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
G. Ferry, “The making of an exceptional scientist,” Nature, vol. 464, no. 7293, pp. 1268–1270, Apr. 2010.
A journal article with 2 authors
L. Fallani and M. Inguscio, “Physics. Controlling cold-atom conductivity,” Science, vol. 322, no. 5907, pp. 1480–1481, Dec. 2008.
A journal article with 3 authors
K. Howell, J. G. White, and O. Hobert, “Spatiotemporal control of a novel synaptic organizer molecule,” Nature, vol. 523, no. 7558, pp. 83–87, Jul. 2015.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
J. West, S. Beck, X. Wang, and A. E. Teschendorff, “An integrative network algorithm identifies age-associated differential methylation interactome hotspots targeting stem-cell differentiation pathways,” Sci. Rep., vol. 3, p. 1630, 2013.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
P. McPhee, A Companion to the French Revolution. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2012.
An edited book
P. Davies and Y. D. S. Rajapakse, Eds., Durability of Composites in a Marine Environment, vol. 208. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, 2014.
A chapter in an edited book
M. Buzzoni, “Thought Experiments and Computer Simulations,” in Model-Based Reasoning in Science and Technology: Logical, Epistemological, and Cognitive Issues, L. Magnani and C. Casadio, Eds. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2016, pp. 57–78.

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
E. Andrew, “New Eye Drops Can Dissolve Cataracts With No Need For Surgery,” IFLScience, 09-Nov-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, “Higher Education: Experts Cited a Range of Requirements as Burdensome,” U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, GAO-13-371, Apr. 2013.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
S. E. Wilensky, “340B prime vendor program: Health center decision making and barriers to participation,” Doctoral dissertation, George Washington University, Washington, DC, 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
B. Protess and M. Apuzzo, “Tougher on Corporate Crime. For Now,” New York Times, p. B1, 12-Jan-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 Potentials
AbbreviationIEEE Potentials
ISSN (print)0278-6648
ScopeStrategy and Management
Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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