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
Rodbell DT. 2012 Climate change. Marching in near lock-step. Science 335, 548–549.
A journal article with 2 authors
Sitia R, Braakman I. 2003 Quality control in the endoplasmic reticulum protein factory. Nature 426, 891–894.
A journal article with 3 authors
Karl M, Nowak B, Gasenzer T. 2013 Tuning universality far from equilibrium. Sci. Rep. 3, 2394.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Gomez EF, Venkatraman V, Grote JG, Steckl AJ. 2014 DNA bases thymine and adenine in bio-organic light emitting diodes. Sci. Rep. 4, 7105.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Brown R. 2005 Rational Choice and Judgment. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Vincenti G, Bucciero A, Vaz de Carvalho C, editors. 2016 E-Learning, E-Education, and Online Training: Second International Conference, eLEOT 2015, Novedrate, Italy, September 16-18, 2015, Revised Selected Papers. 1st ed. 2016. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Shakarian P, Subrahmanian VS. 2011 Two Real-World Geospatial Abduction Applications. In Geospatial Abduction: Principles and Practice (ed VS Subrahmanian), pp. 147–165. New York, NY: 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 B.

Blog post
Taub B. 2016 Shark Dies After Idiots Drag It From The Sea To Take Selfies. 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. 1983 The President’s Second Special Message for FY 1983.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Picchini AM. 2010 Neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus: Modulation of stem cell fate by experience. Doctoral dissertation, Columbia University, New York, NY.

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
Cooper M. 2017 Fixing Geffen Hall? Ask Ohio. New York Times, 17 October. , C1.

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