IEEE Referencing: Personal communication

Basic information about referencing personal communication

  • Personal Communications include private letters, memos, emails, personal interviews, telephone conversations, and similar resources.
  • As the personal communication may not provide recoverable data, the personal communication may be cited in-text only. 
  • If citing your personal communication in-text only, provide the initials as well as the surname of the communicator, along with as exact a date of communication as possible .
  • Personal Communication with a recoverable, accessible data is recommended to be provided in the Reference List.
  • Use your judgment in citing other electronic forms, like Twitter or SMS Texts, as Personal Communications. Remember that what you cite should have scholarly relevance.

Basic format to reference a personal communication

[#]  Author(s) Initial(s). Surname, private communication, abbrev. Month. Year.

Referencing elements to cite:

  • [#] Reference number (matching the in-text citation number)
  • Author(s) name
  • private communication
  • Abbreviated month and year or correspondence

[1]    F. Khosrowshahi, private communication, Apr. 2018. 

Referencing personal communication in-text: Examples

Material type In-text example Reference List example
Email                           An email (N. Rahman, personal communication, September 2, 2014) confirming that results are accurate ... You do not need to include an entry in the Reference List.
Interview During an interview conducted on October 11, 2015, Professor Peter Dawkins, Vice-Chancellor, Victoria University, stated that …
The Vice-Chancellor's statement was confirmed during an interview (P. Dawkins, Vice-Chancellor, Victoria University, personal communication, October 11, 2014).

You do not need to include an entry in the Reference List.

This example is about referencing information from an interview that you have conducted. 

 Letter In a letter dated October 17, 2013, Jackie Hammill stated that ...
Jackie Hammill expressed understanding in her letter (personal communication, October 17, 2013) ...
You do not need to include an entry in the Reference List.
Telephone call During a phone interview conducted on June 12, 2015, Professor Chris Perera stated that ...
The Professor's statement was confirmed during a phone interview (S. Richards, personal communication, July 21, 2015).
You do not need to include an entry in the Reference List.