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Environmental Sciences - Environmental Management | Sustainability Science - incl. option to publish open access

Sustainability Science

Sustainability Science

Editor-in-Chief: Kazuhiko Takeuchi

ISSN: 1862-4065 (print version)
ISSN: 1862-4057 (electronic version)

Journal no. 11625

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Instructions for authors

General 

"Sustainability Science" is the official English language journal of the Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science of the University of Tokyo (IR3S) and the United Nations University (UNU), publishing original articles, review articles, overview articles, technical reports, case reports, and notes and comments on sustainability science.
Editorial Office:sust@unu.edu

Types of articles 

Please choose an appropriate submission category. A maximum length is suggested, but authors should be as clear and concise as possible.
  • Original articles are on theoretical or methodological advances in research that integrate inquiry in various disciplines to improve understanding of sustainability science itself and its application to specific sustainability challenges. 8000 words.
  • Review articles consider the implications and lessons to be learned, including the need for future inquiry, from a body of research on any sustainability topic. 8000 words.
  • Overview articles provide timely assessments, general observations and insights from experts on strategies to advance global sustainability. Overview articles are usually commissioned by the Editor-in-Chief, but may be submitted unsolicited for consideration. 8000 words.
  • Technical reports are on results of research into specific areas of concern, including the results of mathematical modeling, survey research, and field studies. 5000 words.
  • Case reports provide insights into contemporary sustainability problems and increase understanding of such problems and their international implications. 7000 words.
  • Notes and comments are concise commentaries from those interested in sustainability science. Comments on published papers are included but should be fair and sensible in subject and style. 2500 words. Comments on published articles should be considerably shorter. Articles in this category are reviewed at the discretion of the editor-in-chief.

Manuscript submission 

Authors should submit their manuscripts online. Electronic submission substantially reduces the editorial processing and reviewing times and shortens overall publication times. Please follow the hyperlink “Submit online” on the right and upload all of your manuscript files following the instructions given on the screen.

Legal requirements 

The author(s) guarantee(s) that the manuscript will not be published elsewhere in any language without the consent of IR3S, United Nations University and Springer, that the rights of third parties will not be violated, and that the publisher will not be held legally responsible should there be any claims for compensation.
Authors wishing to include figures or text passages that have already been published elsewhere are required to obtain permission from the copyright owner(s) of the material and to include evidence that such permission has been granted when submitting their papers. Any material received without such evidence will be assumed to originate from the authors.

Manuscript preparation 

All manuscripts submitted to the journal must comply with these instructions. Failure to do so will result in the return of the manuscript and a possible delay in publication. Manuscripts should be written so that they are intelligible to the professional reader who is not a specialist in the particular field.
All manuscripts are subject to peer review, and accepted papers will be copyedited. Manuscripts must be written in English and typed in double-line spacing with 3-cm margins; pages should be numbered using the automatic numbering function of the word-processing program. Authors whose first language is not English are urged to have their manuscript read by a colleague who is a native English speaker and is familiar with their field of work before submitting the paper.
The manuscript should be arranged as follows:
  • Title page (including name(s) of author(s), a concise and informative title, affiliation(s) and address(es) of the author(s), e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers of the corresponding author.)
  • Abstract (about 250 words for an original article, a review article, and an overview article, and about 100 words for a technical report, a case report, and notes and comments.)
  • Up to six keywords
  • Text of the paper, divided into the following sections, if appropriate: Introduction; Materials and methods; Results; Discussion; Conclusions; Acknowledgments; References; tables; figure legends
Abbreviations should be defined at first mention in the abstract and again in the main body of the text and used consistently thereafter.

References 

The list of References should include only works that are cited in the text and that have been published or accepted for publication. Personal communications should be mentioned only in the text. If available, the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) can be added at the end of the reference in question.
In the text, references should be cited by author and year (e.g., Hammer 1994; Hammer and Sjöqvist 1995; Hammer et al. 1993) and listed in alphabetical order in the reference list. If there is more than one work by the same author or team of authors in the same year, a, b, etc. should be added to the year both in the text and in the list of references.
*Journal papers: name(s) and initial(s) of all authors; year; full title; journal title; volume number; first and last page numbers
Example:
May MO, Tilman K, Wiliams R (2005) Restoration of sound ecosystems in the traditional rural landscapes. Landscape Ecol Eng 1:3–15
If available, the DOI of the cited literature should be added at the end of the reference in question.
Example:
Das BK (2003) Environmental pollution impact on water and sediments of Kumaun lakes, Lesser Himalaya, India: a comparative study. Environ Geol 49:230–239. DOI 10.1007/s00254-005-0077-0
A paper published online but not yet in print can be cited using the DOI.
Example:
Banai R (2005) Land resource sustainability for urban development: spatial decision support system prototype. Environ Manage. DOI 10.1007/s00267-004-1047-0
*Single contributions in a book: name(s) and initial(s) of all authors; year; title of article; editor(s); title of book; edition; volume number; publisher; place of publication; page numbers
Example:
Komiyama H, Osawa T (2004) Global sustainability and the role of Asia. In: Sasaki T (ed) Nature and human communities, Springer, Tokyo, pp 187–216
*Book: name and initial(s) of all authors; year; title; publisher; place of publication
Example:
Bailey RG (1996) Ecosystem geography. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York

Tables and figures 

  • All figures (photographs, graphs, or diagrams) and tables should be cited in the text, and each should be numbered consecutively throughout with arabic numerals.
  • Tables must be numbered consecutively with arabic numerals. They should have a title explaining any abbreviation used in that table. Footnotes to tables should be indicated by superscript lowercase letters (or asterisks for significance values and other statistical data).
  • Illustrations must be restricted to the minimum needed to clarify the text. All figures (photographs, graphs or diagrams) should be cited in the text and numbered consecutively throughout. Figure parts should be identified by lowercase roman letters (a, b, etc.). If illustrations are supplied with uppercase labeling, lowercase letters will still be used in the figure legends and citations.
  • Figure legends must be brief, self-sufficient explanations of the illustrations. The legends should be placed at the end of the text.
  • Files for production should be prepared following the instructions below. Files for initial submission can be in different formats.
    Submit all figures as separate files and do not integrate them within the text. The preferred figure formats are EPS (Encapsulated Postscript) for vector graphics exported from a drawing program and TIFF for halftone illustrations. EPS files must always contain a preview in TIFF of the figure. Microsoft PowerPoint files and illustrations embedded in Microsoft Word documents are not acceptable. The file name should include the figure number.
  • Line drawings. Inscriptions should be legible, with initial uppercase letters and appropriately scaled to the size of the drawing. Scanned line drawings should be digitized with a resolution of 800 dpi relative to the final figure size.
  • Halftone illustrations (black and white and color). Magnification should be indicated by scale bars. For scanned halftone illustrations, a resolution of 300 dpi is usually sufficient.
  • Color illustrations will always be published in color. For online, color illustrations appear in RGB as provided, and for printing they are converted to CMYK. Please note that colors of the images may appear less vivid in the printed journal due to the difference in the color mode.
  • Size of figures. The figures, including legends, should match either the column width (86 mm) or the print area of 176 × 234 mm. The publisher reserves the right to reduce or enlarge illustrations.
The manuscripts and the figures will not normally be returned, unless specifically requested by the authors.

Electronic Supplementary Material 

Electronic Supplementary Material (ESM) for a paper will be published in the electronic edition of the journal, provided the material is submitted in electronic form together with the manuscript accepted after peer review.
ESM may consist of:
  • information that cannot be printed: animations, video clips, sound recordings (use QuickTime, .avi, .mpeg, animated GIFs, or any other common file format)
  • information that is more convenient in electronic form: sequences, spectral data, etc.
  • large quantities of original data that relate to the paper, e.g., additional tables, large numbers of illustrations (color and black and white), etc.
Legends must be brief, self-sufficient explanations of the ESM. ESM is to be numbered and referred to as S1, S2, etc.
After acceptance for publication, ESM will be published as received from the author in the online version only. A reference will be given in the printed version.

Research Data Policy 

The journal encourages authors, where possible and applicable, to deposit data that support the findings of their research in a public repository. Authors and editors who do not have a preferred repository should consult Springer Nature’s list of repositories and research data policy.
General repositories - for all types of research data - such as figshare and Dryad may also be used.
Datasets that are assigned digital object identifiers (DOIs) by a data repository may be cited in the reference list. Data citations should include the minimum information recommended by DataCite: authors, title, publisher (repository name), identifier.
Springer Nature provides a research data policy support service for authors and editors, which can be contacted at researchdata@springernature.com.
This service provides advice on research data policy compliance and on finding research data repositories. It is independent of journal, book and conference proceedings editorial offices and does not advise on specific manuscripts.

After acceptance 

Upon acceptance of your article you will receive a link to the special Author Query Application at Springer’s web page where you can sign the Copyright Transfer Statement online and indicate whether you wish to order OpenChoice and offprints. Once the Author Query Application has been completed, your article will be processed and you will receive the proofs.

Open Choice 

Open Choice allows you to publish open access in more than 1850 Springer Nature journals, making your research more visible and accessible immediately on publication.
Article processing charges (APCs) vary by journal – view the full list
Benefits:
  • Increased researcher engagement: Open Choice enables access by anyone with an internet connection, immediately on publication.
  • Higher visibility and impact: In Springer hybrid journals, OA articles are accessed 4 times more often on average, and cited 1.7 more times on average*.
  • Easy compliance with funder and institutional mandates: Many funders require open access publishing, and some take compliance into account when assessing future grant applications.
It is easy to find funding to support open access – please see our funding and support pages for more information.
*) Within the first three years of publication. Springer Nature hybrid journal OA impact analysis, 2018.

Copyright and license term – CC BY

Open Choice articles do not require transfer of copyright as the copyright remains with the author. In opting for open access, the author(s) agree to publish the article under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Copyright transfer 

Authors will be asked to transfer copyright of the article to the Publisher (or grant the Publisher exclusive publication and dissemination rights). This will ensure the widest possible protection and dissemination of information under copyright laws. Open Choice articles do not require transfer of copyright as the copyright remains with the author. In opting for open access, they agree to the Springer Open Choice Licence

Offprints  

Offprints can be ordered by the corresponding author.

Color illustrations 

Publication of color illustrations is free of charge.

Proofreading 

The purpose of the proof is to check for typesetting or conversion errors and the completeness and accuracy of the text, tables and figures. Substantial changes in content, e.g., new results, corrected values, title and authorship, are not allowed without the approval of the Editor. After online publication, further changes can only be made in the form of an Erratum, which will be hyperlinked to the article.

Online First 

The article will be published online after receipt of the corrected proofs. This is the official first publication citable with the DOI. After release of the printed version, the paper can also be cited by issue and page numbers.

Ethical Responsibilities of Authors 

This journal is committed to upholding the integrity of the scientific record. As a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) the journal will follow the COPE guidelines on how to deal with potential acts of misconduct.
Authors should refrain from misrepresenting research results which could damage the trust in the journal, the professionalism of scientific authorship, and ultimately the entire scientific endeavour. Maintaining integrity of the research and its presentation can be achieved by following the rules of good scientific practice, which include:
  • The manuscript has not been submitted to more than one journal for simultaneous consideration.
  • The manuscript has not been published previously (partly or in full), unless the new work concerns an expansion of previous work (please provide transparency on the re-use of material to avoid the hint of text-recycling (“self-plagiarism”)).
  • A single study is not split up into several parts to increase the quantity of submissions and submitted to various journals or to one journal over time (e.g. “salami-publishing”).
  • No data have been fabricated or manipulated (including images) to support your conclusions
  • No data, text, or theories by others are presented as if they were the author’s own (“plagiarism”). Proper acknowledgements to other works must be given (this includes material that is closely copied (near verbatim), summarized and/or paraphrased), quotation marks are used for verbatim copying of material, and permissions are secured for material that is copyrighted.
    Important note: the journal may use software to screen for plagiarism.
  • Consent to submit has been received explicitly from all co-authors, as well as from the responsible authorities - tacitly or explicitly - at the institute/organization where the work has been carried out, before the work is submitted.
  • Authors whose names appear on the submission have contributed sufficiently to the scientific work and therefore share collective responsibility and accountability for the results.
  • Authors are strongly advised to ensure the correct author group, corresponding author, and order of authors at submission. Changes of authorship or in the order of authors are not accepted after acceptance of a manuscript.
  • Adding and/or deleting authors and/or changing the order of authors at revision stage may be justifiably warranted. A letter must accompany the revised manuscript to explain the reason for the change(s) and the contribution role(s) of the added and/or deleted author(s). Further documentation may be required to support your request.
  • Requests for addition or removal of authors as a result of authorship disputes after acceptance are honored after formal notification by the institute or independent body and/or when there is agreement between all authors.
  • Upon request authors should be prepared to send relevant documentation or data in order to verify the validity of the results. This could be in the form of raw data, samples, records, etc. Sensitive information in the form of confidential proprietary data is excluded.
If there is a suspicion of misconduct, the journal will carry out an investigation following the COPE guidelines. If, after investigation, the allegation seems to raise valid concerns, the accused author will be contacted and given an opportunity to address the issue. If misconduct has been established beyond reasonable doubt, this may result in the Editor-in-Chief’s implementation of the following measures, including, but not limited to:
  • If the article is still under consideration, it may be rejected and returned to the author.
  • If the article has already been published online, depending on the nature and severity of the infraction, either an erratum will be placed with the article or in severe cases complete retraction of the article will occur. The reason must be given in the published erratum or retraction note. Please note that retraction means that the paper is maintained on the platform, watermarked "retracted" and explanation for the retraction is provided in a note linked to the watermarked article.
  • The author’s institution may be informed.

Compliance with Ethical Standards 

To ensure objectivity and transparency in research and to ensure that accepted principles of ethical and professional conduct have been followed, authors should include information regarding sources of funding, potential conflicts of interest (financial or non-financial), informed consent if the research involved human participants, and a statement on welfare of animals if the research involved animals.
Authors should include the following statements (if applicable) in a separate section entitled “Compliance with Ethical Standards” when submitting a paper:
  • Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest
  • Research involving Human Participants and/or Animals
  • Informed consent
Please note that standards could vary slightly per journal dependent on their peer review policies (i.e. single or double blind peer review) as well as per journal subject discipline. Before submitting your article check the instructions following this section carefully.
The corresponding author should be prepared to collect documentation of compliance with ethical standards and send if requested during peer review or after publication.
The Editors reserve the right to reject manuscripts that do not comply with the above-mentioned guidelines. The author will be held responsible for false statements or failure to fulfill the above-mentioned guidelines.

Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest 

Authors must disclose all relationships or interests that could have direct or potential influence or impart bias on the work. Although an author may not feel there is any conflict, disclosure of relationships and interests provides a more complete and transparent process, leading to an accurate and objective assessment of the work. Awareness of a real or perceived conflicts of interest is a perspective to which the readers are entitled. This is not meant to imply that a financial relationship with an organization that sponsored the research or compensation received for consultancy work is inappropriate. Examples of potential conflicts of interests that are directly or indirectly related to the research may include but are not limited to the following:
  • Research grants from funding agencies (please give the research funder and the grant number)
  • Honoraria for speaking at symposia
  • Financial support for attending symposia
  • Financial support for educational programs
  • Employment or consultation
  • Support from a project sponsor
  • Position on advisory board or board of directors or other type of management relationships
  • Multiple affiliations
  • Financial relationships, for example equity ownership or investment interest
  • Intellectual property rights (e.g. patents, copyrights and royalties from such rights)
  • Holdings of spouse and/or children that may have financial interest in the work
In addition, interests that go beyond financial interests and compensation (non-financial interests) that may be important to readers should be disclosed. These may include but are not limited to personal relationships or competing interests directly or indirectly tied to this research, or professional interests or personal beliefs that may influence your research.
The corresponding author collects the conflict of interest disclosure forms from all authors. In author collaborations where formal agreements for representation allow it, it is sufficient for the corresponding author to sign the disclosure form on behalf of all authors. Examples of forms can be found
The corresponding author will include a summary statement in the text of the manuscript in a separate section before the reference list, that reflects what is recorded in the potential conflict of interest disclosure form(s).
See below examples of disclosures:
Funding: This study was funded by X (grant number X).
Conflict of Interest: Author A has received research grants from Company A. Author B has received a speaker honorarium from Company X and owns stock in Company Y. Author C is a member of committee Z.
If no conflict exists, the authors should state:
Conflict of Interest: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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For authors and editors


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    2017 Impact Factor
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  • Aims and Scope

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    Aims and Scope

    The journal Sustainability Science offers insights into interactions within and between nature and the rest of human society, and the complex mechanisms that sustain both. The journal promotes science based predictions and impact assessments of global change, and seeks ways to ensure that such knowledge can be understood by society and be used to strengthen the resilience of global natural systems (such as ecosystems, ocean and atmospheric systems, nutrient cycles), social systems (economies, governments, industry) and human systems at the individual level (lifestyles, health, security, and human values).

    Sustainability Science journal provides a trans-disciplinary platform for contributing to building sustainability science as an evolving academic discipline focusing on topics not addressed by conventional disciplines. As a problem-driven discipline, sustainability science is concerned with addressing practical challenges caused by climate change, habitat and biodiversity loss, and poverty among others. At the same time it tries to investigate root causes of problems by uncovering new knowledge or combining current knowledge from more than one discipline in a holistic way to enhance understanding of sustainability. The journal especially encourages research on the needs of developing countries for poverty reduction, education, sustainable development and human and environmental security (open access is available to Sustainability Science through the Developing Country Initiative, including Online Access to Research on Environment (OARE): http://oare.oaresciences.org). Such new knowledge can directly inform policy and management decisions.

    Ultimately the journal sees the use of such research, in collaboration with industry, governments, and the public, as a basis for helping to build a resource-circulating society, alleviating population, food, water, climate-change pressures, and transforming the socioeconomic structure of contemporary society into a sustainable one. With this in mind, the journal provides a multidisciplinary forum for communication among researchers, policy makers, practitioners, educators, and the young generation.

    Preferred Submissions

    Authors are encouraged to be problem oriented, proposing visions, methods, and policy recommendations for sustaining natural and human systems and their linkages. Submissions may be focused on practical problems, or alternatively they can review current multidisciplinary knowledge and show how particular areas of some disciplines directly but incompletely address a sustainability issue. Compiling these fragmented ideas into a holistic overview incorporating proximal and root causes, different from the narrow perspective of a single discipline, can offer new possible solutions. Research exhibiting the following characteristics of sustainability science is especially welcome:

    • considers the influence of multiple systems, or complex cause-and-effect relationships
    • explicitly considers uncertainty
    • sets an appropriate scale of time and space
    • considers outcomes beyond the timeline of the study
    • makes predictions or compares future scenarios
    • takes a position based on values
    • aims to effect change in actions or thinking
    • co-produces knowledge with participation of stakeholders

     

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    Copyright Information

    For Authors

    Submission of a manuscript implies: that the work described has not been published before (except in form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture, review or thesis); that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere; that its publication has been approved by all co-authors, if any, as well as – tacitly or explicitly – by the responsible authorities at the institution where the work was carried out.

    Author warrants (i) that he/she is the sole owner or has been authorized by any additional copyright owner to assign the right, (ii) that the article does not infringe any third party rights and no license from or payments to a third party is required to publish the article and (iii) that the article has not been previously published or licensed. The author signs for and accepts responsibility for releasing this material on behalf of any and all co-authors. Transfer of copyright to Springer (respective to owner if other than Springer) becomes effective if and when a Copyright Transfer Statement is signed or transferred electronically by the corresponding author. After submission of the Copyright Transfer Statement signed by the corresponding author, changes of authorship or in the order of the authors listed will not be accepted by Springer.

    The copyright to this article, including any graphic elements therein (e.g. illustrations, charts, moving images), is assigned for good and valuable consideration to Springer effective if and when the article is accepted for publication and to the extent assignable if assignability is restricted for by applicable law or regulations (e.g. for U.S. government or crown employees).

    The copyright assignment includes without limitation the exclusive, assignable and sublicensable right, unlimited in time and territory, to reproduce, publish, distribute, transmit, make available and store the article, including abstracts thereof, in all forms of media of expression now known or developed in the future, including pre- and reprints, translations, photographic reproductions and microform. Springer may use the article in whole or in part in electronic form, such as use in databases or data networks for display, print or download to stationary or portable devices. This includes interactive and multimedia use and the right to alter the article to the extent necessary for such use.

    Authors may self-archive the Author's accepted manuscript of their articles on their own websites. Authors may also deposit this version of the article in any repository, provided it is only made publicly available 12 months after official publication or later. He/she may not use the publisher's version (the final article), which is posted on SpringerLink and other Springer websites, for the purpose of self-archiving or deposit. Furthermore, the Author may only post his/her version provided acknowledgement is given to the original source of publication and a link is inserted to the published article on Springer's website. The link must be accompanied by the following text: "The final publication is available at link.springer.com".

    Prior versions of the article published on non-commercial pre-print servers like arXiv.org can remain on these servers and/or can be updated with Author's accepted version. The final published version (in pdf or html/xml format) cannot be used for this purpose. Acknowledgement needs to be given to the final publication and a link must be inserted to the published article on Springer's website, accompanied by the text "The final publication is available at link.springer.com". Author retains the right to use his/her article for his/her further scientific career by including the final published journal article in other publications such as dissertations and postdoctoral qualifications provided acknowledgement is given to the original source of publication.

    Author is requested to use the appropriate DOI for the article. Articles disseminated via link.springer.com are indexed, abstracted and referenced by many abstracting and information services, bibliographic networks, subscription agencies, library networks, and consortia.

    For Readers

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    All articles published in this journal are protected by copyright, which covers the exclusive rights to reproduce and distribute the article (e.g., as offprints), as well as all translation rights. No material published in this journal may be reproduced photographically or stored on microfilm, in electronic data bases, video disks, etc., without first obtaining written permission from the publisher (respective the copyright owner if other than Springer). The use of general descriptive names, trade names, trademarks, etc., in this publication, even if not specifically identified, does not imply that these names are not protected by the relevant laws and regulations.

    Springer has partnered with Copyright Clearance Center's RightsLink service to offer a variety of options for reusing Springer content. For permission to reuse our content please locate the material that you wish to use on link.springer.com or on springerimages.com and click on the permissions link or go to copyright.com, then enter the title of the publication that you wish to use. For assistance in placing a permission request, Copyright Clearance Center can be connected directly via phone: +1-855-239-3415, fax: +1-978-646-8600, or e-mail: info@copyright.com.


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