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Understanding Citations

Resources used in the creation of this guide

Sources used:

University guides accessed:

Single citation in the text

Various approaches have been followed in the design of microwave circuits [7].

According to [5], there is a little evidence that …

In [3], the resulting composite video signal was presented …

… as previously shown [7].

… as shown by Jones [6].

Multiple citations in the text

The preferred method of citing more than one source at a time is listing each citation number separately with a comma or dash between each citation:

[1], [3], [7]

[6]–[8]

It is noted that multiple sources can also be provided in the following way as seen in some literature:

Considerable body of work on electrical circuits [1, 3, 7], [6–8], [10, 14–16] defines ...

Secondary sources

The IEEE style does not allow for the use of secondary sources.

If you want to refer to the ideas or words of an author found in a source that you have not read yourself, but have read about it in another source (for example if you want to refer to William’s work found in Taylor’s), then you must locate the original source of this information (William’s) and cite the original source. If the original source cannot be located, it should not be cited.

Citing the same source multiple times

If you want to refer to a previous reference, do not provide a new citation number, nor use ‘ibid.’ (meaning ‘the same’) or ‘op. cit.’ (meaning ‘the work cited’) terms. If you want to refer to the same source twice or multiple times, simply repeat the earlier citation number and then use that same number in all subsequent citations throughout the body of the paper.

The separate instances of referring to the same source should be made in text, for example, when referring to another fact, idea or an opinion found within the same source at different page numbers, use the following forms: [2, pp. 3-5], [5, eq. (2)] for referring to an equation, [5, Sec. IV] a section, [5, Tab. 3] a table, [1, Ch. 2] a chapter, etc.

Month abbreviations

Use the following formats for month abbreviations:

Formats for Month abbreviations is Jan., Feb., Mar., Apr., May, June, July, Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec.

Note that some months are not abbreviated.

Use a slash for a bimonthly issue (June/July 2014) or an en dash for a quarterly (Oct.–Dec. 2013).

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