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
Sohi, S. P. 2012. “Agriculture. Carbon storage with benefits.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 338 (6110): 1034–35.
A journal article with 2 authors
Boroson, T. A., and T. R. Lauer. 2009. “A candidate sub-parsec supermassive binary black hole system.” Nature 458 (7234): 53–55.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kuhlen, M., P. Madau, and J. Silk. 2009. “Exploring dark matter with Milky Way substructure.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 325 (5943): 970–73.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Tegze, M., G. Faigel, S. Marchesini, M. Belakhovsky, and O. Ulrich. 2000. “Imaging light atoms by X-ray holography.” Nature 407 (6800): 38.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Sanchez, A., and B. Carro. 2017. Digital Services in the 21st Century. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Bolzon, G., T. Boukharouba, G. Gabetta, M. Elboujdaini, and M. Mellas, eds. 2011. Integrity of Pipelines Transporting Hydrocarbons: Corrosion, Mechanisms, Control, and Management. Vol. 1. NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
King, J. A., and E. E. Chaney. 2011. “Passing for Black in Seventeenth-Century Maryland.” In Interpreting the Early Modern World: Transatlantic Perspectives, edited by M. C. Beaudry and J. Symonds, 87–112. Contributions To Global Historical Archaeology. Boston, MA: Springer US.

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
Carpineti, A. 2016. “NASA Wants Your Help To Deal With Space Poop.” IFLScience. IFLScience, November 25, 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. 2002. “Aviation Finance: Distribution of Airport Grant Funds Complied with Statutory Requirements.” GAO-02-283. 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
Nguyen, T. H. 2015. “Adolescent substance use family-based treatment: A grant proposal project.” 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
Kelly, J. 1977. “COSMETIC LIB FOR MEN.” New York Times, September 25, 1977.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Sohi 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Sohi 2012; Boroson and Lauer 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Boroson and Lauer 2009)
  • Three or more authors: (Tegze et al. 2000)

About the journal

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

Other styles