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
Blake, D. 2004. “Biodiscovery--from reef to outback.” Nature 429 (6991 Suppl): 15–17.
A journal article with 2 authors
Frieda, K. L., and S. M. Block. 2012. “Direct observation of cotranscriptional folding in an adenine riboswitch.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 338 (6105): 397–400.
A journal article with 3 authors
Furlong, K. P., T. Lay, and C. J. Ammon. 2009. “A great earthquake rupture across a rapidly evolving three-plate boundary.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 324 (5924): 226–29.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Mueller, K. L., M. A. Hoon, I. Erlenbach, J. Chandrashekar, C. S. Zuker, and N. J. P. Ryba. 2005. “The receptors and coding logic for bitter taste.” Nature 434 (7030): 225–29.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kivy, P. 2011. Once-Told Tales. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
An edited book
Beljonne, D., and J. Cornil, eds. 2014. Multiscale Modelling of Organic and Hybrid Photovoltaics. Vol. 352. Topics in Current Chemistry. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Kasahara, Y., T. Matsuyama, and A. Taguchi. 2015. “Treatment of Autologous Bone Marrow Mononuclear Cells for Acute and Subacute Stroke.” In Cell Therapy for Brain Injury, edited by D. C. Hess, 37–46. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

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
O`Callaghan, J. 2015. “We’ve Found Liquid Water Flowing On Mars, But We’re Not Allowed To Investigate It.” IFLScience. IFLScience, October 1, 2015,


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. 1995. “Space Shuttle: Declining Budget and Tight Schedule Could Jeopardize Space Station Support.” NSIAD-95-171. 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
Israel, J. M. 2013. “Student Extracurricular Participation, Student Achievement, and School Perception: an Elementary School Perspective.” Doctoral dissertation, St. Charles, MO: Lindenwood 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
Crow, K. 2002. “Street-Cleaning Rules Are Whisked Away, And Drivers Get a Little Patch of Heaven.” New York Times, February 24, 2002.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Blake 2004).
This sentence cites two references (Blake 2004; Frieda and Block 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Frieda and Block 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Mueller et al. 2005)

About the journal

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

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