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
K. Miyamoto, “Structural model of ubiquitin transfer onto an artificial RING finger as an E3 ligase,” Sci. Rep., vol. 4, p. 6574, Oct. 2014.
A journal article with 2 authors
G. G. Gundersen and A. Bretscher, “Cell biology. Microtubule asymmetry,” Science, vol. 300, no. 5628, pp. 2040–2041, Jun. 2003.
A journal article with 3 authors
K. R. Vinothkumar, J. Zhu, and J. Hirst, “Architecture of mammalian respiratory complex I,” Nature, vol. 515, no. 7525, pp. 80–84, Nov. 2014.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
J. C. Marshall et al., “Protecting U.S. temporary waterways,” Science, vol. 361, no. 6405, pp. 856–857, Aug. 2018.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
R. Langton, Stability and Control of Aircraft Systems. Chichester, England: John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2006.
An edited book
H. F. Baars, P. A. F. M. Doevendans, A. C. Houweling, and J. P. van Tintelen, Eds., Clinical Cardiogenetics, 2nd ed. 2017. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
K. Jones, K. Mackrell, and I. Stevenson, “Designing Digital Technologies and Learning Activities for Different Geometries,” in Mathematics Education and Technology-Rethinking the Terrain: The 17th ICMI Study, C. Hoyles and J.-B. Lagrange, Eds. Boston, MA: Springer US, 2010, pp. 47–60.

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, “Scientists Edge Closer To Universal Flu Vaccine,” IFLScience, Jan. 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, “Job Corps: Comparison of Federal Program With State Youth Training Initiatives,” U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, HEHS-96-92, Mar. 1996.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
J. Gross, “High-performance dram system design constraints and considerations,” Doctoral dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD, 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
J. Montague, “Door Opens to Hinterlands of Soccer,” New York Times, p. B10, Jan. 11, 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

Other styles