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
Lloyd S. 2001 Quantum computing. Computation from geometry. Science 292, 1669.
A journal article with 2 authors
Matsukevich DN, Kuzmich A. 2004 Quantum state transfer between matter and light. Science 306, 663–666.
A journal article with 3 authors
Park I-U, Peacey MW, Munafò MR. 2014 Modelling the effects of subjective and objective decision making in scientific peer review. Nature 506, 93–96.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Pinto S, Roseberry AG, Liu H, Diano S, Shanabrough M, Cai X, Friedman JM, Horvath TL. 2004 Rapid rewiring of arcuate nucleus feeding circuits by leptin. Science 304, 110–115.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lachin JM. 2010 Biostatistical Methods: The Assessment of Relative Risks. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Bhowmick SS, Dyreson CE, Jensen CS, Lee ML, Muliantara A, Thalheim B, editors. 2014 Database Systems for Advanced Applications: 19th International Conference, DASFAA 2014, Bali, Indonesia, April 21-24, 2014. Proceedings, Part II. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Naghdi M, Taheran M, Sarma SJ, Brar SK, Ramirez AA, Verma M. 2016 Nanotechnology to Remove Contaminants. In Nanoscience in Food and Agriculture 1 (eds S Ranjan, N Dasgupta, E Lichtfouse), pp. 101–128. 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 Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Blog post
Andrew E. 2014 Researchers Develop Solar Cells From Old Car Batteries. 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. 1972 Information on Federally Owned Land in Oregon Set Aside for Use by the Burns Paiute Indian Colony.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Ouellette RL. 2008 Referral development results of relationship tie- strength for small business goal -directed networking groups. 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
Oestreich JR. 2016 Inhaling an Era of Intimacy and Beauty. New York Times, 13 September. , C4.

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