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
Hedrick PW. 2004 Comment on ‘Parasite selection for immunogenetic optimality’. Science 303, 957; author reply 957.
A journal article with 2 authors
Winkowski DE, Knudsen EI. 2006 Top-down gain control of the auditory space map by gaze control circuitry in the barn owl. Nature 439, 336–339.
A journal article with 3 authors
Pierce SE, Clack JA, Hutchinson JR. 2012 Three-dimensional limb joint mobility in the early tetrapod Ichthyostega. Nature 486, 523–526.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Wohlgenannt M, Tandon K, Mazumdar S, Ramasesha S, Vardeny ZV. 2001 Formation cross-sections of singlet and triplet excitons in pi-conjugated polymers. Nature 409, 494–497.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Silvia JE. 2011 Dynamic Economic Decision Making. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Homma I, Shioda S, editors. 2006 Breathing, Feeding, and Neuroprotection. Tokyo: Springer Japan.
A chapter in an edited book
Jang J-B, Lee H-P, Hwang K-M, Song Y-C. 2011 Prediction of Prestress Force on Grouted Tendon by Experimental Modal Analysis. In Dynamics of Civil Structures, Volume 4: Proceedings of the 28th IMAC, A Conference on Structural Dynamics, 2010 (ed T Proulx), pp. 33–39. 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
Andrew E. 2015 Why Homeopathy Must Not Gain A Foothold In The UK. 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. 1978 Procedures for Evaluating Research and Development Contracts in the Department of Transportation.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Takusi GS. 2010 A quantitative analysis of the extrinsic and intrinsic turnover factors of relational database support professionals. 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
de la MERCED MJ. 2017 Walmart to Acquire Bonobos for $310 Million. New York Times, 16 June. , B4.

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