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
Fleming, N. (2013). Tell fans definitive calls are an impossible goal. Nature, 497(7451), 537.
A journal article with 2 authors
Kashefi, K., & Lovley, D. R. (2003). Extending the upper temperature limit for life. Science (New York, N.Y.), 301(5635), 934.
A journal article with 3 authors
Chen, J., Rashid, T., & Feng, G. (2014). Esterase in imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta and S. richteri (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): activity, kinetics and variation. Scientific Reports, 4, 7112.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Field, D. B., Baumgartner, T. R., Charles, C. D., Ferreira-Bartrina, V., & Ohman, M. D. (2006). Planktonic foraminifera of the California Current reflect 20th-century warming. Science (New York, N.Y.), 311(5757), 63–66.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Cliteur, P. (2010). The Secular Outlook. Wiley-Blackwell.
An edited book
Fong, I. W., & Alibek, K. (Eds.). (2005). Bioterrorism and Infectious Agents: A New Dilemma for the 21st Century. Springer US.
A chapter in an edited book
Hamidi, F., & Baljko, M. (2015). Makers with a Cause: Fabrication, Reflection and Community Collaboration. In N. Streitz & P. Markopoulos (Eds.), Distributed, Ambient, and Pervasive Interactions: Third International Conference, DAPI 2015, Held as Part of HCI International 2015, Los Angeles, CA, USA, August 2-7, 2015, Proceedings (pp. 49–61). Springer International Publishing.

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, May 11). Would You Lie Tilted Backwards For 60 Days For Science? 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. (1978). Civil Service Commission Should Correct Weaknesses in Its Automatic Data Processing Policies and Practices (FPCD-78-94). 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
Motala, S. (2009). Siblings caring for elderly parents with dementia [Doctoral dissertation]. California State University, Long Beach.

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 29). Two Momentous Occasions in New York History. New York Times, C30.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Fleming, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Fleming, 2013; Kashefi & Lovley, 2003).

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

  • Two authors: (Kashefi & Lovley, 2003)
  • Three authors: (Chen et al., 2014)
  • 6 or more authors: (Field et al., 2006)

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

Other styles