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
Gewin, Virginia. 2006. “Burst of Energy.” Nature 441 (7095): 810–811.
A journal article with 2 authors
Holthuis, Joost C. M., and Anant K. Menon. 2014. “Lipid Landscapes and Pipelines in Membrane Homeostasis.” Nature 510 (7503): 48–57.
A journal article with 3 authors
Loeffler, J. M., D. Nelson, and V. A. Fischetti. 2001. “Rapid Killing of Streptococcus Pneumoniae with a Bacteriophage Cell Wall Hydrolase.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 294 (5549): 2170–2172.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Fabrizio, P., F. Pozza, S. D. Pletcher, C. M. Gendron, and V. D. Longo. 2001. “Regulation of Longevity and Stress Resistance by Sch9 in Yeast.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 292 (5515): 288–290.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Beach, Gary J. 2013. The U.S. Technology Skills Gap. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Lemon, Narelle, and Susanne Garvis, eds. 2014. Being “In and Out”: Providing Voice to Early Career Women in Academia. Rotterdam: SensePublishers.
A chapter in an edited book
Villegas, Antonio, Antoni Olivé, and Maria-Ribera Sancho. 2012. “Understanding Constraint Expressions in Large Conceptual Schemas by Automatic Filtering.” In Conceptual Modeling: 31st International Conference ER 2012, Florence, Italy, October 15-18, 2012. Proceedings, edited by Paolo Atzeni, David Cheung, and Sudha Ram, 50–63. 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
Hamilton, Kristy. 2016. “A New Twist To Whodunnit In Science’s Famous Piltdown Man Hoax.” 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. 1973. Reclaim for Mileage and Relocation Expenses. B-177671. 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
Allison, Cecelia L. 2015. “An Investigation into the Experiences of Traditional Higher Education Instructors Transitioning into Effective Online Instructors.” Doctoral dissertation, Scottsdale, AZ: Northcentral 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
Schmitt, Eric, and Keith Bradsher. 2017. “After Pair of Crashes in 2 Months, Navy Will Pause for Safety Check.” New York Times, August 21.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Gewin 2006).
This sentence cites two references (Gewin 2006; Holthuis and Menon 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Holthuis and Menon 2014)
  • Three authors: (Loeffler, Nelson, and Fischetti 2001)
  • 4 or more authors: (Fabrizio 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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