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
Jaffe H. 2004 Public health. Whatever happened to the U.S. AIDS epidemic? Science 305, 1243–1244.
A journal article with 2 authors
Wang X, Huang B. 2014 Computational study of in-plane phonon transport in Si thin films. Sci. Rep. 4, 6399.
A journal article with 3 authors
Deecke VB, Slater PJB, Ford JKB. 2002 Selective habituation shapes acoustic predator recognition in harbour seals. Nature 420, 171–173.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Olsen EM, Heino M, Lilly GR, Morgan MJ, Brattey J, Ernande B, Dieckmann U. 2004 Maturation trends indicative of rapid evolution preceded the collapse of northern cod. Nature 428, 932–935.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ellis H, Lawson A. 2013 Anatomy for Anaesthetists. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
An edited book
Campion J, Rousseaux X, editors. 2016 Policing New Risks in Modern European History. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK.
A chapter in an edited book
Rabinovich V, Alexandrov N. 2013 Base Station Array Examples for Communication with Vehicles. In Antenna Arrays and Automotive Applications (ed N Alexandrov), pp. 117–138. 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
Luntz S. 2016 Roadworks Unveil Hidden Haul Of 360-Million-Year-Old Fossils. 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. 1992 NATO: A Changing Alliance Faces New Challenges.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Doss A. 2015 Trapped within the white gaze: A DuBoisian approach to understanding the existential burden of being a black man in America. Doctoral dissertation, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.

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
Greenhouse L. 2006 Court Explores Complexities In Job Discrimination Case. New York Times, 28 November. , A20.

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