How to format your references using the Sustainability citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for 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.
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
Lewis, N.S. Toward Cost-Effective Solar Energy Use. Science 2007, 315, 798–801.
A journal article with 2 authors
McIntosh, A.R.; Lobaugh, N.J. Neuroscience. When Is a Word Not a Word? Science 2003, 301, 322–323.
A journal article with 3 authors
Schmittner, A.; Yoshimori, M.; Weaver, A.J. Instability of Glacial Climate in a Model of the Ocean- Atmosphere-Cryosphere System. Science 2002, 295, 1489–1493.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Nonaka, S.; Shiratori, H.; Saijoh, Y.; Hamada, H. Determination of Left-Right Patterning of the Mouse Embryo by Artificial Nodal Flow. Nature 2002, 418, 96–99.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Weinstein, S. The Complete Guide to Fundraising Management; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, 2009; ISBN 9781118387061.
An edited book
Nonlinear Dynamics, Volume 1: Proceedings of the 34th IMAC, A Conference and Exposition on Structural Dynamics 2016; Kerschen, G., Ed.; Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2016; ISBN 9783319297385.
A chapter in an edited book
Duguet, E.; Treguer-Delapierre, M.; Delville, M.-H. Functionalised Inorganic Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications. In Nanoscience: Nanobiotechnology and Nanobiology; Boisseau, P., Houdy, P., Lahmani, M., Eds.; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2009; pp. 129–170 ISBN 9783540886327.

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 Sustainability.

Blog post
Andrew, E. Sharper GPS Needs Even More Accurate Atomic Clocks Available online: (accessed on 30 October 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 Commerce Information Technology Solutions Next Generation Governmentwide Acquisition Contract; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 2006;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Bearden, A. Exploring the Congruency between Mission and Practice in a Pre-K-12, Midwestern, Christian School. 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
Walsh, M.W. Richard K. Ransom, 96, Founder of Hickory Farms. New York Times 2016, A22.

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 titleSustainability
ISSN (online)2071-1050
ScopeRenewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Geography, Planning and Development

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