How to format your references using the IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems. 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
V. Smetacek, “Balance: mind-grasping gravity,” Nature, vol. 415, no. 6871, p. 481, Jan. 2002.
A journal article with 2 authors
M. Long and K. Thornton, “Gene duplication and evolution,” Science, vol. 293, no. 5535, p. 1551, Aug. 2001.
A journal article with 3 authors
B. P. Kelly, A. Whiteley, and D. Tallmon, “The Arctic melting pot,” Nature, vol. 468, no. 7326, p. 891, Dec. 2010.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
R. König et al., “Human host factors required for influenza virus replication,” Nature, vol. 463, no. 7282, pp. 813–817, Feb. 2010.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
A. R. Khoei, Extended Finite Element Method. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2014.
An edited book
I. Reinhartz-Berger, A. Sturm, T. Clark, S. Cohen, and J. Bettin, Eds., Domain Engineering: Product Lines, Languages, and Conceptual Models. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2013.
A chapter in an edited book
M. Friedman and A. Kandel, “Differentiable Functions,” in Calculus Light, A. Kandel, Ed. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2011, pp. 107–146.

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 Neural Networks and Learning Systems.

Blog post
J. Fang, “Scientists Reconstruct the Life of a Teenage Girl from the Contents of a 3,400-Year-Old Coffin,” IFLScience, May 27, 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, “Intercollegiate Athletics: Status of Efforts to Promote Gender Equity,” U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, HEHS-97-10, Oct. 1996.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
T. M. Morgan, “Do You See What I See? How Symbol Integration Facilitates Responsibility to Self and Culture,” Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, CA, 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
J. Schwartz and T. Schlossberg, “Little Debating a Climate Divide,” New York Times, p. D5, Oct. 17, 2016.

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 Neural Networks and Learning Systems
AbbreviationIEEE Trans. Neural Netw. Learn. Syst.
ISSN (print)2162-237X
ScopeArtificial Intelligence
Computer Networks and Communications
Computer Science Applications

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