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IEEE Referencing Guide: Citing in the text

Citations in the Text

All ideas taken from another source regardless of whether directly quoted or paraphrased need to be referenced in the text of your assignment. To link the information you use in your text to its source (book, article, etc.), put a number in square brackets [ ] at the appropriate point in your text. You should insert the citation number directly after a source is referred to in your text, even if this is in the middle of a sentence.
e.g. There is some evidence [1] that these figures are incorrect.


IEEE style encourages substituting reference numbers for the author’s name wherever possible.

e.g. [1] has provided evidence that these figures are incorrect.


It is acceptable to place a citation number at the end of a paragraph if the entire paragraph is referring to the same source.
Numbers are sequentially allocated to sources as they appear in the text. However, if referring to a source that you have already cited the original number is used again.
e.g. There is some evidence [1] that these figures are incorrect. However, [2] suggests an alternative
theory. But on reflection the original evidence [1] has the advantage of a large study

If you refer to two or more different sources at the same time then the sources are placed in individual pairs of brackets, separated by commas:
e.g. …this has been discovered in a number of recent studies [3], [10], [14].

Secondary Referencing

When an author quotes or cites another author and you wish to cite the original author you should first try to trace the original item. However, if this is not possible, you must acknowledge both sources in the text, but only include the item you actually read in your reference list.

e.g. If Jones discusses the work of Smith you could use: Smith as cited by [1] or Smith’s 2009 study cited in [1] shows that…


Then cite [1] (Jones) in full in your reference list.