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
M. Brooke, “In retrospect: The Courtship Habits of the Great Crested Grebe,” Nature, vol. 513, no. 7519, pp. 484–485, Sep. 2014.
A journal article with 2 authors
F. Tong and S. A. Engel, “Interocular rivalry revealed in the human cortical blind-spot representation,” Nature, vol. 411, no. 6834, pp. 195–199, May 2001.
A journal article with 3 authors
H. Ochman, J. G. Lawrence, and E. A. Groisman, “Lateral gene transfer and the nature of bacterial innovation,” Nature, vol. 405, no. 6784, pp. 299–304, May 2000.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
R. E. Johnson, M. T. Washington, L. Haracska, S. Prakash, and L. Prakash, “Eukaryotic polymerases iota and zeta act sequentially to bypass DNA lesions,” Nature, vol. 406, no. 6799, pp. 1015–1019, Aug. 2000.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
N. Armaroli, V. Balzani, and N. Serpone, Powering Planet Earth. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, 2013.
An edited book
A.-H. Dediu, C. Martín-Vide, B. Truthe, and M. A. Vega-Rodríguez, Eds., Theory and Practice of Natural Computing: Second International Conference, TPNC 2013, Cáceres, Spain, December 3-5, 2013, Proceedings, vol. 8273. in Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 8273. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2013.
A chapter in an edited book
K. Stevanovic Hedrih, “Nonlinear Dynamics of a Heavy Material Particle along a Circle Which Rotates and Optimal Control,” in IUTAM Symposium on Chaotic Dynamics and Control of Systems and Processes in Mechanics: Proceedings of the IUTAM Symposium held in Rome, Italy, 8–13 June 2003, G. Rega and F. Vestroni, Eds., in Solid Mechanics and its Applications. , Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, 2005, pp. 37–45.

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
K. Hamilton, “Four little-known EU rules which help protect Britain’s environment,” IFLScience.


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, “Competition: Issues on Establishing and Using Federally Funded Research and Development Centers,” U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, NSIAD-88-22, Mar. 1988.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
J. H. Holland, “Investigating the relationship between the policy implementation process and the utilization of information technology in a constitutional republic: The case of I-269 NEPA process,” Doctoral dissertation, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS, 2010.

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
L. Saslow, “Few Voters Show Up to Elect Two Democrats,” New York Times, p. 14LI2, Apr. 01, 2007.

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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