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
Fiorillo CD (2013) Two dimensions of value: dopamine neurons represent reward but not aversiveness. Science 341:546–549
A journal article with 2 authors
Bradshaw WE, Holzapfel CM (2006) Climate change. Evolutionary response to rapid climate change. Science 312:1477–1478
A journal article with 3 authors
Singh R, Jamieson A, Cresswell P (2008) GILT is a critical host factor for Listeria monocytogenes infection. Nature 455:1244–1247
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Qiu X, Deorani P, Narayanapillai K, et al (2014) Angular and temperature dependence of current induced spin-orbit effective fields in Ta/CoFeB/MgO nanowires. Sci Rep 4:4491

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Baker HK, English P (2011) Capital Budgeting Valuation. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Keeling JW, Khong TY (eds) (2007) Fetal and Neonatal Pathology. Springer, London
A chapter in an edited book
Halper J (2014) Advances in the Use of Growth Factors for Treatment of Disorders of Soft Tissues. In: Halper J (ed) Progress in Heritable Soft Connective Tissue Diseases. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp 59–76

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
Andrews R (2016) Cryovolcanoes Discovered On Dwarf Planet Ceres. 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 (1976) Status of Federal and Private Research and Development Efforts To Conserve Energy by Reducing Electric Power Transmission Losses. 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
Ayhan MS (2015) A Probabilistic Biomarker for Alzheimer’s Disease. Doctoral dissertation, University of Louisiana

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 MW (2015) Teamsters Pension Fund Warns 400,000 of Cuts. New York Times B1

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Fiorillo 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Bradshaw and Holzapfel 2006; Fiorillo 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Bradshaw and Holzapfel 2006)
  • Three or more authors: (Qiu et al. 2014)

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