How to format your references using the IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials. For a complete guide how to prepare your manuscript refer to the journal's instructions to authors.

Using reference management software

Typically you don't format your citations and bibliography by hand. The easiest way is to use a reference manager:

PaperpileThe citation style is built in and you can choose it in Settings > Citation Style or Paperpile > Citation Style in Google Docs.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
Mendeley, Zotero, Papers, and othersThe style is either built in or you can download a CSL file that is supported by most references management programs.
BibTeXBibTeX syles are usually part of a LaTeX template. Check the instructions to authors if the publisher offers a LaTeX template for this journal.

Journal articles

Those examples are references to articles in scholarly journals and how they are supposed to appear in your bibliography.

Not all journals organize their published articles in volumes and issues, so these fields are optional. Some electronic journals do not provide a page range, but instead list an article identifier. In a case like this it's safe to use the article identifier instead of the page range.

A journal article with 1 author
P. Smaglik, “Back on track?,” Nature, vol. 430, no. 6997, p. 381, Jul. 2004.
A journal article with 2 authors
S. Hoppins and J. Nunnari, “Cell Biology. Mitochondrial dynamics and apoptosis--the ER connection,” Science, vol. 337, no. 6098, pp. 1052–1054, Aug. 2012.
A journal article with 3 authors
K. Wang, J. E. Mittler, and R. Samudrala, “Comment on ‘Evidence for positive epistasis in HIV-1,’” Science, vol. 312, no. 5775, pp. 848; author reply 848, May 2006.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
A. C. Seila et al., “Divergent transcription from active promoters,” Science, vol. 322, no. 5909, pp. 1849–1851, Dec. 2008.

Books and book chapters

Here are examples of references for authored and edited books as well as book chapters.

An authored book
N. Adams, Eclipse of Grace. Oxford, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2013.
An edited book
R. Klemm, Gold and Gold Mining in Ancient Egypt and Nubia: Geoarchaeology of the Ancient Gold Mining Sites in the Egyptian and Sudanese Eastern Deserts. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2013.
A chapter in an edited book
V. Pangracious, Z. Marrakchi, and H. Mehrez, “Three-Dimensional FPGAs: Configuration and CAD Development,” in Three-Dimensional Design Methodologies for Tree-based FPGA Architecture, Z. Marrakchi and H. Mehrez, Eds. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2015, pp. 95–116.

Web sites

Sometimes references to web sites should appear directly in the text rather than in the bibliography. Refer to the Instructions to authors for IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials.

Blog post
K. Hamilton, “Robot Ventures Deep Inside Fukushima Nuclear Reactor,” IFLScience, Apr. 15, 2015. (accessed Oct. 30, 2018).


This example shows the general structure used for government reports, technical reports, and scientific reports. If you can't locate the report number then it might be better to cite the report as a book. For reports it is usually not individual people that are credited as authors, but a governmental department or agency like "U. S. Food and Drug Administration" or "National Cancer Institute".

Government report
Government Accountability Office, “Bilingual Education: Research and Evaluation Contracts,” U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, HRD-87-64, May 1987.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
M. Sundell, “From fine art to fashion: Man Ray’s ambivalent avant-garde,” Doctoral dissertation, Columbia University, New York, NY, 2009.

News paper articles

Unlike scholarly journals, news papers do not usually have a volume and issue number. Instead, the full date and page number is required for a correct reference.

New York Times article
M. Isaac, “Uber’s Use of ‘Greyball’ Tool to Evade Authorities Spurs U.S. Inquiry,” New York Times, p. B3, May 05, 2017.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1], [2].
This sentence cites four references [1]–[4].

About the journal

Full journal titleIEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials
ISSN (print)1553-877X
ScopeElectrical and Electronic Engineering

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