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
Savage N. 2011 Algae: The scum solution. Nature 474, S15-6.
A journal article with 2 authors
Kishore S, Stamm S. 2006 The snoRNA HBII-52 regulates alternative splicing of the serotonin receptor 2C. Science 311, 230–232.
A journal article with 3 authors
Hollingsworth RG, Armstrong JW, Campbell E. 2002 Caffeine as a repellent for slugs and snails. Nature 417, 915–916.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Yang R et al. 2013 Isolated nanographene crystals for nano-floating gate in charge trapping memory. Sci. Rep. 3, 2126.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chitty J, Raftery A. 2013 Essentials of Tortoise Medicine and Surgery. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Bachrach DG. 2016 More Than a Showroom: Strategies for Winning Back Online Shoppers. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan US.
A chapter in an edited book
Li Q, Lam JSL, Fan HSL. 2014 Multi-link-ahead Conflicts Prediction in Dynamic Seaport Environments. In Simulations, Serious Games and Their Applications (eds Y Cai, SL Goei), pp. 69–84. Singapore: 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 D. 2016 What Lies Beneath Antarctica’s Ice? Lakes, Life And The Grandest Of Canyons. 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. 1996 Analysis of ‘Florida’s Fair Share’.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Komatsuzaki T. 2012 Borrowing constraints and the business cycle in emerging markets. Doctoral dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD.

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
Witz B. 2016 All Kidding Aside, Alderson and Mets Sign Tebow to Minor League Deal. New York Times, 9 September. , B13.

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