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
Gaines S. 2001 Sex, love and science. Nature 413, 255.
A journal article with 2 authors
Imura T, Tomonaga M. 2013 Differences between chimpanzees and humans in visual temporal integration. Sci. Rep. 3, 3256.
A journal article with 3 authors
Liu C, Linde AT, Sacks IS. 2009 Slow earthquakes triggered by typhoons. Nature 459, 833–836.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Seitan VC et al. 2011 A role for cohesin in T-cell-receptor rearrangement and thymocyte differentiation. Nature 476, 467–471.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Aronson DR. 2006 Evidence-Based Technical Analysis. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Chaudhuri P. 2007 View-Dependent Character Animation. London: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Meinel D, Staude A, Ehrig K. 2016 Analyzing Microstructure and Damage in Construction Materials with 3D Micro CT. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Congress on 3D Materials Science (eds D Bernard, J-Y Buffière, T Pollock, HF Poulsen, A Rollett, M Uchic), pp. 23–28. 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
Andrews R. 2017 Swearing Makes You Physically Stronger, According To Strange Study. IFLScience.


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. 1998 Federal Research: The National Academy of Sciences and the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Saifman HP. 2017 Millennial Nurse Manager Perspectives on Their Leadership Roles in the Hospital Setting: A Phenomenological Inquiry. Doctoral dissertation, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL.

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
Vecsey G. 2010 The Place Is Rocking, and So Are the Knicks. New York Times, 16 December. , B17.

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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