Publishing in an IEEE Journal? Here are some important things to consider

Even those not pursuing a research paper but have a background in Computer Science should be curious about the IEEE and its publications. IEEE publishes the leading journals, transactions, letters, and magazines in electrical engineering, computing, biotechnology, telecommunications, power and energy, and dozens of other technologies which are recognized in the larger academic community and related industry. The IEEE comprises a wide range of publication platforms and the IEEE reference format is a commonly accepted style for writing, formatting, and citing research papers in these publications. 

Citations in your work 

Citing sources correctly and referencing correctly is a huge part of academic research. Before you can even start writing your paper, you need to make sure you have all of the information you need to support your claims and arguments. You will also need to make sure that you are citing the information in the correct way. 

Usually, the first step is to locate the source you are going to use and then write down the information that you are going to use along with the author’s name. You should also note the exact page number where this information can be found. If it is an online resource, note both the URL and the date you accessed it. This is important because it allows other people who may want to use your research to easily find what they need. 

It helps in giving credibility, providing academic integrity and adding to further research. The citation demands are different and its formats vary for different publications. 

Citing in IEEE 

The IEEE style consists of two fundamental elements:

  • In-text quotations (direct and indirect)
  • References (works cited in MLA format)

In citations within IEEE text, they are numbered in square brackets. This number corresponds to an entry on your IEEE reference page providing full information about the source. The complete citation for each would be provided in the references section in numerical order which is akin to ‘References’ in APA citation style and is called ‘Works Cited’ or ‘Bibliography’ in the MLA referencing style followed by IEEE. 

To keep in mind:

  • When citing in-text, you must place the number in the bracket at the point of reference within the sentence, usually after the author’s name but it is not necessary to mention the name of the author as the bracketed numbers can be treated as a noun form itself. 
    • Example: “The theory was first put forward in 1987 [1].” “Scholtz [2] has argued that…….”
  • Citing more than one reference at a time 
  • Sometimes, you may need to cite more than one source at the same point in the text—for example, when you’re summarizing several related sources. To do so, write the source numbers in separate sets of brackets, separated by commas. 
    • Example: [12], [17], [19] 
  • Citing a reference multiple times
    • When citing a source for a second or subsequent time, do not use ibid or op. cit. In the text, repeat the earlier reference number. 

Standard format of IEEE paper

IEEE format for research papers are widely accepted in a lot of computer and technical fields. There are a set of predefined guidelines that IEEE has provided which must be followed in your research manuscript in order to qualify for the publication in any IEEE journal. 


  • Title Page (including the article’s title, byline, membership, and first footnote)
    • The paper title should be centered at the top of the first page, in 24-point type and should be concise in nature
    • The byline should be centered below the title, after a line break, in 10-point type.
  • Abstract – should be one paragraph long 
    • The abstract should be around 200 words long 
    • It should preferably be a summary of the paper with the most important keywords covered in it
  • Index Terms
    • This is not to be included within the abstract but right after it 
    • It is similar to the keywords in abstract and is used by journals, editors, and readers to categorize, archive, or locate your paper.
    • Index terms should be given in alphabetical order; the first should be capitalized, and the rest lowercase unless they contain acronyms or other components that inherently require capitalization.
  • Nomenclature (optional)
  • Introduction
    • Summarize the state of research in your field in a few sentences. Next, describe the specifics of your study in more detail. Finally, state the question or hypothesis your research paper will address. You can also include your motivation for doing your research and what it will contribute to the field.
  • Body of Article
    • The body of the paper should be in 10-point type, and formatted to appear in two columns. The columns on the last page should be the same length; this may require adding a column break after you have finished the body of your paper.
    • The methods section should include a:
      • A detailed description of the question.
      • The methods you used to address the question.
      • The definitions of any relevant terminology.
      • Any equations that contributed to your work.
    • It should also include the results and discussion of your research findings
  • Conclusion
    • Describe how you analyzed your data and determined the significance of your findings. Include details about the design of your study, how you determined sample size, how long you waited to publish your results, and how you validate your data. End your paper with a summary of your key findings, a one-line conclusion, and a reminder of who your audience is and why you wrote your paper. As you refine your outline and draft, be sure to test both your writing and your content to make sure it is error-free and meets the writing standards of your field.
  • Appendix(es)
  • Acknowledgment(s)
    • This is down to personal preferences. This is where you can appreciate all the contributors of the research paper for their efforts.
  • References
    • Based on the referencing details provided above, in this section you must include all the previous publications referred to in your paper and organize the bibliography or works cited in the format as mentioned. 
  • Photos and Biographies



The IEEE formats have a format hierarchy of different levels of headings, depending on the necessity the heading system can be used for various aspects in the body of your paper.

  • First-level headings are enumerated with Roman numerals followed by a period, set in small caps, and centered above the text.
  • Second-level headings are enumerated with capital letters. These headings are flush left, and separated from the text with one blank line. 
  • Third-level headings are enumerated by Arabic numerals followed by a parenthesis, it runs into the text in its sections, upper and lower case, italic, and followed by a colon. All set to 10pt. font size, as is the whole text in the main body
  • Fourth-level headings: It is generally not used in the research papers but this level of heading is identical to third-level, except lower-case alphabet letters are used as labels, and only the first letter of the first word is capitalized.

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