My downloaded citation looks like this:

journal={IEEE Std. 1516-2000}, title={IEEE Standard for Modeling and Simulation (M Amp;S) High Level Architecture (HLA) - Framework and Rules}, 
month={ }, 
pages={i -22}, 
keywords={Keywords: architecture, class attribute, federate, federation, federation execution, federation object model, framework, high level architecture, instance attribute, interaction class, joined federate, object class, object model template, rules, runtime infrastructure, simulation object model;}, 

After typesetting, it looks like this:

[1] Ieee standard for modeling and simulation (m amp;s) high level archi- tecture (hla) - framework and rules. IEEE Std. 1516-2000, pages i --22, 2000.

But I was wondering whether it should look like this:

[2] IEEE Std 1516-2000. IEEE Standard for Modeling and Simulation (M&S) High Level Architecture (HLA) - Framework and Rules. Technical report, IEEE.

The later one was found while I was reading someone else's bibliography, and I think it just looks better than mine (for example it has M&S instead of m amp;s). However I wasn't sure about this.

So which one is better, [1] or [2]? Is there a rule?

  • 6
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4 Answers 4


The difference comes from the protection of the data fields. If you wish to keep the original format you need to put one extra pair of braces around the capitalizations etc.

IEEE Download Citation mechanism spits out these odd BibTeX entries and it's certainly not acceptable as you have found out. So there is almost always some work to do after downloading from IEEE, e.g., journal names comes out as journal={some journal, IEEE Transactions on} and you have to revert it each time.

journal={IEEE Std. 1516-2000}, 
title={{IEEE Standard for Modeling and Simulation {(M\&S)} High Level Architecture {(HLA)} - Framework and Rules}}, 
pages={i -22}, 

\title{IEEE article}
\author{Theman Dlegend}

\lipsum[1]See \cite{893287} for more info 

enter image description here

  • Are you saying your solution is to use the package filecontents?
    – Veridian
    Aug 22, 2013 at 21:40
  • 5
    @sphere No it's just there to make the example self contained.
    – percusse
    Aug 22, 2013 at 22:43
  • 1
    Warning: this is not the right format for citing IEEE standards. The title should be unquoted italics and the number plain text. see IEEE's citation reference
    – Bryan P
    Feb 7, 2017 at 12:00
  • 1
    @BryanP It's the official .bst style. It doesn't matter what it does.
    – percusse
    Feb 8, 2017 at 17:42
  • Can you please explain what is in the testing.bib? May 23, 2019 at 10:24

None of them is correct, the corrected format should be as follows (just an example, which is demonstrate in page 10 of How to Use the IEEEtran BIBTEX Style ).

enter image description here

If you want to cite your reference within IEEE standard, you should do it as IEEE required. This is How to Use the IEEEtran BIBTEX Style and the official BibTeX style .

Enjoy citing!

  • This should be the right (and accepted) answer as it respects IEEE's format. Aug 14, 2022 at 3:18
  • @TeddyvanJerry It really shouldn't, since it's not even answering the correct question. The question was "how to cite an IEEE standard (i.e. a document published by IEEE)", while this answer answers "how to cite something following IEEE journals' citation format requirements". The IEEEtran bibtex style has nothing to do with the question, as the person asking never specified they were writing a document for one of IEEE's journals. Jun 25, 2023 at 12:06

My answer is not purely about LaTex. I would recommend you to use a tool such as Zotero. It is plug-in of Firefox, that manages your bibliography. You can extract all the bibliographic information of a source, at once, by a simple click, either from a pdf format, or a web-page. You can save your pdf's, organize your collection.

But for your case, I would recommend Zotero, because Zotero create a BibTex file for you, with elements you select. Zotero does the IEEE (Or any other) formatting for you, it is a simple option in the Options menu.

  • +1 for recommending Zotero, you may have a look at my answer here for automated workflow making use of biblatex, biber backend program, and text editor that supports biber, I use TexStudio.
    – doctorate
    May 20, 2013 at 12:05

There is a simple answer perhaps. IEEE Standards doesn't look like its a journal therefore it should not be defined as such. If you define the title instead + publisher + url in @misc this would be a more appropriate reference.

  • It is advisable to show what you mean through code rather. Could you provide the community with a minimal working example (MWE) that highlights what you mean, since I'm not sure whether this answers the question exactly.
    – Werner
    Nov 13, 2015 at 11:16

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