How to format your references using the IEEE Systems Journal citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for IEEE Systems Journal. 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
R. Versteeg, “Cancer: Tumours outside the mutation box,” Nature, vol. 506, no. 7489, pp. 438–439, Feb. 2014.
A journal article with 2 authors
D. L. Blazes and K. L. Russell, “Medicine in war and peace: joining forces,” Nature, vol. 477, no. 7365, pp. 395–396, Sep. 2011.
A journal article with 3 authors
N. P. Bichot, A. F. Rossi, and R. Desimone, “Parallel and serial neural mechanisms for visual search in macaque area V4,” Science, vol. 308, no. 5721, pp. 529–534, Apr. 2005.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
J. Chandrashekar et al., “The taste of carbonation,” Science, vol. 326, no. 5951, pp. 443–445, Oct. 2009.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
J. Rodriguez and D. Bonne, Stereoselective Multiple Bond-Forming Transformations in Organic Synthesis. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2015.
An edited book
S. Kim, J.-W. Jung, and N. Kubota, Eds., Soft Computing in Intelligent Control, vol. 272. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2014.
A chapter in an edited book
E. Angehrn, “Verstehendes Leben,” in Life, Subjectivity & Art: Essays in Honor of Rudolf Bernet, R. Breeur and U. Melle, Eds. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, 2012, pp. 123–143.

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 Systems Journal.

Blog post
K. Hamilton, “How Your College Friendships Help You – Or Don’t,” IFLScience, Dec. 28, 2016. (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, “Space Shuttle: NASA’s Major Changes to Flight Hardware,” U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, NSIAD-88-173FS, Jun. 1988.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
T. J. Farrugia, “Abundance, habitat use and movement patterns of the shovelnose guitarfish (Rhinobatus productus) in a restored Southern California estuary,” Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA, 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. Berkon, “Baseball’s Data Revolution Is Elevating Game’s Defensive Stars,” New York Times, p. B10, Apr. 17, 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 Systems Journal
AbbreviationIEEE Syst. J.
ISSN (print)1932-8184
ScopeControl and Systems Engineering
Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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