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
Tachibana-Konwalski K. 2015 Cell division: Hold on and let go. Nature 517, 441–442.
A journal article with 2 authors
Bian Y, Gong Q. 2014 Tuning the hybridization of plasmonic and coupled dielectric nanowire modes for high-performance optical waveguiding at sub-diffraction-limited scale. Sci. Rep. 4, 6617.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ninomiya H, Elinson RP, Winklbauer R. 2004 Antero-posterior tissue polarity links mesoderm convergent extension to axial patterning. Nature 430, 364–367.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Yoshino T, Manthilake G, Matsuzaki T, Katsura T. 2008 Dry mantle transition zone inferred from the conductivity of wadsleyite and ringwoodite. Nature 451, 326–329.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Traitler H, Coleman B, Hofmann K. 2015 Food Industry Design, Technology and Innovation. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Saaksvuori A. 2005 Product Lifecycle Management. Second Edition. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Jiang Q, Wen Z. 2011 Thermodynamics of Phase Transitions. In Thermodynamics of Materials (ed Z Wen), pp. 157–206. 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
Davis J. 2016 For Male Chimpanzees, It Pays To Have Friends In High Places. 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. 2003 Highway Safety: Factors Contributing to Traffic Crashes and NHTSA’s Efforts to Address Them.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Gomez-Zuebisch LC. 2010 A phenomenological exploration of the learning values derived from instructional short videos among adult learners. Doctoral dissertation, University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ.

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
Shattuck K. 2017 A Break From ‘House of Cards’ Intrigue. New York Times, 2 June. , MB2.

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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