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
DeWeerdt, S., 2011. Food: The omnivore’s labyrinth. Nature 471, S22-4.
A journal article with 2 authors
Rashid, H., Boyle, E.A., 2007. Mixed-layer deepening during Heinrich events: a multi-planktonic foraminiferal delta18O approach. Science 318, 439–441.
A journal article with 3 authors
Evans, W.J., Kozimor, S.A., Ziller, J.W., 2005. Molecular octa-uranium rings with alternating nitride and azide bridges. Science 309, 1835–1838.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Alvarez-Vasquez, F., Sims, K.J., Cowart, L.A., Okamoto, Y., Voit, E.O., Hannun, Y.A., 2005. Simulation and validation of modelled sphingolipid metabolism in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Nature 433, 425–430.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Shapiro, I.M., 2016. Energy Audits and Improvements for Commercial Buildings. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Chauvin, R., Lepetit, C., Silvi, B., Alikhani, E. (Eds.), 2016. Applications of Topological Methods in Molecular Chemistry, Challenges and Advances in Computational Chemistry and Physics. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Huang, Y., Tan, T., 2014. Experimental Study of Feature Coding, in: Tan, T. (Ed.), Feature Coding for Image Representation and Recognition, SpringerBriefs in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 37–45.

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., 2016. Octopus And Squid Populations Are Booming – Here’s Why [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, 1999. Year 2000 Computing Crisis: Costs and Planned Use of Emergency Funds (No. AIMD-99-154). 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
Wolff, A., 2013. PRIDE: A psycho-educational peer support group for LGBTIQ youth: A grant proposal (Doctoral dissertation). California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
Strauss, B., 2016. Like Father, Like Son. Like the Cubs? No Way! New York Times B11.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (DeWeerdt, 2011).
This sentence cites two references (DeWeerdt, 2011; Rashid and Boyle, 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Rashid and Boyle, 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Alvarez-Vasquez et al., 2005)

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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