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
G. E. W. Bauer, “Applied physics. Mesmerizing semiconductors,” Science, vol. 306, no. 5703, pp. 1898–1899, Dec. 2004.
A journal article with 2 authors
M. Bouchon and H. Karabulut, “The aftershock signature of supershear earthquakes,” Science, vol. 320, no. 5881, pp. 1323–1325, Jun. 2008.
A journal article with 3 authors
I. Provencio, M. D. Rollag, and A. M. Castrucci, “Photoreceptive net in the mammalian retina. This mesh of cells may explain how some blind mice can still tell day from night,” Nature, vol. 415, no. 6871, p. 493, Jan. 2002.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
C. Quan, Y.-S. C. Liu, H. Tang, and T. Utescher, “Miocene shift of European atmospheric circulation from trade wind to westerlies,” Sci. Rep., vol. 4, p. 5660, Jul. 2014.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
T. Richards, Investing Psychology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2014.
An edited book
L. W. Kennedy, Translational Criminology and Counterterrorism: Global Threats and Local Responses. New York, NY: Springer, 2014.
A chapter in an edited book
M. K. Heid, M. Grady, A. Jairam, Y. Lee, B. Freeburn, and S. Karunakaran, “A Processes Lens on a Beginning Teacher’s Personal and Classroom Mathematics,” in Research Trends in Mathematics Teacher Education, J.-J. Lo, K. R. Leatham, and L. R. Van Zoest, Eds. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2014, pp. 67–82.

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
A. Carpineti, “Hurricane Joaquin Photographed From the International Space Station,” IFLScience, 06-Oct-2015. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 30-Oct-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, “Federal Motor Vehicles: Private and State Practices Can Improve Fleet Management,” U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, GGD-95-18, Dec. 1994.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
M. M. Lew, “Hydroxyl, Hydroperoxyl, and Organic Peroxy Radical Chemistry in Forested Areas: Measurements, Modeling and Implications for Atmospheric Chemistry,” Doctoral dissertation, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, 2017.

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
G. Vecsey, “The Place Is Rocking, and So Are the Knicks,” New York Times, p. B17, 16-Dec-2010.

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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