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
Finkelstein J (2009) Metalloproteins. Nature 460:813
A journal article with 2 authors
Vohr SH, Green RE (2015) Development. Aneuploidy and mother’s genes. Science 348:180–181
A journal article with 3 authors
Roychowdhury T, Vishnoi A, Bhattacharya A (2013) Next-Generation Anchor Based Phylogeny (NexABP): constructing phylogeny from next-generation sequencing data. Sci Rep 3:2634
A journal article with 5 or more authors
McNab F, Varrone A, Farde L, et al (2009) Changes in cortical dopamine D1 receptor binding associated with cognitive training. Science 323:800–802

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chen ZN, Chia MYW (2006) Broadband Planar Antennas. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK
An edited book
Audet C, Hansen P, Savard G (eds) (2005) Essays and Surveys in Global Optimization. Springer US, Boston, MA
A chapter in an edited book
Marinescu DG, Nicolae V, Popescu CL, et al (2016) DUSTER ZERO—Electric Vehicle Research 4WD. In: Andreescu C, Clenci A (eds) Proceedings of the European Automotive Congress EAEC-ESFA 2015. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 37–49

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
Hale T (2016) Climate Change Set To Halve Global Coffee Production By 2050. 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 (1997) Chief Information Officers: Ensuring Strong Leadership and an Effective Council. 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
Heyer C (2017) Advocacy Services for College Students With Disabilities: A Grant Proposal. 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
Murphy MJO (2011) A Watcher in the Night. New York Times BR15

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Finkelstein 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Finkelstein 2009; Vohr and Green 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Vohr and Green 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (McNab et al. 2009)

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