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
Snieder R. 2000 The tube worm turns. Nature 406, 939.
A journal article with 2 authors
Rampino MR, Caldeira K. 2011 Comment on ‘Atmospheric PCO₂ perturbations associated with the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province’. Science 334, 594; author reply 594.
A journal article with 3 authors
Gregoire LJ, Payne AJ, Valdes PJ. 2012 Deglacial rapid sea level rises caused by ice-sheet saddle collapses. Nature 487, 219–222.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Waldron KJ, Rutherford JC, Ford D, Robinson NJ. 2009 Metalloproteins and metal sensing. Nature 460, 823–830.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Blair R, Regenstein JM. 2015 Genetic Modification and Food Quality. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Nyhan J. 2016 Computation and the Humanities: Towards an Oral History of Digital Humanities. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Crabtree NJ, Kent K. 2016 Acquisition of DXA in Children and Adolescents. In Bone Health Assessment in Pediatrics: Guidelines for Clinical Practice (eds EB Fung, LK Bachrach, AJ Sawyer), pp. 89–114. 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
Andrew E. 2015 Hang Gliders Could Be Heading To Mars. 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. 2006 Space Acquisitions: DOD Needs a Departmentwide Strategy for Pursuing Low-Cost, Responsive Tactical Space Capabilities.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Tang D. 2009 Event detection in sensor networks. Doctoral dissertation, George Washington University, Washington, DC.

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
Billard M. 2010 Scouting Report. New York Times, 15 July. , E5.

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

Other styles