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
K. J. Gaston, “Ecology. Valuing common species,” Science, vol. 327, no. 5962, pp. 154–155, Jan. 2010.
A journal article with 2 authors
A. Löytynoja and N. Goldman, “Phylogeny-aware gap placement prevents errors in sequence alignment and evolutionary analysis,” Science, vol. 320, no. 5883, pp. 1632–1635, Jun. 2008.
A journal article with 3 authors
D. G. Russell, C. E. Barry 3rd, and J. L. Flynn, “Tuberculosis: what we don’t know can, and does, hurt us,” Science, vol. 328, no. 5980, pp. 852–856, May 2010.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
M. G. Leakey et al., “New hominin genus from eastern Africa shows diverse middle Pliocene lineages,” Nature, vol. 410, no. 6827, pp. 433–440, Mar. 2001.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
A. S. Pakurar and J. W. Bigbee, Digital Histology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2005.
An edited book
D. Philipov, A. C. Liefbroer, and J. E. Klobas, Eds., Reproductive Decision-Making in a Macro-Micro Perspective. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, 2015.
A chapter in an edited book
P. Alvandi, M. M. Maza, É. Schost, and P. Vrbik, “A Standard Basis Free Algorithm for Computing the Tangent Cones of a Space Curve,” in Computer Algebra in Scientific Computing: 17th International Workshop, CASC 2015, Aachen, Germany, September 14-18, 2015, Proceedings, V. P. Gerdt, W. Koepf, W. M. Seiler, and E. V. Vorozhtsov, Eds., in Lecture Notes in Computer Science. , Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2015, pp. 45–60.

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 Systems Journal.

Blog post
K. Hamilton, “Did Snakes Evolve From Ancient Sea Serpents?,” IFLScience. Accessed: Oct. 30, 2018. [Online]. Available:


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, “Human Factors: FAA’s Guidance and Oversight of Pilot Crew Resource Management Training Can Be Improved,” U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, RCED-98-7, Nov. 1997.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
W. B. McCorkle, “Tongue, Nib, Block, Bit: Rhetorical Delivery and Technologies of Writing,” Doctoral dissertation, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 2005.

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
M. Wilson, “A Hole in Their Hearts, 5 Years After Hurricane Hit Staten Island,” New York Times, p. A15, Oct. 27, 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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