How to format your references using the Sustainability Science citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Sustainability Science. 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
Moran M (2014) WHO plans for neglected diseases are wrong. Nature 506:267
A journal article with 2 authors
Rash BG, Rakic P (2014) Neuroscience. Genetic resolutions of brain convolutions. Science 343:744–745
A journal article with 3 authors
Jedema FJ, Filip AT, van Wees BJ (2001) Electrical spin injection and accumulation at room temperature in an all-metal mesoscopic spin valve. Nature 410:345–348
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Kohl SW, Weiner L, Schwartsburd L, et al (2009) Consecutive thermal H2 and light-induced O2 evolution from water promoted by a metal complex. Science 324:74–77

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ndjountche T (2016) Digital Electronics 3. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Mandal JK, Satapathy SC, Kumar Sanyal M, et al (eds) (2015) Information Systems Design and Intelligent Applications: Proceedings of Second International Conference INDIA 2015, Volume 1. Springer India, New Delhi
A chapter in an edited book
Li Y, Luo X, Hu S (2015) Polyols and Polyurethanes from Protein-Based Feedstocks. In: Luo X, Hu S (eds) Bio-based Polyols and Polyurethanes. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 65–79

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 Science.

Blog post
Andrew E (2013) Astronomers Discover Planetary System Much Like Our Own. In: IFLScience. Accessed 30 Oct 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 (1992) Space Station: Delays in Dealing With Space Debris May Reduce Safety and Increase Costs. 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
Shamsai M (2006) Prefabricated Cage System for Reinforcing Concrete Members. Doctoral dissertation, Ohio State University

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
Meacham J (2017) Headlines That Stand the Test of Time. New York Times C1

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Moran 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Rash and Rakic 2014; Moran 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Rash and Rakic 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Kohl et al. 2009)

About the journal

Full journal titleSustainability Science
AbbreviationSustain. Sci.
ISSN (print)1862-4065
ISSN (online)1862-4057
Global and Planetary Change
Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Nature and Landscape Conservation
Geography, Planning and Development
Health(social science)
Sociology and Political Science

Other styles