Submission Guidelines


Editorial Policies

Manuscripts cannot have been previously published or be currently submitted elsewhere for publication while in review for Suburban Sustainability, although manuscripts may have been deposited on a preprint server. Manuscripts that are derived from papers presented at conferences may be submitted unless they have been published as part of the conference proceedings in a peer-reviewed journal. Authors are required to ensure that no material submitted as part of a manuscript infringes existing copyrights or the rights of a third party. In addition, authors should disclose funding sources and any potential conflicts of interest.

Manuscripts must be submitted by one of the authors of the manuscript and should not be submitted by anyone else on their behalf. The submitting author takes responsibility for the article during submission and peer review. Submission of a manuscript to Suburban Sustainability implies that all authors have read and agreed to its content and that any human-subjects research that is reported in the manuscript has been performed with the approval of an appropriate institutional review board.

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Peer Review Process

The peer-review process is designed to ensure that Suburban Sustainability publishes outstanding scholarship. The manuscript's managing Editor will collect reviews and recommendations from at least three reviewers with respect to four possible outcomes:

  1. Accept without revision
  2. Accept after revision without further external review
  3. Neither accept nor reject until author(s) make revisions and resubmit
  4. Reject

The reviews will be double blind (i.e., reviewers will not know the identity of the authors, and vice versa, unless the reviewer self-identifies in the review). The manuscript’s Editor will make the decision on outcome and advise the author through the bepress system.

The Editor, in consultation with one or more reviewer, will review guest editorials, book reviews, commentaries, and replies.

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Guidelines for Preparing Manuscripts

Manuscripts must be submitted in English (American or British). Authors should submit manuscripts as a Microsoft Word file, which the bepress system will convert into a PDF document. Alternatively, authors may submit a high-quality PDF document.

We seek to publish papers that are between 4,000 and 10,000 words in length, but we can consider shorter and longer pieces. Authors who deviate from the normal word length should consult with the Editor.

Title and Abstract

Do not include title, author(s), and abstract on the uploaded text (i.e., begin the document with the introduction). The bepress system will produce a title page and abstract page from the information you supply in boxes when you submit the manuscript. Avoid long titles. We prefer titles (including subtitle) with fewer than 90 characters (including punctuation and spaces) and will object to titles longer than 120 characters. Use a colon (rather than a dash) to separate title from the subtitle, if you have one.

Prepare an informative, 100–250-word abstract. All papers, including book reviews, editorials, and commentaries, must have abstracts. The bepress system displays the abstract in a prominent, preview position. Some readers read only abstracts and do not download the PDF unless they need the details. It is important that the abstract be substantive; it must include sufficient information that the reader learns the method and findings of the study. Abstracts that are merely teases, previews, or promises will not be accepted.

Main Text

Do not include page numbers, headers, or footers. The bepress system will add the appropriate information, including a running head that you supply during the submission process. For matters of style, consult The Chicago Manual of Style. Use the following formats:

Page size: 8.5 × 11 inches

Margins (left, right, top, and bottom): 1.5 inches (3.8 cm), including tables and figures.

Line spacing: single space, except to set off block quotations, equations, and special remarks. Do not insert extra line space between paragraphs.

Layout: single column, right-justified if possible.


  1. Main body: 12-point Times New Roman
  2. Footnotes: 10-point Times New Roman

Headings: Left-justified
1st-order: 16-point Arial, bold. 12-point line space before and after. No punctuation at end.
2nd-order: 14-point Arial, bold, italics. 6-point line space before and after (except none when following a 1st-order heading). No punctuation at end.
3rd-order: 12-point, Times New Roman, bold, ending with a period, in line with the start of the paragraph.

First paragraph after heading: no indent.
Subsequent paragraphs: 2-em (0.3 in.).
Block quotations: block indent 0.5 inch from left margin (only).

Use the following document structure:

  • Introduction
  • Subsequent sections
  • Acknowledgments
  • References
  • Appendices (if any). (For long appendices, use the supplemental content feature on the left-side navigation column.)

In the Introduction, orient the reader with respect to the intellectual context of the paper, including up-to-date literature citations. Use footnotes, rather than endnotes, for brief, extra information, including Web site URLs that are not included in the references. Number the footnotes consecutively through the document.

Use a brief closing statement to acknowledge significant contributions by professional associates (including students where appropriate), permission to publish by employer, financial support, and reviewers. For Acknowledgment heading, use 14-point, bold, Arial.

Use italics (sparingly) to indicate text you wish to emphasize, rather than underlining it or placing it in quotations. Similarly, use italics rather than underlining for unusual foreign terms, titles of books, journals, and movies.

Literature Citations

Cite references in text by author(s) name and year (e.g., Jones 1999) (no comma between name and year). For multiple references by the same author in the same year, use the letters a, b, and c after the year (e.g., Jones 1999a and 1999b). Papers with three or more authors should be cited in the text using "et al." (e.g., Jones et al. 1999) (no comma). At the end of the paper, list the cited references alphabetically by lead author’s name in chronological order. Please include DOI links as available (as live links) in place of regular URLs.

Use the reference style of The Chicago Manual of Style (see Reference Styles)

Do not write references to books, journal articles, and other formal publications as footnotes. Informational footnotes may include citations to references in the References section.

Online books, journal articles, and other formal publications should be cited and referenced like their in-print counterparts. References for other Web material, such as Web sites, are better done with footnotes; start with the URL and then give the available defining information, such as title and author or agency/institute.

Check to be sure that every reference that is cited in text, footnotes, tables, and figure captions is listed in the References section.

Any in-press articles cited within the references and necessary for the reviewers' assessment of the manuscript must be made available if requested by the editorial office.

Figures and Tables

Anticipate that in the published document all tables and figures will need to fit within 1.5-inch margins on all sides (top, bottom, left and right), whether portrait or landscape. Large tables or figures will appear on pages by themselves, but they will need to be set within the 1.5-inch margins. For the review manuscript, include the tables and figures at the end. Indicate in the text the approximate location where the table or figure should appear (e.g., “Figure 1 about here,” set off by horizontal lines across the page). Include the figure caption with the figure.

Every figure and table must be referenced in the text. For figures, use “Fig.” when referring to a figure in parentheses, otherwise spell it out (“Figure”). Each table must have a table number and title above the main part of the table. The table number (consecutive Arabic numerals) and title (headline capitalization) should be on successive lines and be Times New Roman, 9-point, bold. Explanatory information does not belong in the title; use notes (Times New Roman, 8-point) below the main body of the table and separated from it by a rule the full width of the table.

For the body of the table, use Times New Roman, 8-point font. The table should be constructed to be small so that readers can easily see the structure of the table. Use horizontal rules sparingly and, if possible, avoid vertical rules entirely. The boxy, gridded-cell appearance of tables as produced (before modification) by many word processors is undesirable. For detailed guidance, see The Chicago Manual of Style.

Each figure must have a caption below the figure. Figure captions should be in Times New Roman, 10-point. They should consist of the following three parts:

  • Figure number (e.g., “Figure 1.”), bold, with Figure spelled out, and the Arabic numeral followed by a period
  • Figure title (sentence-style capitalization)
  • Explanation and discussion, if important, up to 300 words.

For the final manuscript, you will need to submit the figures in separate files in TIF format or EPS format with embedded fonts. The published figures must have a resolution of at least 300 dpi (dots per inch). Here are some tips for preparing your figures:

  • Avoid making prescreened line art (art containing gray shading). It is nearly impossible to digitize these images accurately without creating “blotchy” patterns.
  • If you must use gray shading: generate the image at line screens of 85 lines per inch or lower; apply gray in steps no closer than 20 percent; do not use levels of gray below 20 percent or above 70 percent.
  • Use thick, solid lines no finer than 1 point in thickness.
  • Use bold, solid, sans serif type for lettering.
  • At 100 percent, no type should be smaller than 6 point.


Type short mathematical expressions inline. Longer expressions should appear as display math. Also expressions using different levels (e.g., fractions) should be set as display math. Important definitions or concepts can also be set off as display math. Number equations sequentially. Number them on the right. Italicize Roman letters used as variables in mathematical expressions. Roman letters used as part of multi-letter function names should not be italicized. Whenever possible, subscripts and superscripts should be a smaller font size than the main text.

Avoid unusual fonts for notation and symbols. This will not only enhance the clarity of the manuscript, but it will also help ensure that it displays correctly on the screen and prints correctly. When proofing your document under PDF, pay particular attention to the rendering of the mathematics, especially symbols and notation drawn from other than standard fonts.

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Reference Styles

General Guidelines

For guidance, use The Chicago Manual of Style.

Format the references as paragraphs with 0.3-in. hanging indents. Use the usual 12-point Times New Roman font. Hyperlink the URLs and note the date of last access. Alphabetize the list.

Example reference styles:


Fleury, S. 2009. Land Use Policy and Practice on Karst Terrains: Living on Limestone. New York: Springer.

Wassmann, R. and Vlek, P.L.G. 2004. Tropical Agriculture in Transition – Opportunities for Greenhouse Gas Emissions? New York: Springer.


Jaarsma, C.F. and Willems, G.P.A. 2001. Reducing habitat fragmentation by minor rural roads through traffic calming. Landscape and Urban Planning 34 (2-4): 125-135.

Ferroni, M. and Castle, P. 2011. Public-private partnerships and sustainable agricultural development. Sustainability 3(7): 1064-1073. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/su3071064

Articles/chapters in edited books and proceedings:

Elzen, B. Geels, F.W. and Green, K. 2004. Theoretical explorations of transitions. In System Innovation and the Transition to Sustainability: Theory, Evidence and Policy, eds. B. Elzen, Geels, F.W., Green, K., 19-76. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.

Rosenow, J. and Yager, M. 2007. Tree City USA. In Urban and Community Forestry in the Northeast, ed. J.E. Kuser, 419-427. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

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How to Submit Your Paper

New Account

To register a new account, click "Submit Article" in the sidebar. Then click on "Create Free Account" and enter your first and last name, e-mail address, and preferred password. You should immediately receive a confirmation e-mail at the address you provided (you may need to check your Junk mail). Click the link in the e-mail and proceed with your submission if ready. If you attempt to create an account at an address already in the system, you will be sent your password as a reminder. If you require assistance, contact the Journal Staff at support@dc.bepress.com.

Initiating the Process

Start the manuscript submission process by pressing the "Submit Article" link on the home page. If you have a bepress account, log-in and press “Continue.” If you do not have an account, you will need to register. After you have logged in, you will see a page listing the essentials you will need to complete the process: title, a separate abstract (for articles, perspectives, and book reviews; but not for guest editorials and commentaries/replies); and the manuscript in Word, RTF, or PDF. After reviewing the required elements, press “Continue.” Then review the Article Submission Agreement and the Copyright Agreement, and press “Accept.” (Pressing “Decline” dead-ends the process.)

Completing the Process

Review and, if necessary, correct the information about you, the first author, and press “Continue” (if you are not the first author, you can reorder the authors after they are all entered). Follow the prompts on the next page to enter all your co-authors and end with “Continue” to reach the main upload page. Fill in the boxes for the following and then submit.

  • Title (headline capitalization)
  • Running head (a shorter version of the title, max. 60 characters)
  • Key words
  • Subject (select one or more from a list)
  • Type of article (select one from list: Article, Perspective, Book Review, Comment or Reply, Editorial, other)
  • Abstract (upload or type)
  • Article (upload. If you upload a Word or RTF document, bepress will convert it to PDF and send it to you for checking.)
  • Cover letter (purpose and anticipated contribution to Suburban Sustainability)

A completion screen will provide you with a four-digit manuscript number for your manuscript. The system will send you an e-mail to confirm that it has converted to PDF. Please check over the PDF carefully to ensure that the conversion was satisfactory and the manuscript is ready for review. If no revisions are necessary, you do not need to notify the editor. If revisions are necessary, go to your My Account page, click on the submission title, and then use the "Revise submission" link to provide a revised version. Both you and the Editor will be notified when the revision has been uploaded, so there is no need to confirm with the Editor.


You can update your Profile (e.g., password, e-mail, name, institutional affiliation) from the home page http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/subsust. Click "My Account" and then:

  • Log in to the site with your e-mail address and password
  • Click: Log In
  • Click: Edit Profile
  • Complete or update the fields on this screen to update your profile
  • Please note: if you change your password, you will have to log in again using the new password
  • Click: Update

If you forget your password, click on “Forget your password?” on the login page.

You can also upload a new submission from the “My Account” page: Click “Upload” to start the process.

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For information on the following topics, please see our Policies Policies page.

  • Copyright for Suburban Sustainability
  • Open Access Policy for Users
  • Attribution and Usage Policies

For our current Call for Papers, please view our Call for Papers.

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