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
Neumann, Katharina. 2003. “Anthropology. New Guinea: A Cradle of Agriculture.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 301 (5630): 180–181.
A journal article with 2 authors
Fakhraai, Z., and J. A. Forrest. 2008. “Measuring the Surface Dynamics of Glassy Polymers.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 319 (5863): 600–604.
A journal article with 3 authors
Hadders, Michael A., Dennis X. Beringer, and Piet Gros. 2007. “Structure of C8alpha-MACPF Reveals Mechanism of Membrane Attack in Complement Immune Defense.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 317 (5844): 1552–1554.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Dobbek, H., V. Svetlitchnyi, L. Gremer, R. Huber, and O. Meyer. 2001. “Crystal Structure of a Carbon Monoxide Dehydrogenase Reveals a [Ni-4Fe-5S] Cluster.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 293 (5533): 1281–1285.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chernick, Michael R. 2011. The Essentials of Biostatistics for Physicians, Nurses, and Clinicians. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Yamanouchi, Kaoru. 2006. Progress in Ultrafast Intense Laser Science Volume I. Edited by See Leang Chin, Pierre Agostini, and Gaetano Ferrante. Vol. 84. Springer Series in Chemical Physics. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Boucas, Dimitris. 2008. “National Variations of the Information Society: Evidence from the Greek Case.” In Social Dimensions Of Information And Communication Technology Policy: Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Human Choice and Computers (HCC8), IFIP TC 9, Pretoria, South Africa, September 25-26, 2008, edited by Chrisanthi Avgerou, Matthew L. Smith, and Peter van der Besselaar, 63–79. IFIP International Federation for Information Processing. Boston, MA: Springer US.

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. 2014. “Teen Invents Device To Protect His Grandfather From Alzheimer’s-Related Wandering.” 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. 1991. Telecommunications: 1991 Survey of Cable Television Rates and Services. T-RCED-91-82. 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
Garibay, Oscar. 2017. “Towards a Hybrid Approach to Mariachi Education - Bridging the Gap between Formal and Informal Transmission of Musical Culture.” Doctoral dissertation, Long Beach, CA: 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
Walsh, Mary Williams, and Jon Hurdle. 2013. “Harrisburg Sees Path to Restructuring Debts Without Bankruptcy Filing.” New York Times, July 25.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Neumann 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Neumann 2003; Fakhraai and Forrest 2008).

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

  • Two authors: (Fakhraai and Forrest 2008)
  • Three authors: (Hadders, Beringer, and Gros 2007)
  • 4 or more authors: (Dobbek et al. 2001)

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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