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
Donlan, J. 2005. “Re-wilding North America.” Nature 436 (7053): 913–14.
A journal article with 2 authors
Cande, S. C., and D. R. Stegman. 2011. “Indian and African plate motions driven by the push force of the Réunion plume head.” Nature 475 (7354): 47–52.
A journal article with 3 authors
Umari, P., E. Mosconi, and F. De Angelis. 2014. “Relativistic GW calculations on CH3NH3PbI3 and CH3NH3SnI3 perovskites for solar cell applications.” Scientific reports 4 (March): 4467.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Boudaoud, A., P. Patrício, Y. Couder, and M. B. Amar. 2000. “Dynamics of singularities in a constrained elastic plate.” Nature 407 (6805): 718–20.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
MacRoberts. 2014. MacRoberts on Scottish Construction Contracts. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Serna, M., ed. 2012. Algorithmic Game Theory: 5th International Symposium, SAGT 2012, Barcelona, Spain, October 22-23, 2012. Proceedings. Vol. 7615. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Petri, B. G., R. J. Watts, A. Tsitonaki, M. Crimi, N. R. Thomson, and A. L. Teel. 2011. “Fundamentals of ISCO Using Persulfate.” In In Situ Chemical Oxidation for Groundwater Remediation, edited by R. L. Siegrist, M. Crimi, and T. J. Simpkin, 147–91. SERDP/ESTCP Environmental Remediation Technology. New York, NY: 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 Contemporary Accounting Research.

Blog post
Luntz, S. 2016. “Arctic Forests Remember The Ice Age.” IFLScience. IFLScience, June 29, 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. 1976. “Audit of Accounts at the U.S. Army Research and Development Command.” 094277. 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
Villa, J. 2017. “Multicultural Training for Mental Health Professionals Working in the Juvenile Justice System.” 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
Kleiman, K. 2010. “What to Do With an Empty Storefront? A Makeshift Art Gallery.” New York Times, March 12, 2010.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Donlan 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Donlan 2005; Cande and Stegman 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Cande and Stegman 2011)
  • Three or more authors: (Boudaoud et al. 2000)

About the journal

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

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