How to format your references using the IEEE Spectrum citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for IEEE Spectrum. 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
J. P. Halpern, “Astronomy. Gamma-ray pulsars old and new,” Science, vol. 325, no. 5942, pp. 821–822, Aug. 2009.
A journal article with 2 authors
S. J. L. Billinge and I. Levin, “The problem with determining atomic structure at the nanoscale,” Science, vol. 316, no. 5824, pp. 561–565, Apr. 2007.
A journal article with 3 authors
V. Prahlad, D. Pilgrim, and E. B. Goodwin, “Roles for mating and environment in C. elegans sex determination,” Science, vol. 302, no. 5647, pp. 1046–1049, Nov. 2003.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
T. Fransson, S. Jakobsson, P. Johansson, C. Kullberg, J. Lind, and A. Vallin, “Magnetic cues trigger extensive refuelling,” Nature, vol. 414, no. 6859, pp. 35–36, Nov. 2001.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
W. Matthys and J. E. Lochman, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder in Childhood. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2016.
An edited book
T. Kobayashi, T. Okada, T. Kobayashi, K. A. Nelson, and S. D. Silvestri, Eds., Ultrafast Phenomena XIV: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference, Niigata, Japan, July 25–30, 2004, vol. 79. in Springer Series in Chemical Physics, vol. 79. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2005.
A chapter in an edited book
A.-M. Oostveen et al., “Cross-Disciplinary Lessons for the Future Internet,” in The Future Internet: Future Internet Assembly 2012: From Promises to Reality, F. Álvarez, F. Cleary, P. Daras, J. Domingue, A. Galis, A. Garcia, A. Gavras, S. Karnourskos, S. Krco, M.-S. Li, V. Lotz, H. Müller, E. Salvadori, A.-M. Sassen, H. Schaffers, B. Stiller, G. Tselentis, P. Turkama, and T. Zahariadis, Eds., in Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2012, pp. 42–54.

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 Spectrum.

Blog post
S. Luntz, “Quasars Not So Complicated,” IFLScience, Sep. 12, 2014. (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, “Laboratory Research: State of Tennessee Exempts DOE’s Spallation Neutron Source Project From Sales and Use Taxes,” U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, RCED-00-99R, Mar. 2000.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
E. M. Scheepers, “Psychotherapists’ use of outcome measures in psychotherapy practice: Differences related to academic background,” Doctoral dissertation, Capella University, Minneapolis, MN, 2014.

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
R. P. George and M. Moschella, “Does Sex Ed Undermine Parental Rights?,” New York Times, p. A29, Oct. 19, 2011.

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 Spectrum
AbbreviationIEEE Spectr.
ISSN (print)0018-9235
ScopeElectrical and Electronic Engineering

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