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
Joiner S 2000 OPTICS: The Internet of Tomorrow Science 290 1907–8
A journal article with 2 authors
Buffett B A and Wenk H R 2001 Texturing of the Earth’s inner core by Maxwell stresses Nature 413 60–3
A journal article with 3 authors
Whitmire E, Khan B and Coué M 2002 Cdc6 synthesis regulates replication competence in Xenopus oocytes Nature 419 722–5
A journal article with 99 or more authors
Zhang X-W, Yan X-J, Zhou Z-R, Yang F-F, Wu Z-Y, Sun H-B, Liang W-X, Song A-X, Lallemand-Breitenbach V, Jeanne M, Zhang Q-Y, Yang H-Y, Huang Q-H, Zhou G-B, Tong J-H, Zhang Y, Wu J-H, Hu H-Y, de Thé H, Chen S-J and Chen Z 2010 Arsenic trioxide controls the fate of the PML-RARalpha oncoprotein by directly binding PML Science 328 240–3

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Fischer D J, Treister N S and Pinto A 2013 Risk Assessment and Oral Diagnostics in Clinical Dentistry (West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)
An edited book
Shimizu Y 2007 Frontiers in Computing Technologies for Manufacturing Applications ed Z Zhang and R Batres (London: Springer)
A chapter in an edited book
Maruhn J A, Reinhard P-G and Suraud E 2010 Hartree–Fock Simple Models of Many-Fermion Systems ed P-G Reinhard and E Suraud (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer) pp 117–41

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
Andrew D 2017 Trading In Extinction: How The Pet Trade Is Killing Off Many Animal Species 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 2009 Aviation Safety: NASA’s National Aviation Operations Monitoring Service Project Was Designed Appropriately, but Sampling and Other Issues Complicate Data Analysis (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
Le C T 2013 Academic performance of college students as related to depression from stress 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
Vecsey G 2017 Fixing What Ain’t Broke? That’s Ruinous New York Times D3

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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