online sources

If you need to cite a webpage, include the date when the page was published or last
updated, unless that information is not indicated. Include the full url of the webpage.


Webpage with personal author

J. Smith and J. Doe. “Obama inaugurated as President.” (accessed Feb. 1, 2009)


Webpage with no personal author (use name of organisation)

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, “Left Behind: Refugee Education in Crisis,” Sep. 2017. Accessed on: Mar. 26, 2018. [Online]. Available:


YouTube video

A. Lyon, "Public speaking anxiety tips," YouTube. Feb 18, 2017. Accessed on: May 11, 2018. [Video file]. Available:

Author names

For the reference list, the author's first name (and middle name, if it exists) is abbreviated, followed by the family name.
Let's use Peter Smith as an example. Peter is the first name while Smith is the family name (also known as surname or last name).
Peter Smith --> P. Smith
Peter Wilbur Smith --> P. W. Smith (where Wilbur is the middle name)
Chinese names:
Lim Si Huey --> S. H. Lim (where Lim is the last/family name)
Joanne Lim Si Huey --> J. S. H. Lim (if there is an English name, it appears first among the
Seow Ling Ong --> S. L. Ong
Malay names:
Mahsuri bin Salikun --> M. Salikun
Nuraliah binte Norasid --> N. Norasid (Note: "bin" and "binte" are not included)
Indian names:
Lakshmy Anantha Krishnan --> L. A. Krishnan
Siddharth Dasgupta --> S. Dasgupta

Place of publication

If a book was published in the United States, indicate the city, the state (in two-letter abbreviation*) and country,

e.g. Boca Raton, FL, USA

If a book was not published in the United States, indicate only the city and the country. Spell out the name of the country, e.g. Chichester, England

Note: If you are not sure where the book was published, check either LibSearch or the book itself.

*Refer to the table below for the two-letter abbreviations of American states.


Tips about names!

If you are not sure whether the parts of a name are the first name, middle name or last name, you can do the following:


Check the publication. Sometimes the author's last name appears in capital letters. Or the last name may be written first, followed by a comma.
Have other authors cited this same author's work? Follow the most common way of presenting that name.


Authors may cite their own works in the reference list. Check the format and you should be able to figure out which is the last name, first name or middle name.

Search the author's website. Authors who often publish papers may include a list of their works or curriculum vitae.