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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Proceedings 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
Smartt SJ. 2015 Astrophysics: A twist in the tale of γ-ray bursts. Nature 523, 164–166.
A journal article with 2 authors
Seeberger PH, Werz DB. 2007 Synthesis and medical applications of oligosaccharides. Nature 446, 1046–1051.
A journal article with 3 authors
Tagliabue G, Eghlidi H, Poulikakos D. 2014 Rapid-response low infrared emission broadband ultrathin plasmonic light absorber. Sci. Rep. 4, 7181.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Gröbner G, Burnett IJ, Glaubitz C, Choi G, Mason AJ, Watts A. 2000 Observations of light-induced structural changes of retinal within rhodopsin. Nature 405, 810–813.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Niemi V, Nyberg K. 2006 Universal Mobile Telecommunications System Security. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Boyd C, Simpson L, editors. 2013 Information Security and Privacy: 18th Australasian Conference, ACISP 2013, Brisbane, Australia, July 1-3, 2013. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Yang L, Lin H, Lin Y. 2012 Sentiment Analysis Based on Chinese Thinking Modes. In Natural Language Processing and Chinese Computing: First CCF Conference, NLPCC 2012, Beijing, China, October 31-November 5, 2012. Proceedings (eds M Zhou, G Zhou, D Zhao, Q Liu, L Zou), pp. 46–57. Berlin, Heidelberg: 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 Proceedings of the Royal Society A.

Blog post
Andrew E. 2016 When Myth Meets Reality: Fabled Beasts And Real-Life Creatures. 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. 1987 Small Business Act: NASA’s Disadvantaged Business Advocate Not Reporting to Proper Management Level.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Blair GT. 2014 The effects of a league guided sportsmanship program on the behaviors of youth sports athletes. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
Dominus S. 2014 The Sexual Healer. New York Times, 26 January. , ST1.

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 titleProceedings of the Royal Society A
AbbreviationProc. Math. Phys. Eng. Sci.
ISSN (print)1364-5021
ISSN (online)1471-2946
ScopeGeneral Engineering
General Mathematics
General Physics and Astronomy

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