IEEE Referencing Guide
The IEEE referencing system
Referencing is a standard practice for acknowledging information sources in academic writing at university. Whenever you write an assignment that requires you to find and use information, you are expected to reference all the sources of information and ideas included in your writing.
This webpage provides guidelines for using the IEEE referencing system. There are two components to an IEEE reference:
- an in-text reference in the body of your assignment:
Chan  explores a range of themes and ideas ...
- full reference details in your reference list:
 D. P. Chan, Business in China. Hong Kong: Dragon Press, 2011.
Use the menu at the top to explore the different parts of the IEEE referencing system.
Part 1 Basic rules
Why do we reference?
Most academic assignments require wide reading so that previous and current thinking about a particular topic can be identified. It is important to show your reader that you have sought out expert, reliable sources to help support and develop your thinking on your topic. The referencing in your assignment should:
- demonstrate good research practice
- show the range of ideas and approaches you have found and thought about
- acknowledge where those ideas came from
- tell your reader where they can locate the sources you have used
Referencing also helps you to avoid plagiarism. If you present someone else's ideas, and/or the way they express their ideas, as if they are your own work, you are committing plagiarism. Plagiarism can be unintentional due to poor referencing, but the consequences are always serious. Accurate referencing helps you to avoid this.
i. When to reference
Every time you include someone else's words, ideas or information in your assignment, an in-text reference must be provided. Insert an in-text reference whenever you:
- paraphrase someone else's ideas in your own words
- summarise someone else's ideas in your own words
- quote someone else's ideas in their exact words
- copy or adapt a diagram, table or any other visual material
ii. How to reference
An in-text reference is provided each time you refer to ideas or information from another source, and includes the following details:
the author's family name (do not include given names) + reference number in square brackets
There are two main ways to present an in-text reference:
a) Integral referencing
The reference is in the body of your sentence, with the author's family name integrated into the sentence structure, and the reference number is given in square brackets. This type of reference is often used when you want to give prominence to the author.
Lam  argues that Hong Kong needs to further assimilate into the Pearl River Delta economy if its long term growth is to be assured.
b) Non-integral referencing
The reference number is enclosed in the sentence in square brackets. This type of reference is often used when you want to give prominence to the information.
The Hong Kong economy expanded by 2.3% in the third quarter of 2011 .
 Census and Statistics Department, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative
Region, Hong Kong Economic Trends. Hong Kong: Census and Statistics Department, Apr. 2012.
iii. Including page numbers
Page numbers should be included in your reference list when you:
- use a direct quote from a particular source
- copy tables or figures, or present specific information like dates/statistics
Cheung  notes that "universities in Hong Kong need to strengthen their academic credentials" if they are to compete in the world economy.
 H. Chung, "Chinese universities and the future," J. of Asian Education Research, vol. 84,
no. 8, pp. 296-304, 2012.
You can also include a page number when you take an idea from a particular page. Note: it would not be appropriate academic style to include a page number in all or most of your in-text citations.
For longer quotation of two or more sentences you should also include the page number after the reference number in square brackets. See page 8 of this guide for an example.
iv. Use of "et al."
Where there are six or more authors, only the first author should be used followed by "et al." (which is Latin for et alia) meaning 'and others':
Wong et al.  found that the majority ...
The following chart shows how to format in-text citations for IEEE referencing style:
|Number of authors||Integral citation|
|One author||Chan  argues ...|
|Two authors||Chan and Leung  suggest ...|
|Three authors||Tsui, Leung and Collins  find ...|
|Four authors||Wong, Lam, Collins and Smith  mention ...|
|Five authors||Preston, Lee, Chan, Smith and Au  report ...|
|Six or more authors||Finney et al.  comment ...|
|Groups (easily identified by abbreviation) as authors||The Hong Kong Housing Authority (HKHA)  states ...
The HKHA  maintains ...
|Groups (no abbreviation) as authors||Animals Asia  defines ...|
v. Ellipsis and square brackets
Ellipsis refers to dots in the middle of a sentence. Their purpose is to let the reader know that some part of a quotation has been left out. If it is necessary to interrupt a quotation you are citing in order to clarify something, you should enclose your remarks in square brackets.
Original: "Students in the university should study outside class, in all credit bearing subjects, for at least 6 hours a week."
With text omitted and clarification: "Students in the university [The Hong Kong Polytechnic University] should study outside class ... for at least 6 hours a week."
Sample text with in-text referencing and reference list
IEEE in-text referencing uses the author's surname and the reference number in square brackets for integral citations, and the reference number in square brackets for non-integral citations. Include a page number (or paragraph number for online sources) in the reference list for direct quotations. The reference list is in numerical order.
Until recently, development in the textile and clothing industry has focused on "technological and cost aspects" . According to Chen and Burns , emphasis has been placed on keeping the price of the "final product low and increasing efficiency in production". Tukker et al.  further point out that designers, manufacturers and retailers have paid less attention to other factors such as ownership and related business models, as well as consumer wishes and values. Hence, the products are designed and produced according to regularly changing trends that enable a quick profit , rather than radically rethinking the ways of designing and manufacturing the offering that is based on consumer needs and sustainability as proposed by Park and Tahara .
The reference list
i. What it does
The reference list provides full bibliographic details for all the sources referenced in your essay so that readers can easily locate the sources. Each different source referenced in your essay must have a matching entry in your reference list.
It is important to note that the reference list is not a bibliography. A bibliography lists everything you have read, while a reference list is deliberately limited to those sources for which you have provided in-text references. A bibliography is not needed unless specifically requested by your lecturer.
ii. How it looks
The reference list is titled "References" and must be:
- ordered as they appear in the in-text references (in order of citation, not in alphabetical order).
- a single list where books, journal articles and electronic sources are listed together. Do not divide into separate lists.
The main elements required for all references are the author's name(s), year, title and publication information. The basic reference formats are shown in the following examples. These should be followed exactly, paying special attention to details of capitalisation, punctuation, use of italics and order of information.
iii. Journal article format
First author's initials. Surname, Second author's initials. Surname, and Third
author's initials. Surname, "Title of article," Name of journal, vol. Volume
number, no. Issue number, pp. Page range of article, Month Year of
iv. Book format
First author's initials. Surname, Second author's initials. Surname, and
Third author's initials. Surname. Title of book. City of publication: Publisher, Year of
v. Internet source format
Name of organisation, Title of page, Year of publication. [Type of medium].
Available: URL [Accessed Month Day, Year].
Frequently asked questions
When there are two authors for a reference, include all their family names in the in-text reference, in the same order that they are listed in the original source. For a non-integral reference, only include the reference number in square brackets. For example:
- According to Choi and Lee , students in Asia are more studious than their North American counterparts.
- Wong and Morrison  strongly support the use of technology in the classroom.
- Asian students devoted on average 16 hours per week to out-of-class study compared to 10 hours for North American students .
If there are six or more authors, you should only use the first author's family name in the in-text reference followed by the abbreviation "et al.". For example:
- This is supported by Wilson et al.  in their educational change study.
If there are two authors:
List by initials and last names. Use "and" to join the names.
 R. K. Chow and S. M. Ping, "Mood management in university students," J. of
Asian Psychology, vol. 45, no. 3, pp. 1034-1048, 2004.
If there are three to six authors:
List by initials and last names; commas after author's names, while the last author's name is preceded again by "and".
 W. K. Luk, Y. K., Chan, A. N. Sing, H. Burton, L. Heart, and H. U. Burns, "The
Chinese student: A study," J. of East Asian Psychology, vol. 32, no. 5, pp. 1190-
If there are seven or more authors:
Use "et al." after the first author.
 J. I. Recio-Rodriguez et al., "Effectiveness of a smartphone application for improving
healthy lifestyles, a randomized clinical trial (Evident II): Study Protocol," BMC Public
Health, vol. 14, pp. 254-268, 2014.
When no person is mentioned, include the title of the source or the authoring/sponsoring organisation in place of the author.
- The English Language Centre  aims to improve students' communication skills to enable them to attain excellent results in their academic and professional lives.
When no year of publication is given, in the reference list use the abbreviation "n.d." which stands for 'no date' in place of a year, or give an approximate date preceded by "ca." which stands for 'circa'.
 Y. Amano, Final Fantasy: 20th Anniversary Artbook. Macau: ACG Studio, n.d.
 Equal Opportunities Commission, Equal Treatment for Native Speakers,
Hong Kong: Equal Opportunities Commission, ca. 2001.
However, be cautious about using sources without dates. A source with no date might not be reliable.
Short quotations of fewer than thirty words should be enclosed in double quotation marks (" ... ") and be accompanied by an in-text reference. Remember to include the page or paragraph number in the reference list where the reader can find the quotation.
- Research by Leung  indicates that "students in Hong Kong devote on average 5 hours a week to their English studies from the age of four".
Longer quotations of more than thirty words should be presented without quotation marks and indented (using Tab key) at the left. Include the page or paragraph number in the complete reference list.
For example:According to Obama, America:
should be more modest in our belief that we can impose democracy on a country through military force. In the past, it has been movements for freedom from within tyrannical regimes that have led to flourishing democracies; movements that continue today. This does not mean abandoning our values and ideals; wherever we can, it’s in our interest to help foster democracy through the diplomatic and economic resources at our disposal .
Full stops must always be placed at the very end of a sentence, after the quotation and/or in-text reference. For example:
- According to Mooney , "exam pressure in Hong Kong has lessened slightly in the past decade".
- Research indicates that students in Hong Kong have had four mobile devices before their 18th birthday .
Yes you can. Study the following examples.
Example 1: ... as shown by Chan , ;
Example 2: ... as mentioned earlier , -, ;
Example 3: ... Wong  and Brown and Jones ;
In example 1, Chan has at least two articles in the reference list. In example 2, there are six references mentioned. In example 3, there are two integral references.
No. Follow the IEEE referencing conventions for all sources. If you are unsure how to reference a website because there is no author or date information, follow the guidelines provided below for referencing sources without authors or dates.
This is secondary citation. IEEE style does not allow for the use of secondary sources. You should locate the original source of information which is cited in a work which you have read. If an original source cannot be located, it should not be cited.
E-mail messages from individuals should be cited as personal communications. Because they do not provide recoverable data, personal communications are not included in the reference list. The in-text citation would be as follows:
- In personal communication on Jun. 28, 2015, E. Cartman reveals that ...
All images including graphs, charts, maps, drawings and photographs are referred to as figures. You need to label the image as a figure and place a caption directly below the image, which includes the title and author of the image, and a reference number. For example:
- Fig. 1. Flamingos standing and feeding in a pool near salt beds, Netherlands Antilles by Volkmar K. Wentzel 
The in-text citation would be like this:
- Fig. 1 shows that ...
Your reference would be as follows:
 V. K. Wentzel, “Flamingos standing and feeding in a pool near salt beds, Netherlands Antilles,” 2015. [Photograph]. Available: http://natgeofound.tumblr.com/ [Accessed Jul. 5, 2015].
Part 2 Referencing guide