IET conference paper reference style

I've recently prepared a paper for a forthcoming IET conference in which I cited references.
Whilst the template for the paper provided an example of the format it would like references to journals to be included in, it gave no further advice.

Assuming that there would be a standard format for all IET conference papers I went a-googling - with very little success. My next option was to ask on the IET forums here. Unfortunately this didn't turn up any standard formats either. Therefore my conclusion is that a "standard" doesn't exit.

This isn't a major issue as I think you'd have to work quite hard to contrive an example where a reader wouldn't be able to decipher a reference due to the use of an obtuse format. However I think it would be good practice to document the format I've used here...

The conference template suggests (for a journal article):
[1]    A. B. Author, C. D. Author. “Title of the article”, The Journal, volume, pp. 110-120, (2000).

Surprisingly this differs from the IET advice for research journal citations and the two documents on IEEE reference formats.

Therefore the style I decided to use is:

Journal article
  •  A. B. Author, C. D. Author. “Title of the article”, The Journalvolume, pp. 110  120, (year).
Conference paper
  •  A. B. Author, C. D. Author. The title of the conference paper”, The Conference, Location City, Location Country, pp. 1-7, (Month year).
Book, book chapter and manual
  • A. B. Author, C. D. Author. The title of the book chapter”, in D. Editor (Ed.), The title of the book (Publisher, year, 1st edn.), pp. 1 – 7.
           A. B. Author, C. D. Author. The title of the book (Publisher, year, 2nd edn. 2006).
  • A. B. Author.  The title of the patent, British Patent 123456, (Month year).
  • A. B. Author, C. D. Author. British Patent Application 98765, (Month year).
  • A. B. Author.  The title of the thesis”, PhD thesis, XYZ University, year.
  • BS1234:  The title of the standard, year.
  • http://www.theiet.org, accessed Month year.

As I prepared the paper using LaTeX, all my referencing was done using BibTeX. I therefore needed to create a custom bibliography style file. I did this using the custom-bib package. This a fairly straightforward process once it's figured out, roughly consisting of:
  1. run latex on "username"\Application Data\MikTeX\2.8\tex\latex\custom-bib\makebst.tex
  2. answer questions appearing in the output window
  3. get *.dbj file produced at the end
  4. run latex on that file to produce *.bst file (I found that the full path to the file was required at this step, so it needed to be run from the command line rather than through an editor)
There is a fairly large set of questions that allow you to customise the style through this process, so I ended up with a style that was pretty close to what I wanted. Unfortunately there were a few niggling differences in the output. Most significantly custom-bib does not allow the option of changing the comma between the author list and title to a period. To rectify this I had to dive into the .bst file and start hacking!

Now I wouldn't recommend this if it can be avoided as the language used is pretty obscure, however I eventually got something that looked about right.

If you want to use my style file it's here. Obviously it comes with no warranty and no official backing from the IET. It looked ok for the paper I submitted but I'd recommend thorough checking of the output if you do use it.

Please let me know if this is of use to you, or if you have any comments on my chosen style, using custom-bib or any other part of my process.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hi welf,

    Thank you so much for posting this; it was of great help for a recent IET conference paper that I had to submit.

    I found some minor issues and made some updates to better match my needs. I have uploaded my modified version of it to bitbucket here in case it is of use to you or anyone else. I have of course credited you fully.

    Best wishes and thanks again for posting this.

  3. Dear welf,

    Many many thanks for your sharing of this, it is really helpful for us. I am wondering do you have similar .bst for IET journals? I am urgently require it for my latex, but i could not find it online.
    Many thanks.
    I appreciate if you can send if this .bst email if you have. My email: absun1984@gmail.com. Many thanks.

    Kind regards

    1. Anbang,
      I'm glad it was of use you, unfortunately I have not published in any IET journals so I cannot help you with this.

  4. Hello,
    What change should I make in the file to make the reference for authors look like this:

    Author, A.B., Author, C.D "title:...

    1. Sorry, it's a long time since I did this. I suggest you first experiment with custom-bib and then go into the .bst file if necessary.

  5. how to cite a webpage in iet template using the bibtex?