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Civil & Environmental Engineering

Your starting point for research and study in the area of civil & environmental engineering.

Citation Style

What is a citation?   What is a citation style and which one to choose?

citation is a way of identifying and giving credit to others' published works that you used to support your own research. Other than facilitating researchers to locate sources of works, including citations in a paper also helps 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 citation << 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:

Subject Commonly used citation style
Applied Science & Textiles (FAST) APA / Harvard
Business (FB) APA / Harvard
Construction & Environment (FCE) IEEE / Harvard
Engineering (FENG) IEEE / APA
Health Sciences & Social Sciences (FHSS) APA
Humanities (FH) APA / MLA
School of Design (SD) APA
School of Hotel & Tourism Management (SHTM) APA

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., [1], [3]-[5] (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  • Do not cite secondary source.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 [1] stated that...
Cairo et al. [2, p. 20] claimed that "..."
Recent studies [3]-[6] have proved that...
Couple of studies reported similar results [2], [3], [5].

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).
[1]   K. Tanaka and H. Wang, Fuzzy Control Systems Design and Analysis: A Linear Matrix Inequality Approach.
       New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Interscience, 2001.
[2]   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.
[3]   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.
[4]   I. Fialho and G. Balas, “Road adaptive active suspension design using linear parameter-varying gain-scheduling,”
       IEEE Trans. Control SystTechnol., 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).

[5]   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.

  • Conference Presentations:

[#]   A. A. Author of presentation, "Title of Presentation," presented at Title of Conf., Month Date, Year,
[6]   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.

[7]   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].

[8]   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: [Accessed: May 10, 2016].