IEEE Referencing: Figures, tables and equations

Figures, tables and equations from another source

Figures are visual presentations of results, such as graphs, diagrams, images, drawings, schematics, maps, etc. 

If you are referring to a specific figure, table or equation found in another source, place a citation number in brackets directly after its mention in the text, and then use the following notation, including the full details of the source in the reference list. 

Figure                   … as illustrated in [5, Fig. 1]

Table                     … is presented in [5, Tab. 3]

Equation              … as seen in [5, eq. (2)]

Do not write phrases such as “in Fig. 1 of reference [5]”; rather the text should be edited to read simply “in [5, Fig. 1]”. Similarly, rewrite phrases such as “in equation (2) of reference [5]” to be [5, eq. (2)].

The reference of the figure, table or equation is included in the reference list in accordance with the source format within which this information is provided, e.g. book, journal article, and technical report of this guide.

Figures, tables and equations from another source: Examples

Material type  In-text example Reference List example

For more details, the reader is referred to [2, Fig. 4].                                    

 [2]     M. C. Cheng and R. Wirtz , Mechanical Vibration and Analysis, 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2015, p. 17.

Note: This is a book format example.


As seen in [6, Tab. 3], the perceived barriers for seeking oral and written information ...

 [6]   F. Chanson, L. W. Burton, H. Cleveland, and H. M. Green, “Engineers perception of information sources,” J. Doc., vol. 34, no. 43, p. 140, Apr. 2013.

Note: This is a print journal format example.



This result matches the one obtained in [5, eq. (14)] for the preceding case.

[5]    R. H. Byor, “Nanotechnology in water and wastewater treatment,” Ph.D. dissertation, Coll. of Eng. and Sci., Victoria Univ., Melb., Vic., 2016, p. 84.

Note: This is a thesis format example.

Figures, tables and equations in your own work

If you have provided your own figure, table or equation, there will be no references. However all tables and figures in your paper must be referred to in the main body of the text:

Electronic equipment casings are shown in Fig. 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Other specifications for these three casings are given in Table 1. Equations (1), (2), and (3) were applied for the thermal design of ventilated enclosures used in the equipment casings.

Figures, tables and equations within a paper are numbered consecutively from the beginning of the paper to the end.