How to format your references using the IEEE Transactions on Communications citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for IEEE Transactions on Communications. 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
M. J. Pinheiro, “A variational method in out-of-equilibrium physical systems,” Sci. Rep., vol. 3, p. 3454, Dec. 2013.
A journal article with 2 authors
I. Žutić and J. Cernĕ, “Physics. Chameleon magnets,” Science, vol. 332, no. 6033, pp. 1040–1041, May 2011.
A journal article with 3 authors
A. Ashton, A. B. Murray, and O. Arnault, “Formation of coastline features by large-scale instabilities induced by high-angle waves,” Nature, vol. 414, no. 6861, pp. 296–300, Nov. 2001.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
M. Miyazaki, H. Takahashi, M. Rolf, H. Okada, and T. Omori, “The image-scratch paradigm: a new paradigm for evaluating infants’ motivated gaze control,” Sci. Rep., vol. 4, p. 5498, Jun. 2014.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
P. Schmidt, R. Körber, and M. Coppers, Sieben und Siebmaschinen. Weinheim, FRG: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, 2003.
An edited book
P.-P. Tak, Ed., New Therapeutic Targets in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Basel: Birkhäuser, 2009.
A chapter in an edited book
R. Zhang and H. Wang, “Antisense Technology,” in Cancer Gene Therapy, D. T. Curiel and J. T. Douglas, Eds. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press, 2005, pp. 35–49.

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 Transactions on Communications.

Blog post
J. Fang, “Bilingual Chimps Can Grunt ‘Apple’ in Two Languages,” IFLScience, Feb. 06, 2015. (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, “Environmental Protection Agency: Difficulties in Comparing Annual Budgets for Science and Technology,” U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, T-RCED-99-120, Mar. 1999.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
K. E. Hall, “Transformational leadership practices of African-American ministers at predominantly African American Churches of Christ in Nashville, TN,” Doctoral dissertation, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA, 2012.

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
J. Koblin, “Amazon Executive Resigns After Harassment Claim,” New York Times, p. B6, Oct. 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 Transactions on Communications
ISSN (print)0090-6778
ScopeElectrical and Electronic Engineering

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