How to format your references using the IEEE Signal Processing Letters citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for IEEE Signal Processing Letters. 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
S. Rahmstorf, “Thermohaline circulation: The current climate,” Nature, vol. 421, no. 6924, p. 699, Feb. 2003.
A journal article with 2 authors
M. R. Krumholz and C. F. McKee, “A minimum column density of 1 g cm(-2) for massive star formation,” Nature, vol. 451, no. 7182, pp. 1082–1084, Feb. 2008.
A journal article with 3 authors
J. E. Strassmann, Y. Zhu, and D. C. Queller, “Altruism and social cheating in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum,” Nature, vol. 408, no. 6815, pp. 965–967, 2000.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
M. Mobashir, T. Madhusudhan, B. Isermann, T. Beyer, and B. Schraven, “Negative interactions and feedback regulations are required for transient cellular response,” Sci. Rep., vol. 4, p. 3718, Jan. 2014.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
V. Perrin, MRI Techniques. Hoboken, NJ USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2013.
An edited book
S. Frerich et al., Eds., Engineering Education 4.0: Excellent Teaching and Learning in Engineering Sciences. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
M. Burger, M. Hinze, and R. Pinnau, “Optimization models for semiconductor dopant profiling,” in Transport Phenomena and Kinetic Theory: Applications to Gases, Semiconductors, Photons, and Biological Systems, C. Cercignani and E. Gabetta, Eds. Boston, MA: Birkhäuser, 2007, pp. 91–115.

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 Signal Processing Letters.

Blog post
S. Luntz, “Ant-Nest Beetles Reveal Evolution In Action,” IFLScience, Nov. 04, 2014.


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, “Aviation Security: TSA Has Enhanced Its Explosives Detection Requirements for Checked Baggage, but Additional Screening Actions Are Needed,” U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, GAO-11-740, Jul. 2011.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
N. L. Alai, “Development of a Sport-Specific Curriculum Addressing Selfefficacy to Optimize Carbohydrate and Calorie Intake Among Male and Female High School Cross-Country Runners,” Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA, 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
C. Kelly, “It’s Not Billions, But It Can Help Rescue an Artist,” New York Times, p. BU1, Jun. 03, 2012.

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 Signal Processing Letters
AbbreviationIEEE Signal Process. Lett.
ISSN (print)1070-9908
ScopeSignal Processing
Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Applied Mathematics

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