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
Gottfried, Kurt. 2002. “Matter All in the Mind.” Nature 419 (6903): 117.
A journal article with 2 authors
Poinar, G. O., Jr, and B. N. Danforth. 2006. “A Fossil Bee from Early Cretaceous Burmese Amber.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 314 (5799): 614.
A journal article with 3 authors
Häusser, M., G. Major, and G. J. Stuart. 2001. “Differential Shunting of EPSPs by Action Potentials.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 291 (5501): 138–141.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Hoffmann, D. L., C. D. Standish, M. García-Diez, P. B. Pettitt, J. A. Milton, J. Zilhão, J. J. Alcolea-González, et al. 2018. “U-Th Dating of Carbonate Crusts Reveals Neandertal Origin of Iberian Cave Art.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 359 (6378): 912–915.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Sedivy, Julie, and Greg Carlson. 2011. Sold on Language. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Goel, Ashok K., Mateja Jamnik, and N. Hari Narayanan, eds. 2010. Diagrammatic Representation and Inference: 6th International Conference, Diagrams 2010, Portland, OR, USA, August 9-11, 2010. Proceedings. Vol. 6170. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Vlachou, Akrivi, Christos Doulkeridis, Kjetil Nørvåg, and Yannis Kotidis. 2012. “Similarity Search in Metric Spaces.” In Peer-to-Peer Query Processing over Multidimensional Data, edited by Christos Doulkeridis, Kjetil Nørvåg, and Yannis Kotidis, 31–42. SpringerBriefs in Computer Science. 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
Andrew, Elise. 2014. “Authorities In France Contemplate Dynamiting A Dead Whale Over Fears It Could Explode.” 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. Individuals With Disabilities Education Act: School Districts’ Response to Regulatory Deadline. T-HEHS-98-156. 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
Wilensky, Sara Elizabeth. 2010. “340B Prime Vendor Program: Health Center Decision Making and Barriers to Participation.” 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
Kelly, Kate. 2017. “Trump Has Stocks Up. Some Funds Are Leery.” New York Times, March 5.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Gottfried 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Gottfried 2002; Poinar and Danforth 2006).

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

  • Two authors: (Poinar and Danforth 2006)
  • Three authors: (Häusser, Major, and Stuart 2001)
  • 4 or more authors: (Hoffmann et al. 2018)

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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