What is a citation style and which one should I use?
A citation is a way of identifying and giving credits to others' published works that you used to support your own research. Citations can also be used to locate sources of works, as well as avoid plagiarism.
A citation consists of two parts: in-text citation and reference list. In-text citations are brief references of sources within the text of the paper, while reference list is a complete list of references at the end of the paper.
<< An example of in-text citations and references in APA citation style
A citation style defines the necessary information for a citation, how the information is ordered, and what format citations should follow.
Generally, the citation style you use depends on your discipline. If you're not sure, check with your instructor. In PolyU, citation styles commonly used by various disciplines are listed below:
Commonly used citation style
Applied Science & Textiles (FAST)
APA / Harvard
APA / Harvard
Construction & Environment (FCE)
IEEE / Harvard
IEEE / APA
Health Sciences & Social Sciences (FHSS)
APA / MLA
School of Design (SD)
School of Hotel & Tourism Management (SHTM)
IEEE style for engineering
IEEE style follows a numbered system in referencing. Each source is cited with a number in square brackets in text.
► In-text citation
Format: a number enclosed in square brackets, e.g., , - (preferred), [3-5] (acceptable); the citation should be on the same line as text, before any punctuation.
Order: all citations are numbered in the order in which they first appear in the text; all citation numbers should be in sequential order.
Each citation number corresponds to a single reference source in the reference list at the end of the publication. Once a source has been cited, the same number should be used in all subsequent references.
Do not cite secondary source. Always cite the original source which is cited in a work you read.
Holmberg stated that... Cairo et al. [2, p. 20]claimed that "..." Recent studies- have proved that... Couple of studies reported similar results , , .
► Reference list
Format: different type of sources uses different format of reference entry. See examples below for details.
Order: all references are sorted in numerical order.
► Books: [#] A. A. Author/Editor, Title(in italic, Initial Capitalized), Edition (if any), Vol. (if any). Place of publication: Publisher, Year,
Page number(s) (if appropriate).  K. Tanaka and H. Wang, Fuzzy Control Systems Design and Analysis: A Linear Matrix Inequality Approach. New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Interscience, 2001.  The Oxford Dictionary of Computing, 5th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.
► Journal Articles: [#] A. A. Author of article, "Title of article," Title of Journal, vol. #, no. #, pp. Page number(s), Month year.  H. Y. Li, X. J. Jing, H. K. Lam, and P. Shi, "Fuzzy Sampled-Data Control for Uncertain Vehicle Suspension Systems," IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics, vol. 44, no. 7, pp. 1111-1126, Jul. 2014.  I. Fialho and G. Balas, “Road adaptive active suspension design using linear parameter-varying gain-scheduling,” IEEE Trans. Control Syst. Technol., vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 43–54, Jan. 2002.
► Conference Articles:
Conference Article Published in Proceedings:
[#] A. A. Author of article, "Title of paper," in Title of Published Proceedings: Proceedings of the Title of Conf., Month
Date, Year, Location, A. A. Editor, Ed(s). Place of publication: Publisher, Year. pp. inclusive page number(s).  C. W. J. Cheung, S. Y. Law, and Y. P. Zheng, "Development of 3-D Ultrasound System for Assessment of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS): and System Validation," in Proceedings of the 35th Annual International
Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, Osaka, Japan, Jul. 3-7, 2013, pp. 6474-6477.
[#] A. A. Author of presentation, "Title of Presentation," presented at Title of Conf., Month Date, Year,
Location (optional).  H. A. Nimr, "Defuzzification of the outputs of fuzzy controllers," presented at 5th International Conference on Fuzzy Systems, 1996, Cairo, Egypt.
► Theses & Dissertations:
[#] A. A. Author of thesis, Title of Thesis. Place of publication: Publisher, Year of publication.  Y. Pan, Control and design for a multi-evaporator air-conditioning (MEAC) system. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Polytechnic University, May 2012.
► Internet Resources (Webpage):
[#] A. Author (or Name of organization) (optional),Document title, Year of publication. [Format]. Available: URL
[Accessed: Month Day, Year].  National Institute of Standards and Technology Communications Security Establishment Canada. Implementation Guidance for FIPS PUB 140-2 and the Cryptographic Module Validation Program, 2016.[Online]. Available: http://csrc.nist.gov/groups/STM/cmvp/documents/fips140-2/FIPS1402IG.pdf [Accessed: May 10, 2016].
Instead of manually entry of citations, a number of databases subscribed by the Library support direct export of citations to EndNote (or other reference management tools). This means, when you choose the appropriate export option, the citation of the items you have selected will automatically be imported into the EndNote (or other reference management tools) installed on your computer. Be aware that sometimes IEEE citation format may contain errors (e.g., missing volume number). You will need to double check the format of citations and references.
Here below are some examples of commonly used databases that offer citation direct export. The steps are quite similar, and the main difference is the name of the button to export.
If you are using EndNote, export "RIS format".
If you are using Mendeley, export "RIS format" or use Web Importer to capture citation.
If you are using Zotero, export "RIS format" or use Web Translators to capture citation.
If you are using JabRef or other LaTeX tools, export "BibTeX".