I typically use reference managers to handle my citations automatically and insert them in text in the IEEE style:

    This is a statement backed by research [1], [2], [3].

However, in the case where citations are first mentioned in a text and inserted in a row, articles typically show them as something similar to:

    This is another statement backed by research [1-3].

I have recently started using Mendeley as a citation manager, and wanted to see if there was a style I could install that would organize my citations using numbers (as in IEEE/Nature styles) but additionally automatically "join" my citations, as in the second example. If there isn't one, I would have to edit my documents manually to show the citations like this (something I wanted to avoid, since it makes reference managing a lot harder).

Does anyone know if it exists or if it is possible to automatize this in the program settings of any reference manager?

1 Answer 1


To the best of my knowledge, Mendeley uses styles written in Citation Style Language (CSL) unlike, for example, EndNote which uses a proprietary method. Because Mendeley uses CSL, you will be able to search Citation Styles for the citation style that you want. They have lots of IEEE styles.

That said, I think you have made an error. This document from the IEEE (see page 3) appears to contradict your statement that

This is a statement backed by research [1-3]

would be an appropriate way of referencing sequential references [1], [2], and [3]. Instead, the IEEE document indicates that the correct approach would be to write

This is a statement backed by research [1]-[3]

(with an en-dash between the two bracketed numbers.

In any case, you should be able to find the style you need on the Citation Styles site. Moreover, having found the style that you need, you will see that there is a clickable button labelled "install" which (when clicked!) gives instructions appropriate for Mendeley.

  • I much prefer the first option frankly, but what the journal wants is what they should get...
    – Jon Custer
    Feb 22 at 14:01
  • 1
    Thank you for this answer! The statement I presented was just to be meant as an example of what I wanted the style to be able to do (sequenced numbered citations), I now have clarified that in my question. The link you provided did have updated versions of different citation styles. I tried the ACS model which places the sequence inside regular brackets: (1), and it automatized the in line sequence citation of my document.
    – Rye
    Feb 22 at 15:58
  • @JonCuster The IEEE uses the [1-3] arrangement to indicate page numbers (!), so one might have [4, 1-3]. It seems like a system with very low symbol redundancy to distinguish elements. Unlike the APA format, where one has Smith, J. (1977). My paper ... with a right parenthesis and a mandatory full stop to terminate the year. Feb 22 at 16:29

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