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
Cole, A. A. 2000. “ASTRONOMY: The Distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 289 (5482): 1149–1150.
A journal article with 2 authors
Maslin, Mark, and Joanne Scott. 2011. “Carbon Trading Needs a Multi-Level Approach.” Nature 475 (7357): 445–447.
A journal article with 3 authors
Hicks, Wade M., Minlee Kim, and James E. Haber. 2010. “Increased Mutagenesis and Unique Mutation Signature Associated with Mitotic Gene Conversion.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 329 (5987): 82–85.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Kang, Zhe, Jinhui Yuan, Xianting Zhang, Qiang Wu, Xinzhu Sang, Gerald Farrell, Chongxiu Yu, Feng Li, Hwa Yaw Tam, and P. K. A. Wai. 2014. “CMOS-Compatible 2-Bit Optical Spectral Quantization Scheme Using a Silicon-Nanocrystal-Based Horizontal Slot Waveguide.” Scientific Reports 4 (November): 7177.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bennett, M. K. 1995. Affine and Projective Geometry. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Berry, Michael W., Azlinah Hj. Mohamed, and Bee Wah Yap, eds. 2016. Soft Computing in Data Science: Second International Conference, SCDS 2016, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, September 21-22, 2016, Proceedings. Vol. 652. Communications in Computer and Information Science. Singapore: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Calder, M., P. Gray, A. Miller, and C. Unsworth. 2012. “An Introduction to Pervasive Interface Automata.” In Formal Aspects of Component Software: 7th International Workshop, FACS 2010, Guimarães, Portugal, October 14-16, 2010, Revised Selected Papers, edited by Luís Soares Barbosa and Markus Lumpe, 71–87. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. 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
Evans, Katy. 2017. “Seafood Eaters May Be Ingesting Up To 11,000 Microplastic Particles A Year.” 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. 1996. [Comments on NTSB Employee’s Claim for TQSE]. B-260471. 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
Caraballo-Cole, Tania. 2012. “Mindfulness-Based Mental Health Services for Single Mothers: A Grant Proposal.” 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. 2016. “House Bill on Puerto Rico Debt Near Completion.” New York Times, April 9.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Cole 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Cole 2000; Maslin and Scott 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Maslin and Scott 2011)
  • Three authors: (Hicks, Kim, and Haber 2010)
  • 4 or more authors: (Kang 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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