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
Ekeland I (2002) Equilibrium: in the balance. Nature 417:385
A journal article with 2 authors
Mattaini KR, Vander Heiden MG (2012) Cancer. Glycosylation to adapt to stress. Science 337:925–926
A journal article with 3 authors
Gill RJ, Ramos-Rodriguez O, Raine NE (2012) Combined pesticide exposure severely affects individual- and colony-level traits in bees. Nature 491:105–108
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Cheng YC, Kicas S, Trull J, et al (2014) Flat focusing mirror. Sci Rep 4:6326

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Boussabaine A (2013) Risk Pricing Strategies for Public-Private Partnerships Projects. John Wiley & Sons, Oxford
An edited book
Grunewald K (2011) Landscape Development and Climate Change in Southwest Bulgaria (Pirin Mountains). Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht
A chapter in an edited book
Nahhas E (2016) The “Silenced” Narrative of 1948 War Events Among Young Palestinians in Israel. In: Sharvit K, Halperin E (eds) A Social Psychology Perspective on The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Celebrating the Legacy of Daniel Bar-Tal, Vol II. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 61–75

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
Hale T (2016) Year-Long Mars Simulation Mission Comes To An End. 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 (1983) Federal Communications Commission Can Further Improve Its Licensing Activities. 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
Hsieh DA (2019) Informed Technology Adoption Decisions Based on Innovation-Related Factors. Doctoral dissertation, George Washington 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
Greenhouse L (2006) Justices to Review Federal Ban On Disputed Abortion Method. New York Times A1

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Ekeland 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Ekeland 2002; Mattaini and Vander Heiden 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Mattaini and Vander Heiden 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Cheng 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