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
Capel, Blanche. 2014. “Development. The Minimalist Y.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 343 (6166): 32–33.
A journal article with 2 authors
Liao, Shiping, and Nadrian C. Seeman. 2004. “Translation of DNA Signals into Polymer Assembly Instructions.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 306 (5704): 2072–2074.
A journal article with 3 authors
Rikkinen, Jouko, Ilona Oksanen, and Katileena Lohtander. 2002. “Lichen Guilds Share Related Cyanobacterial Symbionts.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 297 (5580): 357.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Sakulkhu, Usawadee, Morteza Mahmoudi, Lionel Maurizi, Jatuporn Salaklang, and Heinrich Hofmann. 2014. “Protein Corona Composition of Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles with Various Physico-Chemical Properties and Coatings.” Scientific Reports 4 (May): 5020.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ezra, Don, Bob Collie, and Matthew X. Smith. 2009. The Retirement Plan Solution. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Pepin, Birgit, and Bettina Roesken-Winter, eds. 2015. From Beliefs to Dynamic Affect Systems in Mathematics Education: Exploring a Mosaic of Relationships and Interactions. Advances in Mathematics Education. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Crowe, M. L., J. Rychtář, O. Rueppell, M. Chhetri, D. L. Remington, and S. N. Gupta. 2013. “Proving the ‘Proof’: Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Positively Impacts Students.” In Topics from the 8th Annual UNCG Regional Mathematics and Statistics Conference, edited by Jan Rychtář, Sat Gupta, Ratnasingham Shivaji, and Maya Chhetri, 25–29. Springer Proceedings in Mathematics & Statistics. New York, NY: 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
Fang, Janet. 2015. “How Leatherback Sea Turtles Keep Their Muscles Warm In Frigid Waters.” 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. 2007. Critical Infrastructure: Challenges Remain in Protecting Key Sectors. GAO-07-626T. 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
Yasami, Saeid. 2015. “Ultra-Low Power RFIC for Space/Medical/Mobile Applications.” Doctoral dissertation, Lafayette, LA: University of Louisiana.

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. “New York Comic Con Takes On Scalpers.” New York Times, May 19.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Capel 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Capel 2014; Liao and Seeman 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (Liao and Seeman 2004)
  • Three authors: (Rikkinen, Oksanen, and Lohtander 2002)
  • 4 or more authors: (Sakulkhu et al. 2014)

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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