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
T. M. Tauris, “Spin-down of radio millisecond pulsars at genesis,” Science, vol. 335, no. 6068, pp. 561–563, Feb. 2012.
A journal article with 2 authors
E. Fehr and S. Gächter, “Altruistic punishment in humans,” Nature, vol. 415, no. 6868, pp. 137–140, Jan. 2002.
A journal article with 3 authors
J. Bongard, V. Zykov, and H. Lipson, “Resilient machines through continuous self-modeling,” Science, vol. 314, no. 5802, pp. 1118–1121, Nov. 2006.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
P. Chu et al., “Kinetics of 90° domain wall motions and high frequency mesoscopic dielectric response in strained ferroelectrics: a phase-field simulation,” Sci. Rep., vol. 4, p. 5007, May 2014.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
R. Ng, Drugs. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2005.
An edited book
H. Altenbach and V. A. Eremeyev, Eds., Shell-like Structures: Non-classical Theories and Applications, vol. 15. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2011.
A chapter in an edited book
J. R. Scott, A. J. Effenberger, and J. J. Hatch, “Influence of Atmospheric Pressure and Composition on LIBS,” in Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy: Theory and Applications, S. Musazzi and U. Perini, Eds. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2014, pp. 91–116.

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
R. Andrews, “New World Record For Longest Ever Lightning Bolt Shocks Scientists,” IFLScience, 16-Sep-2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 30-Oct-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, “Principles and Practices of Auditing in the ADP Systems Environment,” U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 091019, Jan. 1969.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
R. W. Perez, “Stepping Stone or Stumbling Block? The Impact of Prior Military Service on Hiring Managers’ Perceptions of Warmth, Competence, and Hirability,” Doctoral dissertation, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL, 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
M. J. O. Murphy, “The Rise of Modigliani’s Profile, and the Asking Prices for His Works,” New York Times, p. C36, 13-Nov-2015.

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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