IEEE Reference Style

The IEEE reference style is the preferred style in the HKUST CSE Department. The sample reference formats below are what most HKUST CSE FYP and FYT students need for their reports. The general style section at the bottom mentions some relevant policies and principles underlying the formats.

If you do not like to type in references manually, you can try BibGuru, MyBib, EduBirdie, or some other tool. These can save some time. Just be sure to manually check that the information is complete. You may still need to type in the author or other information manually. Every reference should have an author, even if it is merely an organization or website title.

When you sort your references, please refer to your advisor's preferences, since some advisors prefer sorting by author surname and some prefer sorting by order of occurrence.

The information below was taken from the official 12 August 2022 version of the IEEE Reference Guide. In case the official link does not work, here is an alternative link. Please disregard all older versions (even if you used them in other courses), because IEEE has made several updates over the last few years, and many instructors are not aware of that.

Software, Libraries, APIs and other Tools
Online Datasets
Datasets with an Author and a Distributor or Publisher
Published Papers (in Periodicals / Journals)
Papers presented at Conferences (from Printed Proceedings)
Conference Papers Online
Online videos
Dissertations or Theses
What about Wikipedia?


Basic Format:

First Name Initial(s) Last Name. "Page Title." Website Title. Accessed: Mon. Day, Year. [Online]. Available: Web Address

Note four minor details that are often overlooked:


K. Schwab. " Now is the time for a 'great reset'." World Economic Forum. Accessed: Aug. 20, 2022. [Online]. Available:

Alibaba. "芝麻信用 (Séseme Credit)." Accessed: Aug. 31, 2022. [Online]. Available:

Software, Libraries, APIs and other Tools

Basic Format:

A. Author. Title of Software. Date Repository or Archive. (version or year). Publisher Name. Accessed: Date (when applicable). [Type of Medium]. Global Persistent Identifier. Available: site/path/file


Blockly. (2022). Blockly - Google Developers. Accessed: Aug. 31, 2022. [Online]. Available:

Django. (2022). Django: The Web Framework for Perfectionists with Deadlines. Accessed: Aug. 31, 2022. [Online]. Available:

Figma. (2022). Figma: The Collaborative Interface Design Tool. Accessed: Aug. 31, 2022. [Online]. Available:

howler.js. (2022). howler.js - JavaScript audio library for the modern web. Accessed: Aug. 31, 2022. [Online]. Available:

Keras. (2022) Keras: the Python deep learning API. Accessed: Aug. 31, 2022. [Online]. Available:

Material UI. (2022). MUI: The React Component Library You Always Wanted. Accessed: Aug. 31, 2022. [Online]. Available:

MySQL. (2022). MySQL. Accessed: Aug. 31, 2022. [Online]. Available:

Node.js. (2022). Node.js. Accessed: Aug. 31, 2022. [Online]. Available:

Phaser. (2022). Phaser - A fast, fun and free open source HTML5 game framework. Accessed: Aug. 31, 2022. [Online]. Available:

PhpMyAdmin. (2022). PhpMyAdmin: Bringing MySQL to the web. Accessed: Aug. 31, 2022. [Online]. Available:

Python. (2022). Python [Online]. Available:

PyTorch. (2022). PyTorch. Accessed: Aug. 31, 2022. [Online]. Available:

React JS. (2022). React JS. Accessed: Aug. 31, 2022. [Online]. Available:

Redis. (2022). Redis. Accessed: Aug. 31, 2022. [Online]. Available:

Tensorflow. (2022) Tensorflow. Accessed Aug. 31, 2022. [Online]. Available:

Tiled. (2022). Tiled | Flexible level editor. Accessed: Aug. 31, 2022. [Online]. Available:

Web Speech API. (2022). Web Speech API - MDN Web Docs - Mozilla. Accessed: Aug. 31, 2022. [Online]. Available:

XAMPP. (2022). XAMPP Installers and Downloads for Apache Friends. Accessed: Aug. 31, 2022. [Online]. Available:

Online Datasets

Data should be considered legitimate, citable products of research. Data citations should be accorded the same importance in the scholarly record as citations of other research objects, such as publications.

Basic Format:

Title, Source, Date. [Online]. Available:


The Stanford Natural Language Inference (SNLI) Corpus, The Stanford NLP Group, 2015. [Online]. Available:

SNAP Datasets: Stanford large network dataset collection, T. P. P. Council, Feb 2021. [Online]. Available: http://tpc. org/tpc/

ImageNet, Stanford Vision lab, 2016. [Online]. Available:

WordNet, Princeton University, 2010. [Online]. Available:

Datasets with an Author and a Distributor or Publisher

Basic Format:

Author, "Title (if any)." (Date, Year). Distributed by Publisher/Distributor. (or if DOI is used, end with a period)


S. Ansolabehere, M. Palmer, and A. Lee. "Precinct-level election data. V1." January 20, 2014. Distributed by Harvard Election Data Archive.

Published Papers (in Periodicals / Journals)

Basic Format:

First Name Initial(s) Last Name. "Name of paper," Abbrev. Title of Periodical, vol. x, no. x, pp. xxx-xxx, Abbrev. Month, year.


M. M. Chiampi and L. L. Zilberti, "Induction of electric field in human bodies moving near MRI: An efficient BEM computational procedure," IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng., vol. 58, pp. 2787–2793, Oct. 2011, doi: 10.1109/TBME.2011.2158315.

M. Ito et al., "Application of amorphous oxide TFT to electrophoretic display," J. Non-Cryst. Solids, vol. 354, no. 19, pp. 2777–2782, Feb. 2008.

R. Fardel, M. Nagel, F. Nuesch, T. Lippert, and A. Wokaun, "Fabrication of organic light emitting diode pixels by laser-assisted forward transfer," Appl. Phys. Lett., vol. 91, no. 6, Aug. 2007, Art. no. 061103.

Papers presented at Conferences (from Printed Proceedings)

Basic Format:

C.K. Author, "Title of paper," in Abbreviated Name of Conf., (location of conference is optional), (Month and days(s) if provided) year, pp. xxx-xxx.


A. Amador-Perez and R. A. Rodriguez-Solis, "Analysis of a CPW-fed annular slot ring antenna using DOE, in Proc. IEEE Antennas Propag. Soc. Int. Symp., Jul. 2006, pp. 4301–4304.

G. R. Faulhaber, "Design of service systems with priority reservation," in Conf. Rec. 1995 IEEE Int. Conf. Commun., pp. 3–8. *** If the year is given in the conference title, it may be omitted from the end of the reference as shown here.***

S. P. Bingulac, "On the compatibility of adaptive controllers," in Proc. 4th Annu. Allerton Conf. Circuit Syst. Theory, New York, NY, USA, 1994, pp. 8–16.

W. D. Doyle, "Magnetization reversal in films with biaxial anisotropy," in 1987 Proc. INTERMAG Conf., pp. 2.2-1–2.2-6.

C. T. Meadow and D. W. Waugh, "Computer assisted interrogation," in 1991 Fall Joint Computer Conf., Proc. AFIPS Conf., vol. 29. Washington, DC, USA: Spartan, 1991, pp. 381–394.

P. C. Parks, "Lyapunov redesign of model reference adaptive control systems," in 1993 Joint Automatic Control Conf., Preprints, pp. 485–491.

T. S. Hsia, "System identification," in IEDM Tech. Dig., 1993, vol. 2, no. 8, pp. 6–13.

Conference Papers Online

Basic Format:

C.K. Author. (Date). Title. Presented at Abbreviated Conf. title. [Online]. Available: site/path/file


Process Software Corp., Framingham, MA, USA. Intranets: Internet technologies deployed behind the firewall for corporate productivity. Presented at INET'96 Annu. Meeting. [Online]. Available: Intranets/wp2.htp

J. A. Taylor. (Nov. 2006). Assessment: A tool for development and engagement in the first year of university study. Presented at Engaging Students: 9th Pacific Rim in Higher Education (FYHE) Conf., Griffith, Australia. [Online]. Available:

V. Chandrasekaran, S. Sanghavi, P. A. Parrilo, and A. S. Willsky. (2009). Sparse and low-rank matrix decompositions. Presented at IFAC 2009. [Online]. Available: article/pii/S1474667016388632

Online Videos

Basic Format:

Video Owner/Creator, Location (if available). Title of Video: In Initial Caps. (Release date). Accessed: Month Day, Year. [Online Video]. Available:


DW Shift. Tim Berners-Lee: How This Guy Invented the World Wide Web 30 Years Ago (Aug. 4, 2021). Accessed: Aug. 31. 2022. [Online Video]. Available:

Whiteboard Crypto. What is Web 3.0? (Explained with Animations) (Oct. 27, 2021). Accessed: Aug. 31. 2022. [Online Video]. Available:


Basic Format:

C.K. Author, "Title of chapter in the book," in Title of His Published Book, xth ed. City of Publisher, Country: Abbrewv. of Publisher, year, ch. x, sec. x, pp. xxx-xxx.


L. Stein, "Random patterns," in Computers and You, J.s.. Brake Ed. New York, NY, USA: Wiley, 1994, pp. 55-70.

M.A. Arbib, Ed., The Handbook of Brain Theory and Neural Networks, MIT Press, 1998.

Dissertations or Theses

B. Fagin, "A Parallel Execution Model for Prolog," PhD dissertation, Dept. Computer Sciences, Univ. of California, Berkeley, 1987.

M. Nichols, "The Graphical Kernel System in Prolog," master's thesis, Dept. Computer Science and Eng., Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst., 1985.

What about Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is a great tool for quick learning and finding references, but try to avoid using it for references on your FYP or FYT reports. Instead, use it to FIND good references.

Wikipedia is the combined work of millions of experts on millions of subjects, and it's free and usually accurate. However, its work is often not closely reviewed by experts, so the chances of a wiki page containing inaccuracies are much higher than the chances of a peer reviewed paper containing inaccuracies.

Thus, when you write your FYP or FYT reports, use Wikipedia at the beginning to gain a general understanding of your topic and of possible related concepts, algorithms, design ideas and programming tools or techniques. Of course, also study any academic papers recommended by your advisor. Then, when you write your report, first cite references to the papers (if they are useful, especially in your introduction.) Next, if you want to use an idea from a wiki page, you can usually look at the footnotes to find at least one or two good references. Just be sure to do two things:

  1. Actually spend time to click on the wiki page footnote links and find the best paper or article or website to be your reference (rather than the wiki), and
  2. Be sure to use the October 2014 IEEE reference style described on this page and not just use the style given in the footnote. This may take a little work to get it just right, since many footnotes do not exactly follow IEEE reference style.

In the rare event that a wiki page provides no suitable footnotes, just ask your advisor, a TA or your communication tutor.

One more benefit of Wikipedia:

In today's world, more and more non-native English speaking people are writing good peer reviewed academic papers, but this can often result in some non-standard grammar, spelling and word choice. On the other hand, Wikipedia is a collaborative project that allows native English speakers to modify wiki page content as well as the English grammar, spelling and word choice. Thus, for your reports, it is generally smart to favor the English grammar, spelling and word choice of Wikipedia over that of non-native English speaking writers.

General Style

Author names

Use each author's initials and last name. Leave no space between initials, but do leave a space between the period following the last initial and the first letter of the last name: E.F. Codd. For hyphenated first names, use a period for each initial (for example, J.-L. Picard).


Include just the year of publication for books. For periodicals, normally include the volume number, issue number, and year. However, for popular periodicals, include the month and year. If a periodical appears more frequently than monthly, include the date with the month: 15 Mar. 2000. If a periodical appears quarterly, use the season or issue number, depending on the periodical's usage. For periodicals that appear irregularly, do not use the month: vol. 16, no. 5, 1997.

Spell out May, June, and July; abbreviate the other months: Jan., Feb., Mar., Apr., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. Use a slash for bimonthly issues (Aug./Sept. 2000) and an en dash for a quarterly (July-Sept. 2000). Capitalize the names of seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.

Common Abbreviations of Words in References

Conference Conf.
Computer Comput.
Intelligence Intell.
International Int'l.
Proceedings Proc.
Technology Technol.

Electronic references

References to electronic repositories are acceptable in IEEE Computer Society publications, but they are not the references of choice for formal archival use. If possible, replace such references with references to printed material. However, when this is not possible, cite the electronic address along with as much additional information as possible. If the address itself becomes invalid in the future, the other information might help researchers find the same document elsewhere on the Internet. At the very least, a reference to an electronic source must include the Internet URL.


Italicize names of books (including collections), magazines, journals, newsletters, technical reports, white papers, and manuals. Use quotation marks to enclose names of articles, papers, theses, dissertations, technical notes, and technical memos.

When listing conference abbreviations in a reference, use the conference abbreviation and the last two digits of the year: AAAI 07.

After the name of a book, thesis, proceedings, or other book-like material, list the publisher, year of publication, and inclusive page numbers if applicable. Delete terms such as Co., & Co., Ltd., S.A., Publisher, and Publishing Co.; retain Press. Where the publisher is a university, add its location if needed for clarity, for example, Miami Univ., Ohio.

Do not include the editor's name for a conference proceedings unless it is an edited volume published as a book.

References for proceedings should tell where an interested reader can find the source, not where the conference took place. If a proceedings did not use a traditional publisher, provide the sponsoring organization and its location.

Use an en dash to indicate multiple issue numbers, for example, vol. 5, nos. 1-4. If the name of a column is cited in the reference, use initial caps without quotation marks, for example, Embedded Computing.


Capitalize the first and last words, and all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and subordinating conjunctions. Lowercase articles, coordinating conjunctions, and prepositions, regardless of length. Example: Toward Better Real-Time Programming through Dataflow.

To make a source easy for researchers to find, use the title as it originally appears. Do not add or remove hyphens, change words to preferred spellings, or lowercase internal capitals.

For foreign-language references, provide the original title first, followed by its English translation (if available) in brackets: Zur experimentalen Aesthetic [Toward an Experimental Aesthetic].

For more information, see the IEEE Computer Society Style Guide or ask your communication tutor.

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