How to format your references using the IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy. 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
J. M. Ottino, “Engineering complex systems,” Nature, vol. 427, no. 6973, p. 399, Jan. 2004.
A journal article with 2 authors
J. Clayton and D. Butler, “The long and winding road,” Nature, vol. 430, no. 7002, p. 937, Aug. 2004.
A journal article with 3 authors
X. He, L. Gao, and N. Ma, “One-step instant synthesis of protein-conjugated quantum dots at room temperature,” Sci. Rep., vol. 3, p. 2825, Oct. 2013.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
A. E. Quinn, A. Georges, S. D. Sarre, F. Guarino, T. Ezaz, and J. A. M. Graves, “Temperature sex reversal implies sex gene dosage in a reptile,” Science, vol. 316, no. 5823, p. 411, Apr. 2007.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
J. C. Anderson and F. Naeim, Basic Structural Dynamics. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2012.
An edited book
M. D’Onofrio, P. Marziani, and J. W. Sulentic, Eds., Fifty Years of Quasars: From Early Observations and Ideas to Future Research, vol. 386. in Astrophysics and Space Science Library, vol. 386. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2012.
A chapter in an edited book
A. Desrochers and G.-J. van Duinen, “Peatland Fauna,” in Boreal Peatland Ecosystems, R. K. Wieder and D. H. Vitt, Eds., in Ecological Studies. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2006, pp. 67–100.

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 IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy.

Blog post
E. Andrew, “What Does Spider-Man Eat For Breakfast?,” IFLScience, Feb. 05, 2015. (accessed Oct. 30, 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, “Aviation Security: Actions Needed to Address Challenges and Potential Vulnerabilities Related to Securing Inbound Air Cargo,” U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, GAO-12-632, May 2012.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
C. Lindemann-Litzsinger, “Investigating the Possible Relationship Between Participation in High School Athletics and First-Generation College Student Persistence to College Graduation,” Doctoral dissertation, Lindenwood University, St. Charles, MO, 2017.

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
M. Pilon, “Winning Teams Linked With Declining Grades,” New York Times, p. B14, Dec. 22, 2011.

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 titleIEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy
AbbreviationIEEE Trans. Sustain. Energy
ISSN (print)1949-3029
ScopeRenewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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