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
Schorghofer N (2007) Dynamics of ice ages on Mars. Nature 449:192–194
A journal article with 2 authors
Kodra E, Ganguly AR (2014) Asymmetry of projected increases in extreme temperature distributions. Sci Rep 4:5884
A journal article with 3 authors
Zijlstra P, Chon JWM, Gu M (2009) Five-dimensional optical recording mediated by surface plasmons in gold nanorods. Nature 459:410–413
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Fang Y, Song YQ, Zhou WP, et al (2014) Large magnetoelectric coupling in Co4Nb2O9. Sci Rep 4:3860

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Todinov M (2015) Reliability and Risk Models. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK
An edited book
de Franchis R, Dell’Era A (eds) (2014) Variceal Hemorrhage. Springer, New York, NY
A chapter in an edited book
Radha Krishna P (2015) Big Data Search and Mining. In: Mohanty H, Bhuyan P, Chenthati D (eds) Big Data: A Primer. Springer India, New Delhi, pp 93–120

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
Davis J (2015) Strange Red Streaks Spotted On Tethys. 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 (1991) Federal Research: Status of DOE’s Superconducting Super Collider. 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
Nuno ZS (2012) Visible and mid-infrared optical studies of plasmon and phonon resonant nanoparticles using apertureless near-field scanning optical microscopy. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach

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
Vecsey G (2009) Amid Celebrations And the Cheers, Cashman Reflects. New York Times D1

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Schorghofer 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Schorghofer 2007; Kodra and Ganguly 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Kodra and Ganguly 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Fang et al. 2014)

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