How to format your references using the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A. For a complete guide how to prepare your manuscript refer to the journal's instructions to authors.

Using reference management software

Typically you don't format your citations and bibliography by hand. The easiest way is to use a reference manager:

PaperpileThe citation style is built in and you can choose it in Settings > Citation Style or Paperpile > Citation Style in Google Docs.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
Mendeley, Zotero, Papers, and othersThe style is either built in or you can download a CSL file that is supported by most references management programs.
BibTeXBibTeX syles are usually part of a LaTeX template. Check the instructions to authors if the publisher offers a LaTeX template for this journal.

Journal articles

Those examples are references to articles in scholarly journals and how they are supposed to appear in your bibliography.

Not all journals organize their published articles in volumes and issues, so these fields are optional. Some electronic journals do not provide a page range, but instead list an article identifier. In a case like this it's safe to use the article identifier instead of the page range.

A journal article with 1 author
Davidson EH. 2010 Emerging properties of animal gene regulatory networks. Nature 468, 911–920.
A journal article with 2 authors
Kovács IA, Barabási A-L. 2015 Network science: Destruction perfected. Nature 524, 38–39.
A journal article with 3 authors
Renata H, Zhou Q, Baran PS. 2013 Strategic redox relay enables a scalable synthesis of ouabagenin, a bioactive cardenolide. Science 339, 59–63.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Fender R, Wu K, Johnston H, Tzioumis T, Jonker P, Spencer R, Van Der Klis M. 2004 An ultra-relativistic outflow from a neutron star accreting gas from a companion. Nature 427, 222–224.

Books and book chapters

Here are examples of references for authored and edited books as well as book chapters.

An authored book
Mazzi B. 2013 Treasury Finance and Development Banking. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Bouchachia A, editor. 2014 Adaptive and Intelligent Systems: Third International Conference, ICAIS 2014, Bournemouth, UK, September 8-10, 2014. Proceedings. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Brown K, Laue M, Tafur J, Mahmood MN, Scherrer P, Keast R. 2014 An Integrated Approach to Strategic Asset Management. In Infranomics: Sustainability, Engineering Design and Governance (eds AV Gheorghe, M Masera, PF Katina), pp. 57–74. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Web sites

Sometimes references to web sites should appear directly in the text rather than in the bibliography. Refer to the Instructions to authors for Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A.

Blog post
Taub B. 2016 99.85% Of Americans Will Know A Victim Of Gun Violence At Some Point In Their Lives. IFLScience. See (accessed on 30 October 2018).


This example shows the general structure used for government reports, technical reports, and scientific reports. If you can't locate the report number then it might be better to cite the report as a book. For reports it is usually not individual people that are credited as authors, but a governmental department or agency like "U. S. Food and Drug Administration" or "National Cancer Institute".

Government report
Government Accountability Office. 2012 Highway Projects: Some Federal and State Practices to Expedite Completion Show Promise.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Hongxia D. 2005 Social Process of Environmental Risk Perception, Preferences of Risk Management and Public Participation in Decision Making: A Cross-Cultural Study Between the United States and China. Doctoral dissertation, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

News paper articles

Unlike scholarly journals, news papers do not usually have a volume and issue number. Instead, the full date and page number is required for a correct reference.

New York Times article
Kenigsberg B. 2017 Film Series. New York Times, 15 June. , C22.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1,2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titlePhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A
AbbreviationPhilos. Trans. A Math. Phys. Eng. Sci.
ISSN (print)1364-503X
ISSN (online)1471-2962
ScopeGeneral Engineering
General Mathematics
General Physics and Astronomy

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