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
R. Drmanac, “Medicine. The ultimate genetic test,” Science, vol. 336, no. 6085, pp. 1110–1112, Jun. 2012.
A journal article with 2 authors
C. Hwang and E. T. Y. Chang, “Geophysics. Seafloor secrets revealed,” Science, vol. 346, no. 6205, pp. 32–33, Oct. 2014.
A journal article with 3 authors
D. R. Smith, J. B. Pendry, and M. C. K. Wiltshire, “Metamaterials and negative refractive index,” Science, vol. 305, no. 5685, pp. 788–792, Aug. 2004.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
E. Togan et al., “Quantum entanglement between an optical photon and a solid-state spin qubit,” Nature, vol. 466, no. 7307, pp. 730–734, Aug. 2010.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
M. J. Rider, Design and Analysis of Mechanisms. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2015.
An edited book
G. B. Gudmundsdottir and K. B. Vasbø, Eds., Methodological Challenges When Exploring Digital Learning Spaces in Education. Rotterdam: SensePublishers, 2014.
A chapter in an edited book
T. Kilian and M. Liesenfeld, “What is so Difficult about Self-Scanning? A Comparative Study of three Self-Service Technologies for Retailing,” in European Retail Research: 2013, Volume 27, Issue I, H. Schramm-Klein, T. Foscht, D. Morschett, T. Rudolph, P. Schnedlitz, and B. Swoboda, Eds. Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden, 2014, pp. 79–94.

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
D. Andrew, “Why The Hell Is This Pig’s Flesh Bright Blue?!,” IFLScience, Sep. 11, 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, “Nanotechnology: Accuracy of Data on Federally Funded Environmental, Health, and Safety Research Could Be Improved,” U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, GAO-08-709T, Apr. 2008.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
D. B. Lancelin, “A Phenomenological Case Study of Teacher Experiences with and Understanding of Instruction Aligned to the CCSS, and their Role in Advancing Equal Educational Opportunities for Students,” Doctoral dissertation, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA, 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
L. Saslow, “Village Wants Restaurant Wastewater Degreased,” New York Times, p. 14LI2, Jun. 03, 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 Transactions on Communications
ISSN (print)0090-6778
ScopeElectrical and Electronic Engineering

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