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I am using IEEEtran as the bibliography style. I want to append a letter (e.g., R) to the citation within the text and at the end of the document.

I was able to solve the problem for the list of References. This is achieved by inserting

\makeatletter
\renewcommand\@biblabel[1]{[R#1]}
\makeatother

to my preample. So, now the list of References is as follows:

[R1] ...

[R2] ...

However, I cannot get it to work inside the text. To be more specific, I want my text to be as follows: "The authors in [R1] did ..." instead of "The authors in [1] did ...". Any suggestions?

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As the OP notes, a redefinition of \@biblabel can address the reference list. To remedy the actual \cite text, \bibcite must be redefined.

In my MWE, I save copies of the original and re-express the newly redefined macros in terms of their originals.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{filecontents}
\begin{filecontents}{junk.bib}
@ARTICLE{bake67,
        TITLE   = "Prediction and scaling of reflected impulse from
                        strong blast waves",
        AUTHOR  = "Baker, W. E.",
        JOURNAL = "International Journal of Mechanical Sciences",
        VOLUME  = "9",
        NUMBER  = "1",
        PAGES   = "45--51",
        YEAR    = "1967"                        }
\end{filecontents}
\let\svbibcite\bibcite
\def\bibcite#1#2{\svbibcite{#1}{R#2}}
\makeatletter
\let\svbiblabel\@biblabel
\def\@biblabel#1{\svbiblabel{R#1}}
\makeatother
\begin{document}
cite \cite{bake67}
\bibliographystyle{IEEEtran}
\bibliography{junk}
\end{document}

enter image description here

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