How to format your references using the Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics. 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
Dohlman H G 2002 Diminishing returns Nature 418 591
A journal article with 2 authors
Reader J S and Joyce G F 2002 A ribozyme composed of only two different nucleotides Nature 420 841–4
A journal article with 3 authors
Lunshof J E, Church G M and Prainsack B 2014 Information access. Raw personal data: providing access Science 343 373–4
A journal article with 99 or more authors
Chen T Y, Tesanovic Z, Liu R H, Chen X H and Chien C L 2008 A BCS-like gap in the superconductor SmFeAsO0.85F0.15 Nature 453 1224–7

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Frantzen A J 2012 Anglo-Saxon Keywords (Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd)
An edited book
Bihanic D 2015 Empowering Users through Design: Interdisciplinary Studies and Combined Approaches for Technological Products and Services (Cham: Springer International Publishing)
A chapter in an edited book
Marcon C and Mancin M 2016 Empirical Evidence on Current Integrated Reporting Practices Integrated Reporting: A New Accounting Disclosure ed C Mio (London: Palgrave Macmillan UK) pp 59–79

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 Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Blog post
Hamilton K 2014 Watch A Python Swallow A Whole Deer 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 1971 Assessment of the Teacher Corps Program at the University of Southern California and Participating Schools in Tulare County Serving Rural-Migrant Children (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office)

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Gaete D O 2009 Investigation of intuitive eating after intervention measured by the Intuitive Eating Scale Doctoral dissertation (Long Beach, CA: 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
Paulson M 2017 Trump Twitter Quarrel With Michael Moore New York Times C3

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 titleResearch in Astronomy and Astrophysics
AbbreviationRes. Astron. Astrophys.
ISSN (print)1674-4527
ScopeSpace and Planetary Science
Astronomy and Astrophysics

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