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
Knapp, S. 2008. “Genetics. Celebrating spuds.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 321 (5886): 206–7.
A journal article with 2 authors
Schultz, R. M., and C. J. Williams. 2002. “The science of ART.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 296 (5576): 2188–90.
A journal article with 3 authors
Wada, S., M. Oishi, and T. K. Yamada. 2003. “A newly discovered species of living baleen whale.” Nature 426 (6964): 278–81.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Covert, M. W., E. M. Knight, J. L. Reed, M. J. Herrgard, and B. O. Palsson. 2004. “Integrating high-throughput and computational data elucidates bacterial networks.” Nature 429 (6987): 92–96.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Han, C. C., and A. Z. Akcasu. 2011. Scattering and Dynamics of Polymers. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte Ltd.
An edited book
Ghosh, S., ed. 2010. Models in Software Engineering: Workshops and Symposia at MODELS 2009, Denver, CO, USA, October 4-9, 2009, Reports and Revised Selected Papers. Vol. 6002. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Criado, J., S. Martínez, L. Iribarne, and J. Cabot. 2015. “Enabling the Reuse of Stored Model Transformations Through Annotations.” In Theory and Practice of Model Transformations: 8th International Conference, ICMT 2015, Held as Part of STAF 2015, L’Aquila, Italy, July 20-21, 2015. Proceedings, edited by D. Kolovos and M. Wimmer, 43–58. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. 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
Fang, J. 2015. “Plant Defense Hormones Build Healthy Microbiomes for Roots.” IFLScience. IFLScience, July 22, 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. 2009. “Telecommunications: FCC Needs to Improve Oversight of Wireless Phone Service.” GAO-10-34. 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
Cai, S. 2008. “3D Numerical Modeling of Dry/Wet Contact Mechanics for Rough, Multilayered Elastic-Plastic Solid Surfaces and Effects of Hydrophilicity/Hydrophobicity During Separation with Applications.” Doctoral dissertation, Columbus, OH: Ohio State 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
Park, L. S. 2015. “Look on the Bright Side.” New York Times, January 18, 2015.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Knapp 2008).
This sentence cites two references (Knapp 2008; Schultz and Williams 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Schultz and Williams 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Covert et al. 2004)

About the journal

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

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