References should not be presented in the text, to avoid the article becoming too dense for casual readers. However, a ‘Suggested Reading’ section at the end of the text is encouraged. Each reference should contain as many of the following elements as possible:

  • Author surnames with initials (up to five before et al is used)
  • Title of paper (roman) or book (italic)
  • Journal name (italic), not abbreviated
  • Volume number (bold)
  • First and last page numbers
  • Year of publication
  • DOI

Note that for a book, the edition, the chapter(s) and its/their page range(s), the editor(s) and the name of the publisher should be given, for instance:

  • Falconer, D. S. Introduction to quantitative genetics, 2nd edn. (Longman, 1981).
  • Falkenmark, M. Landscape as life support provider: water-related limitations. In Population-the Complex Reality (ed. F. Graham-Smith), pp. 103–116 (The Royal Society, 1993).

Authors are encouraged to quote digital object identifiers (DOIs) – standardized article reference codes – where known, in addition to providing full citations, for instance:

  • Hamilton, W. D. & Brown, S. P. Autumn tree colours as a handicap signal. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 268, 1489–1493 (2001). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2001.1672

The DOI is a unique electronic tag applied by certain publishers (and online databases, such as CrossRef) to their published papers. DOI hotlinks take a reader directly from the paper they are reading to the abstract of the paper they have selected. Any DOI can be accessed online in the following format: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2001.1672.