How to format your references using the Contemporary Accounting Research citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Contemporary Accounting Research (CAR). 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Goodenough, J. B. 2000. “Oxide-ion conductors by design.” Nature 404 (6780): 821, 823.
A journal article with 2 authors
Collini, E., and G. D. Scholes. 2009. “Coherent intrachain energy migration in a conjugated polymer at room temperature.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 323 (5912): 369–73.
A journal article with 3 authors
Yoon, J. W., S. H. Song, and R. Magnusson. 2014. “Ultrahigh-Q metallic nanocavity resonances with externally-amplified intracavity feedback.” Scientific reports 4 (November): 7124.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Mayntz, D., D. Raubenheimer, M. Salomon, S. Toft, and S. J. Simpson. 2005. “Nutrient-specific foraging in invertebrate predators.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 307 (5706): 111–13.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Freeman, R. L. 2005. Telecommunication System Engineering. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Soiffer, R. J., ed. 2008. Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation. Contemporary Hematology. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press.
A chapter in an edited book
Mpofu, E., N. Ruhode, M. Mhaka-Mutepfa, J. January, and J. Mapfumo. 2015. “Resilience Among Zimbabwean Youths with Orphanhood.” In Youth Resilience and Culture: Commonalities and Complexities, edited by L. C. Theron, L. Liebenberg, and M. Ungar, 67–79. Cross-Cultural Advancements in Positive Psychology. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

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 Contemporary Accounting Research.

Blog post
Andrews, R. 2016. “Monkeys In Brazil Entered The Stone Age 700 Years Ago.” IFLScience. IFLScience, July 12, 2016,


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. 2003. “Telecommunications: Uneven Implementation of Wireless Enhanced 911 Raises Prospect of Piecemeal Availability for Years to Come.” GAO-04-55. 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
Immaneni, R. N. 2015. “An efficient approach to machine learning based text classification through distributed computing.” 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
Robles, F., L. Alvarez, and V. Yee. 2017. “Entire State Shudders as Hurricane Irma Roars Into Florida.” New York Times, September 11, 2017.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Goodenough 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Goodenough 2000; Collini and Scholes 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Collini and Scholes 2009)
  • Three or more authors: (Mayntz et al. 2005)

About the journal

Full journal titleContemporary Accounting Research
ISSN (online)1911-3846

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