Funnily enough, after I originally replied to this referencing became a major feature of my life, as I have been writing up the first part of my Master's thesis; the first time I've had to do formal referencing for many many years.
My feeling more than ever is that conforming to a particular referencing style is a handy stick to beat recalcitrant students with! Having just read through hundreds of journal articles with almost as many varieties of referencing I have never found one where I could not follow the reference - which is, after all, the point. Of course books and journals should have consistent styles within themselves, although the details of the style are (sorry!) not important. So here's a radical suggestion: wouldn't be nice if the whole academic world could - in the UK at least - decide on one referencing style and stick to it! Rather than every academic institute inventing their own style - you do have to wonder if some academics may have too much time on their hands
Meanwhile, hats off to the IET for not being prescriptive about this, it's hard enough to find time to write conference papers without having to worry about whether the date of publication should be in brackets or not.
Anyway, the useful point for those who use Word is that the Citations tool (which I never knew existed until a couple of months ago) is excellent, it gives a reasonable choice of references and sorts out your bibligraphy for you. Even more useful, there are free sources of additional styles available for the Word tool which, being reasonably straightforward scripts, can be edited further (as I had to) to give the exact pedantry that your assessor requires
Learning to reference properly to a particular style is a vital part of learning academic research skills. Learning that it doesn't actually matter and that there are more important things to worry about is a vital part of learning to survive in industrial research without entering an early grave.
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMIhttp://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy
"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert