How to format your references using the IEEE Potentials citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for IEEE Potentials. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
R. A. Johnstone, “The evolution of inaccurate mimics,” Nature, vol. 418, no. 6897, pp. 524–526, Aug. 2002.
A journal article with 2 authors
J. L. Parker and S. Newstead, “Molecular basis of nitrate uptake by the plant nitrate transporter NRT1.1,” Nature, vol. 507, no. 7490, pp. 68–72, Mar. 2014.
A journal article with 3 authors
A. A. Bazzini, M. T. Lee, and A. J. Giraldez, “Ribosome profiling shows that miR-430 reduces translation before causing mRNA decay in zebrafish,” Science, vol. 336, no. 6078, pp. 233–237, Apr. 2012.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
A. Aziz, E. Soucie, S. Sarrazin, and M. H. Sieweke, “MafB/c-Maf deficiency enables self-renewal of differentiated functional macrophages,” Science, vol. 326, no. 5954, pp. 867–871, Nov. 2009.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
H. K. Huang, PACS and Imaging Informatics. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2005.
An edited book
INDERJIT and K. G. Mukerji, Eds., Allelochemicals: Biological Control of Plant Pathogens and Diseases, vol. 2. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, 2006.
A chapter in an edited book
W. Zhang, H. Zhao, Z. Jin, and H. Mei, “Towards a More Fundamental Explanation of Constraints in Feature Models: A Requirement-Oriented Approach,” in Top Productivity through Software Reuse: 12th International Conference on Software Reuse, ICSR 2011, Pohang, South Korea, June 13-17, 2011. Proceedings, K. Schmid, Ed. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2011, pp. 36–51.

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 Potentials.

Blog post
B. Taub, “How Well You Do In School Depends More On Your DNA Than Your Determination, Study Finds,” IFLScience, Jul. 20, 2016. (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, “Information Technology: DOD Needs to Leverage Lessons Learned from Its Outsourcing Projects,” U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, GAO-03-371, Apr. 2003.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
T. Zuckerman, “The Effect of Communication Between Parents and their Emerging Adult Offspring on Depression and Career Search Self-efficacy,” Doctoral dissertation, George Washington University, Washington, DC, 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
S. M. Eldred and J. Eligon, “Doctor Saw Prince a Day Before His Death,” New York Times, p. A10, May 11, 2016.

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 Potentials
AbbreviationIEEE Potentials
ISSN (print)0278-6648
ScopeStrategy and Management
Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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