How to format your references using the Real-Time Systems citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Real-Time Systems. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Branco T (2011) Eppendorf winner. The language of dendrites. Science 334:615–616
A journal article with 2 authors
Livneh U, Zador A (2014) Sensory systems: Sound processing takes motor control. Nature 513:180–181
A journal article with 3 authors
Brockmann D, Hufnagel L, Geisel T (2006) The scaling laws of human travel. Nature 439:462–465
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Grossman SR, Deato ME, Brignone C, et al (2003) Polyubiquitination of p53 by a ubiquitin ligase activity of p300. Science 300:342–344

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
O’Kelly M, Ratitch B (2014) Clinical Trials with Missing Data. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK
An edited book
Nagel WE, Kröner DH, Resch MM (eds) (2013) High Performance Computing in Science and Engineering ‘12: Transactions of the High Performance Computing Center, Stuttgart (HLRS) 2012. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
Kennedy A, de León I (2011) Brand Implementation. In: León I de (ed) Pro CSS for High Traffic Websites. Apress, Berkeley, CA, pp 137–164

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 Real-Time Systems.

Blog post
Luntz S (2016) Early Dinosaurs Had Plenty Of Competition. In: IFLScience. Accessed 30 Oct 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 (2005) Telecommunications: GSA Has Made Progress Planning for a New Governmentwide Program, But Critical Issues Remain. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Lee M (2009) Utilizing the Index of Learning Styles (ILS) in a technology-based publishing program. Doctoral dissertation, University of Phoenix

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
Wagner J (2017) Their Run Together May Be Nearing an End. New York Times B8

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Branco 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Branco 2011; Livneh and Zador 2014).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Livneh and Zador 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Grossman et al. 2003)

About the journal

Full journal titleReal-Time Systems
AbbreviationReal-Time Syst.
ISSN (print)0922-6443
ISSN (online)1573-1383
ScopeComputer Networks and Communications
Computer Science Applications
Control and Systems Engineering
Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Control and Optimization
Modelling and Simulation

Other styles