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Cite Sources Appropriately

You should always cite any sources used in your journal article. Citation is required in several instances. Follow these guidelines. 

  • Direct quotation: Place verbatim text from another source in quotation marks, or indented text for longer quotes, and include a citation to the original source.
  • Paraphrase or summary: Include a citation when restating or summarizing information from another source, including ideas, processes, arguments, or conclusions.
  • Data, research results, information, graphics, or tables: Cite the original source when referring to, adapting, or reusing any information from another source.

Note that the same rules apply to your own previously published work. When in doubt, cite.


IEEE defines plagiarism as the use of another’s ideas, processes, results, or words without explicitly acknowledging the original author and source. Plagiarism in any form is unacceptable and is considered a serious breach of professional conduct, with potentially severe ethical and legal consequences. (IEEE Publication Services and Products Board Operations Manual, Section 8.2.1.B.7.)

All IEEE journal, magazine, and conference articles are screened for plagiarism before publication in the IEEE Xplore® Digital Library.

Inappropriate use of citations

Citing an irrelevant source for the purpose of artificially inflating citation metrics is considered a breach of ethics. Only cite relevant sources that legitimately contribute to your article according to the criteria outlined above.

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