How to format your references using the Robotics and Autonomous Systems citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Robotics and Autonomous 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
B. Schmidt, Perspective: if not funding then teaching, Nature. 511 (2014) S81.
A journal article with 2 authors
S.P. Jackson, J. Bartek, The DNA-damage response in human biology and disease, Nature. 461 (2009) 1071–1078.
A journal article with 3 authors
T. Platt, C. Fuentes-Yaco, K.T. Frank, Marine ecology: Spring algal bloom and larval fish survival, Nature. 423 (2003) 398–399.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
M. Dunn, A. Terrill, G. Reesink, R.A. Foley, S.C. Levinson, Structural phylogenetics and the reconstruction of ancient language history, Science. 309 (2005) 2072–2075.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
J. Dubé, D. Legros, Spatial Econometrics Using Microdata, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2014.
An edited book
G. Colombo, ed., Modern Questions of Celestial Mechanics, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2011.
A chapter in an edited book
L. Li, Forensic Pathology, in: G. Li, S.P. Baker (Eds.), Injury Research: Theories, Methods, and Approaches, Springer US, Boston, MA, 2012: pp. 89–109.

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 Robotics and Autonomous Systems.

Blog post
J. Fang, Bear Moms Use Human Shields To Protect Cubs From Infanticidal Males, IFLScience. (2016).


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, Space Acquisitions: Improvements Needed in Space Systems Acquisitions and Keys to Achieving Them, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2006.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
M. Lambert, Generational Differences in the Workplace: The Perspectives of Three Generations on Career Mobility, Doctoral dissertation, George Washington University, 2015.

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
J. Williams, Books of Wonder Coming to West Side, New York Times. (2017) 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 titleRobotics and Autonomous Systems
AbbreviationRob. Auton. Syst.
ISSN (print)0921-8890
ScopeComputer Science Applications
Control and Systems Engineering
General Mathematics

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