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
Walsh C. 2001 Enabling the chemistry of life. Nature 409, 226–231.
A journal article with 2 authors
Vijg J, Campisi J. 2008 Puzzles, promises and a cure for ageing. Nature 454, 1065–1071.
A journal article with 3 authors
Xie XS, Yu J, Yang WY. 2006 Living cells as test tubes. Science 312, 228–230.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Einsle O, Tezcan FA, Andrade SLA, Schmid B, Yoshida M, Howard JB, Rees DC. 2002 Nitrogenase MoFe-protein at 1.16 A resolution: a central ligand in the FeMo-cofactor. Science 297, 1696–1700.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chen K-H. 2016 Power Management Techniques for Integrated Circuit Design. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons Singapore Pte. Ltd.
An edited book
Zhang T, editor. 2012 Instrumentation, Measurement, Circuits and Systems. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Theodorou MK, Brookman J, Trinci APJ. 2005 Anaerobic fungi. In Methods in Gut Microbial Ecology for Ruminants (eds HPS Makkar, CS McSweeney), pp. 55–66. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

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. 2015 Inskip Beach Collapse: Just Don’t Call It A ‘Sinkhole’. 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. 1973 Effectiveness and Administration of the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Polk RL. 2015 Examining students with disabilities in a linked learning pathway. 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
Chira S. 2017 Jobs Men Don’t Want. New York Times, 24 June. , SR3.

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

Other styles