How to format your references using the Sustainable Cities and Society citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Sustainable Cities and Society. 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
Barish, B. (2012). Physics: Let US physics commit to collaboration. Nature, 491(7425), 522.
A journal article with 2 authors
Bhoj, V. G., & Chen, Z. J. (2009). Ubiquitylation in innate and adaptive immunity. Nature, 458(7237), 430–437.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kennedy, H. J., Crawford, A. C., & Fettiplace, R. (2005). Force generation by mammalian hair bundles supports a role in cochlear amplification. Nature, 433(7028), 880–883.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Lee, J., Fujita, K., Schmidt, A. R., Kim, C. K., Eisaki, H., Uchida, S., & Davis, J. C. (2009). Spectroscopic fingerprint of phase-incoherent superconductivity in the cuprate pseudogap state [corrected]. Science (New York, N.Y.), 325(5944), 1099–1103.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Buchstaller, I. (2013). Quotatives. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Shih, H. (2013). English Writings of Hu Shih: Chinese Philosophy and Intellectual History (Volume 2) (C.-P. Chou, Ed.). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Gjedrem, T., & Baranski, M. (2009). Initiating Breeding Programs. In M. Baranski (Ed.), Selective Breeding in Aquaculture: An Introduction (pp. 63–85). Springer Netherlands.

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 Sustainable Cities and Society.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2015, March 31). Despite Decades Of Deforestation, The Earth Is Getting Greener. IFLScience; IFLScience.


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. (1988). Comparison of Amtrak Employee Injury Settlement Costs Under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act and State Workers’ Compensation Programs (T-RCED-88-49). U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Boothe, C. S. (2012). The effects of prototype medium on the user’s overall perception of usability and ability to detect usability flaws [Doctoral dissertation]. Mississippi 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
Murphy, M. J. O. (2016, April 1). Friday File: A Household of April Fool’s Jokes. New York Times, C27.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Barish, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Barish, 2012; Bhoj & Chen, 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Bhoj & Chen, 2009)
  • Three authors: (Kennedy et al., 2005)
  • 6 or more authors: (Lee et al., 2009)

About the journal

Full journal titleSustainable Cities and Society
AbbreviationSustain. Cities Soc.
ISSN (print)2210-6707
ScopeRenewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
Civil and Structural Engineering
Geography, Planning and Development

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