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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 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
de Lanerolle P. 2005 Recruiters and academia. Top 10 tips for success in graduate school. Nature 433, 442.
A journal article with 2 authors
Le Borgne M, Shaw AS. 2013 Immunology. Do T cells have a cilium? Science 342, 1177–1178.
A journal article with 3 authors
Gouldstone A, Van Vliet KJ, Suresh S. 2001 Nanoindentation. Simulation of defect nucleation in a crystal. Nature 411, 656.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Nykypanchuk D, Maye MM, van der Lelie D, Gang O. 2008 DNA-guided crystallization of colloidal nanoparticles. Nature 451, 549–552.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Massad JJ, Cagna DR, Goodacre CJ, Wicks RA, Ahuja SA. 2017 Application of the Neutral Zone in Prosthodontics. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Taha S. 2013 Secure IP Mobility Management for VANET. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Mills PK, Snyder KM. 2009 Building Advantage: Management By Mistrust In Controlling Empowered Proventure Workers. In Knowledge Services Management: Organizing Around Internal Markets (ed KM Snyder), pp. 94–110. Boston, MA: Springer US.

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 B.

Blog post
Hamilton K. 2016 Our New Pterosaur Fossil Shows Birds And Small Reptiles Flew Side By Side. 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. 1993 Mass Transit: Federal Participation in Transit Benefit Programs.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Cho Y. 2013 Chinese restaurant business and Taiwanese pentecostalism in Southern California. 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
Saslow L. 2006 Southampton Buys A Girl Scout Camp. New York Times, 26 November. , 14LI2.

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 B
AbbreviationProc. Biol. Sci.
ISSN (print)0962-8452
ISSN (online)1471-2954
ScopeGeneral Agricultural and Biological Sciences
General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
General Environmental Science
General Immunology and Microbiology
General Medicine

Other styles