How to format your references using the Materials Today Sustainability citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Materials Today Sustainability. 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
K.V. Holmes, Structural biology. Adaptation of SARS coronavirus to humans, Science. 309 (2005) 1822–1823.
A journal article with 2 authors
N.M. Camasso, M.S. Sanford, Design, synthesis, and carbon-heteroatom coupling reactions of organometallic nickel(IV) complexes, Science. 347 (2015) 1218–1220.
A journal article with 3 authors
J.-K. Weng, R.N. Philippe, J.P. Noel, The rise of chemodiversity in plants, Science. 336 (2012) 1667–1670.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
J.R. Thompson, S. Pacocha, C. Pharino, V. Klepac-Ceraj, D.E. Hunt, J. Benoit, R. Sarma-Rupavtarm, D.L. Distel, M.F. Polz, Genotypic diversity within a natural coastal bacterioplankton population, Science. 307 (2005) 1311–1313.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
J. Waupsh, Bankruption, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2016.
An edited book
R. Alvarez-Venegas, Epigenetics in Plants of Agronomic Importance: Fundamentals and Applications: Transcriptional Regulation and Chromatin Remodelling in Plants, Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2014.
A chapter in an edited book
C. Bohk, R. Rau, Changing Mortality Patterns and Their Predictability: The Case of the United States, in: R. Schoen (Ed.), Dynamic Demographic Analysis, Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2016: pp. 69–89.

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 Materials Today Sustainability.

Blog post
J. O`Callaghan, Japanese Company Wants To Create Artificial Meteors For The 2020 Tokyo Olympics, 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, Telecommunications: Preliminary Information on Media Ownership, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2007.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
A. Pan, The Mental Health and Well-Being of College Students in Cambodia, Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, 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
T. Cowen, A Slowdown That Silicon Valley Doesn’t Believe, New York Times. (2016) BU6.

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 titleMaterials Today Sustainability
ISSN (print)2589-2347

Other styles