How to format your references using the Action Learning: Research and Practice citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Action Learning: Research and Practice. 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
Kerr, R. A. 2000. “PLANETARY SCIENCE: Most-Common Meteorites Find a Home Among the Asteroids.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 288 (5472): 1714–1715.
A journal article with 2 authors
Fitter, A. H., and R. S. R. Fitter. 2002. “Rapid Changes in Flowering Time in British Plants.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 296 (5573): 1689–1691.
A journal article with 3 authors
Bailor, Maximillian H., Xiaoyan Sun, and Hashim M. Al-Hashimi. 2010. “Topology Links RNA Secondary Structure with Global Conformation, Dynamics, and Adaptation.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 327 (5962): 202–206.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Zhou, Dong, Roderick J. Tan, Lili Zhou, Yingjian Li, and Youhua Liu. 2013. “Kidney Tubular β-Catenin Signaling Controls Interstitial Fibroblast Fate via Epithelial-Mesenchymal Communication.” Scientific Reports 3: 1878.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Nasr, Viviane G., and James A. DiNardo. 2017. The Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesia Handbook. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Basualdo, Marta S., Diego Feroldi, and Rachid Outbib, eds. 2012. PEM Fuel Cells with Bio-Ethanol Processor Systems: A Multidisciplinary Study of Modelling, Simulation, Fault Diagnosis and Advanced Control. Green Energy and Technology. London: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Mittnik, Stefan, Willi Semmler, Mika Kato, and Daniel Samaan. 2014. “Modeling the Dynamics of the Transition to a Green Economy.” In Dynamic Optimization in Environmental Economics, edited by Elke Moser, Willi Semmler, Gernot Tragler, and Vladimir M. Veliov, 87–109. Dynamic Modeling and Econometrics in Economics and Finance. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.

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 Action Learning: Research and Practice.

Blog post
Andrew, Elise. 2015. “Australia’s ‘Other’ Reef Is Worth More Than $10 Billion A Year - But Have You Heard Of It?” 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. 1998. Responses to Questions on FAA’s Computer Security and Year 2000 Program. AIMD-98-301R. Washington, DC: 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
Watson, Alan M. 2009. “A Novel Role for MUC7 Mucin Glycoprotein in the Innate Immunity and Genetic Propensity of Asthma.” Doctoral dissertation, Washington, DC: George Washington 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
Gustines, George Gene. 2016. “Long-Lost Flag, Mystery of 9/11, Heads to Museum in Manhattan.” New York Times, September 7.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Kerr 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Kerr 2000; Fitter and Fitter 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Fitter and Fitter 2002)
  • Three authors: (Bailor, Sun, and Al-Hashimi 2010)
  • 4 or more authors: (Zhou et al. 2013)

About the journal

Full journal titleAction Learning: Research and Practice
AbbreviationAction Learn.
ISSN (print)1476-7333
ISSN (online)1476-7341
ScopeGeneral Business, Management and Accounting

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