How to format your references using the Science of the Total Environment citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Science of the Total Environment. 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
Livingstone, D.A., 2003. Ecology. Global climate change strikes a tropical lake. Science 301, 468–469.
A journal article with 2 authors
Maruyama, D., Zochowski, M., 2014. Competition and cooperation between active intra-network and passive extra-network transport processes. Sci. Rep. 4, 5269.
A journal article with 3 authors
Drell, S.D., Shultz, G.P., Andreasen, S.P., 2012. Nuclear safety. A safer nuclear enterprise. Science 336, 1236.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Helveg, S., López-Cartes, C., Sehested, J., Hansen, P.L., Clausen, B.S., Rostrup-Nielsen, J.R., Abild-Pedersen, F., Nørskov, J.K., 2004. Atomic-scale imaging of carbon nanofibre growth. Nature 427, 426–429.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hoppert, M., 2005. Microscopic Techniques in Biotechnology. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, FRG.
An edited book
d’Onofrio, A., Gandolfi, A. (Eds.), 2014. Mathematical Oncology 2013, Modeling and Simulation in Science, Engineering and Technology. Springer, New York, NY.
A chapter in an edited book
Flacks, R., Thomas, S.L., 2007. ‘Outsiders’, Student Subcultures, and the Massification of Higher Education, in: Smart, J.C. (Ed.), Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research, Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp. 181–218.

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 Science of the Total Environment.

Blog post
Andrew, E., 2015. Key Ingredient For Life Discovered On Mars [WWW Document]. IFLScience. URL (accessed 10.30.18).


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, 1979. School District Claim to Department of Air Force (No. B-193864). U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Janpengpen, A., 2010. Monitoring and forecasting biosolids odors at prior lime and post lime addition in wastewater treatment plants (Doctoral dissertation). University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD.

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
Kishkovsky, S., 2013. Putin in Ukraine to Celebrate a Christian Anniversary. New York Times A4.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Livingstone, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Livingstone, 2003; Maruyama and Zochowski, 2014).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Maruyama and Zochowski, 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Helveg et al., 2004)

About the journal

Full journal titleScience of the Total Environment
AbbreviationSci. Total Environ.
ISSN (print)0048-9697
ScopeEnvironmental Chemistry
Environmental Engineering
Waste Management and Disposal

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