How to format your references using the IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: 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
R. A. Kerr, “GEOPHYSICS: Core Takes a Page From the Sea Floor,” Science, vol. 290, no. 5495, pp. 1274b–5b, Nov. 2000.
A journal article with 2 authors
R. E. Verdun and J. Karlseder, “Replication and protection of telomeres,” Nature, vol. 447, no. 7147, pp. 924–931, Jun. 2007.
A journal article with 3 authors
T. Rowe, E. F. McBride, and P. C. Sereno, “Dinosaur with a heart of stone,” Science, vol. 291, no. 5505, p. 783, Feb. 2001.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
M. Mimee et al., “An ingestible bacterial-electronic system to monitor gastrointestinal health,” Science, vol. 360, no. 6391, pp. 915–918, May 2018.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
P. Lemberger and M. Morel, Managing Complexity of Information Systems. Hoboken, NJ USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2012.
An edited book
R. B. Allen and W. G. Lee, Eds., Biological Invasions in New Zealand, vol. 186. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2006.
A chapter in an edited book
G. Szabó, A. Szolnoki, and J. Vukov, “Mechanisms Supporting Cooperation for the Evolutionary Prisoner’s Dilemma Games,” in Econophysics and Economics of Games, Social Choices and Quantitative Techniques, B. Basu, S. R. Chakravarty, B. K. Chakrabarti, and K. Gangopadhyay, Eds. Milano: Springer, 2010, pp. 24–31.

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 Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems.

Blog post
J. Davis, “Ban On Testing Vaccines On Captive Apes Threatens Their Wild Counterparts,” IFLScience, Mar. 09, 2017. (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, “School District Officials Face Problems in Dealing With Asbestos in Their Schools,” U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, RCED-85-91, Mar. 1985.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
T. L. Reller, “Exploring differences in teacher attitudes and instructional strategies between traditional and block schedule high schools: A comparison of two small schools,” Doctoral dissertation, Lindenwood University, St. Charles, MO, 2010.

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. W. Walsh, “House Republicans Advance Plan to Rescue Puerto Rico,” New York Times, p. B1, Mar. 25, 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 Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems
AbbreviationIEEE Trans. Syst. Man Cybern. Syst.
ISSN (print)2168-2216
ScopeComputer Science Applications
Human-Computer Interaction
Control and Systems Engineering
Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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