Author Submission Guidelines

Types of Papers

Visions for Sustainability offers a range of article types that authors can choose from. These are intended as indicative categories and we recognize that papers may combine elements of two or more of these.

  1. Research articles
  2. Review articles
  3. Position papers
  4. Editorials
  5. Special Issues
  6. Letters to Visions

Research Articles

A Visions for Sustainability research article is an original paper based on Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion and Conclusions sections. The text is typically 5,000 (or fewer) words long (not including references and appendices).

Review Articles

A Visions for Sustainability review article systematically and critically examines the state-of-the-art of knowledge in a specific field regarding long-term strategic visions. We ask authors to write to us for approval from the editors-in-chief before submitting a review article. The text of a review article is typically 8,000 (or fewer) words long (not including references and appendices).

Position papers

A Visions for Sustainability position paper presents scholarly or professional opinions on issues pertaining to long-term strategic visions. We ask authors to write to us for approval from the editors-in-chief before submitting a position paper. The text of a position paper is typically 5,000 words long (not including references and appendices).

Editorials and guest editorials

The editors-in-chief or invited guest editors provide commentaries and share perspectives on significant issues of relevance to the journal's aims and scope, introductory essays to special issues, as well as news and information relevant to the journal and its readers.

Special Issues

A Visions for Sustainability special issue is a coherent collection of papers on a specific theme, enduring or emerging, regarding long-term strategic visions that falls within the aims and scope of the journal and has a broad international appeal. All special issue proposals are subject to a process of peer-review.

Letters to Visions

A letter to Visions for Sustainability is normally only by invitation and provides a short comment on a specific theme, enduring or emerging, regarding long-term strategic visions. A letter to can be a critical or explanatory note on an article we previously published. The editors-in-chief may invite a rejoinder from the author(s) of the article. The text of a letter is typically under 2,000 words.


Manuscript Submission

Please make sure that a manuscript submission contains two separate documents:

  1. A cover letter.
  2. The original manuscript.

Cover Letter

Please make sure that the cover letter contains a declaration by the author(s) that:

  1. The work submitted has not been published before.
  2. It is not under consideration for publication anywhere else.
  3. Its publication has been approved by all co-authors, if any, as well as by the responsible authorities at the institute where the work has been carried out.

The publisher will not be held legally responsible should there be any claims for compensation.

Original Manuscript

Please make sure that the original manuscript includes the title of the manuscript, the abstract, the text, and the references.

Please make sure that the manuscript contains the following information.


Please make the title succinct and explanatory.

Author information

Please make sure the author information contains the following details:

  • The name(s) of the author(s).
  • The affiliation(s) of the author(s), i.e., institution, department, city, country.
  • An active institutional e-mail address for the corresponding author.
  • An active e-mail address for all the other author(s). Their e-mail addresses will not be published unless specifically requested.
  • If available, the 16-digit ORCID of the author(s).

If address information is provided with the affiliation(s), it will also be published. For authors that may be temporarily unaffiliated, we will only record their city and country of residence.


Please provide an abstract of 150 to 250 words. Please make sure it does not contain undefined abbreviations or unspecified references.


Please provide 4 to 6 keywords which can be used for indexing purposes.

Competing Interests 

Please disclose any financial or non-financial competing interests that are directly or indirectly related to the work submitted for publication and that that may compromise or be seen to compromise the objectivity or integrity of the contents of a paper. If there are no financial or non-financial competing interests, please provide a declaration to this effect.

Text Formatting

Please submit manuscripts in Word English (UK).

Please use:

  • a normal, plain font (e.g., 12-point Cambria) for text.
  • italics for emphasis.
  • the automatic page numbering function to number the pages.
  • tab stops or other commands for indents, not the space bar.
  • the table function, not spreadsheets, to make tables.
  • the equation editor or MathType for equations.

Please do not use field functions.

Please save files in docx format (Word 2007 or later) or doc format (earlier Word versions).


Please use the decimal system of headings with no more than three levels.


Please define abbreviations at first mention and subsequently use them consistently.


Please use footnotes to the text only to give additional information, which may include the citation of a reference included in the reference list. They should not contain only a reference citation, and they should never include the bibliographic details of a reference. They should also not contain any figures or tables.

Please number footnotes to the text consecutively. Footnotes related to tables should be indicated by superscript lower-case letters (or asterisks for significance values and other statistical data). Footnotes to the title or the authors of the article do not have reference symbols. Please always use footnotes instead of endnotes.


Please place acknowledgments of people, grants, funds, etc. in a separate section on the title page. Please write the names of funding organizations in full.


Please cite references in the text in alphabetical order by first author’s name and in chronological order for multiple publications by the same author, as in the following examples:

  1. Paper: We can have information with the aid of new telescopes (Schwieterman, 2018).
  2. Book: Gaia is the biosphere and the matrices in which it thrives (Volk, 1997, pp. 99-124).
  3. The two constructs prefigured by Wilson (2002).
  4. Several biophilic design models have been proposed (Browning and Ryan, 2020; Browning, Ryan and Clancy, 2014; Kellert, 2008; 2018; Sturgeon, 2017).

In the case of multiple citations, please only include citations needed to support your immediate point, and if possible, specify what the contribution of each is

Reference list

In the list of references please only include works that are cited in the text and that have been published or accepted for publication. Personal communications and unpublished works should only be mentioned in the text.

Please alphabetize reference list entries by the last names of the first author of each work. Please alphabetize according to the following rules:

1) For one author, by name of author, then chronologically.

2) For two authors, by name of author, then name of coauthor, then chronologically.

3) For more than two authors, by name of first author, then chronologically.

If available, please always include full DOI links in your reference list (e.g. “ ”).

Journal article

Larsen, C.S., Knüsel, C.J., Haddow, S.D., Pilloud, M.A., Milella, M., Sadvari, J.W., Pearson, J., Ruff, C.B., Garofalo, E.M., Bocaege, E., Betz, B.J., Dori, I., and Glencross, B. (2019). Bioarchaeology of Neolithic Çatalhöyük reveals fundamental transitions in health, mobility, and lifestyle in early farmers. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 116(26), 12615-12623.

Ideally, the names of all authors should be provided, but the usage of “et al.” in long author lists (more of ten authors) will also be accepted:

Larsen, C.S., Knüsel, C.J., Haddow, S.D., et al. (2019). Bioarchaeology of Neolithic Çatalhöyük reveals fundamental transitions in health, mobility, and lifestyle in early farmers. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 116(26), 12615-12623.

Article by DOI

Kuo, M., Browning, M.H., and Penner, M.L. (2018). Do lessons in nature boost subsequent classroom engagement? Refueling students in flight. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 2253.


Christie, D.E. (2013). The Blue Sapphire of the Mind. Notes for a Contemplative Ecology. Oxford University Press, New York, NY.

Book chapter

Wilson, E.O. (1993). Biophilia and the Conservation Ethic. In The Biophilia Hypothesis. S.R. Kellert and E.O. Wilson (Eds.). Island Press, Washington, DC: pp. 31-41.

Online document

Harvard Medical School (2018). Understanding the stress response. Chronic activation of this survival mechanism impairs health:  Accessed 30 Dec 2022.

Please always use the standard abbreviation of a journal’s name according to the ISSN List of Title Word Abbreviations, see LTWA. If you are unsure, use the full journal title.


Please supply all figures separately in standard format (JPG or PNG or TIFF)

Please number all figures using Arabic numerals.

Please always cite figures in text in consecutive numerical order.


Please supply all tables separately in standard format (JPG or PNG or TIFF)

Please number all tables using Arabic numerals.

Please always cite tables in text in consecutive numerical order.

For each figure or table

Please supply a figure or table caption or title explaining the components of the figure or table.

Please identify any previously published material by giving the original source in the form of a reference at the end of the figure or table caption or title.


After acceptance

Upon acceptance, your article will be exported to Copyediting to undergo typesetting.

Once you have completed this, your article will be processed, and you will receive the final proofs in Production.

Open access

Visions for Sustainability is a diamond open access journal. It is published, distributed, and preserved with no fees to either reader or author. We do not require transfer of copyright of the articles published. The copyright remains with the author. The author(s) agree to publish the article under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0). Find more about the license agreement.

Ethical Responsibilities of Authors

Visions for Sustainability is committed to upholding the integrity of the scientific record. Authors should refrain from misrepresenting research results which could damage trust in the journal, the professionalism of scientific authorship, and ultimately the entire scientific endeavour. Furthermore, authors need to make sure they respect third party’s rights such as copyright and/or moral rights.


Visions for Sustainability uses software to screen for plagiarism, as defined by the ORI (Office of Research Integrity): "theft or misappropriation of intellectual property and the substantial unattributed textual copying of another's work". We will not publish any such manuscripts.