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
Greenfield PM. 2009 Technology and informal education: what is taught, what is learned. Science 323, 69–71.
A journal article with 2 authors
Sipp D, Turner L. 2012 Stem cells. U.S. regulation of stem cells as medical products. Science 338, 1296–1297.
A journal article with 3 authors
Farihi J, Gänsicke BT, Koester D. 2013 Evidence for water in the rocky debris of a disrupted extrasolar minor planet. Science 342, 218–220.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Goldberg AV et al. 2008 Localization and functionality of microsporidian iron-sulphur cluster assembly proteins. Nature 452, 624–628.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Assing D, Calé S. 2013 Mobile Access Safety. Hoboken, NJ 07030 USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Mackey PJ, Grimsey EJ, Jones RT, Brooks GA, editors. 2016 Celebrating the Megascale: Proceedings of the Extraction and Processing Division Symposium on Pyrometallurgy in Honor of David G.C. Robertson. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Polzehl J, Tabelow K. 2012 Structural Adaptive Smoothing: Principles and Applications in Imaging. In Mathematical Methods for Signal and Image Analysis and Representation (eds L Florack, R Duits, G Jongbloed, M-C van Lieshout, L Davies), pp. 65–81. London: Springer.

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
Davis J. 2015 80% Of Cervical Cancers Preventable With Latest HPV Vaccine. 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. 1996 Analysis of ‘Florida’s Fair Share’.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Stadalis MD. 2015 Development of a Conceptual Model and Instrument for Sustaining Successful School Reculturing and Reform Efforts. Doctoral dissertation, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA.

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
Kelly S. 1994 CHILDREN’S BOOKS. New York Times, 3 July. , 714.

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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