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
V. Gewin, “High-energy career lines,” Nature, vol. 434, no. 7035, pp. 936–937, Apr. 2005.
A journal article with 2 authors
E. J. Garnero and A. K. McNamara, “Structure and dynamics of Earth’s lower mantle,” Science, vol. 320, no. 5876, pp. 626–628, May 2008.
A journal article with 3 authors
R. R. Brown, A. Deletic, and T. H. F. Wong, “Interdisciplinarity: How to catalyse collaboration,” Nature, vol. 525, no. 7569, pp. 315–317, Sep. 2015.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
L. Pereira et al., “Global human frequencies of predicted nuclear pathogenic variants and the role played by protein hydrophobicity in pathogenicity potential,” Sci. Rep., vol. 4, p. 7155, Nov. 2014.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
E. Reiss, H. J. Shadomy, and G. M. Lyon III, Fundamental Medical Mycology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2011.
An edited book
S. K. S. Cheung, L.-F. Kwok, J. Shang, A. Wang, and R. Kwan, Eds., Blended Learning: Aligning Theory with Practices: 9th International Conference, ICBL 2016, Beijing, China, July 19-21, 2016, Proceedings, vol. 9757. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
A. Sukthankar, A. G. Nerlich, and G. Paesold, “Age-Related Changes of the Spine,” in Spinal Disorders: Fundamentals of Diagnosis and Treatment, N. Boos and M. Aebi, Eds. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2008, pp. 91–122.

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
J. Davis, “The Ganges And Yamuna Rivers Given Same Legal Rights As Humans,” IFLScience, Mar. 21, 2017. (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, “Review of Estimate in Prime Contract N00019-71-C-0450 With Grumman Aerospace Corporation,” U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 093132, Aug. 1974.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
J. Rutherford, “What is old is new again: The role of discontinuity in nostalgia-related consumption,” Doctoral dissertation, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, 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. Greenhouse, “Court Backs Police Officers In Chase That Hurt Driver,” New York Times, p. A18, May 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 Spectrum
AbbreviationIEEE Spectr.
ISSN (print)0018-9235
ScopeElectrical and Electronic Engineering

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