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
Graeber MB (2010) Changing face of microglia. Science 330:783–788
A journal article with 2 authors
Tabas I, Glass CK (2013) Anti-inflammatory therapy in chronic disease: challenges and opportunities. Science 339:166–172
A journal article with 3 authors
Rao JN, Madasu Y, Dominguez R (2014) Mechanism of actin filament pointed-end capping by tropomodulin. Science 345:463–467
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Zheng Z, Sheng B, Gao C, et al (2013) Highly stereoselective biosynthesis of (R)-α-hydroxy carboxylic acids through rationally re-designed mutation of D-lactate dehydrogenase. Sci Rep 3:3401

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bard J, Kovarik VJ Jr (2007) Software Defined Radio. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK
An edited book
Jackson MJ, Morrell JS (eds) (2015) Machining with Nanomaterials, 2nd ed. 2015. Springer International Publishing, Cham
A chapter in an edited book
Deng X, Wang Y, Wu F, et al (2014) Implementation. In: Wang Y, Wu F, Zhang T, Li Z (eds) Integrated River Basin Management: Practice Guideline for the IO Table Compilation and CGE Modeling. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 79–99

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
Rivett J (2017) Awesome Footage Captures A Comet Breaking Apart. 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 (2003) DOD Business Systems Modernization: Longstanding Management and Oversight Weaknesses Continue to Put Investments at Risk. 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
Weir B (2010) The transfer of momentum from waves to currents due to wave breaking. Doctoral dissertation, University of Arizona

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
Kelly AL (2007) The Struggle to Move Beyond ‘Why Me?’ New York Times F5

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Graeber 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Graeber 2010; Tabas and Glass 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Tabas and Glass 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (Zheng et al. 2013)

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