How to format your references using the Systemic Practice and Action Research citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Systemic Practice and Action Research. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Rubin AE (2012) Planetary science. Fragments of the lunar cataclysm. Science 336:1390–1391
A journal article with 2 authors
Krüger F, Ohrnberger M (2005) Tracking the rupture of the Mw = 9.3 Sumatra earthquake over 1,150 km at teleseismic distance. Nature 435:937–939
A journal article with 3 authors
Ben-Ami Bartal I, Decety J, Mason P (2011) Empathy and pro-social behavior in rats. Science 334:1427–1430
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Crooker SA, Furis M, Lou X, et al (2005) Imaging spin transport in lateral ferromagnet/semiconductor structures. Science 309:2191–2195

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Modarres M, Amiri M, Jackson C (2017) Probabilistic Physics of Failure Approach to Reliability. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Dewey S (2013) Ethical Research with Sex Workers: Anthropological Approaches. Springer, New York, NY
A chapter in an edited book
Ahrend R (2006) Russia’s Economic Expansion 1999–2005. In: Vinhas de Souza L, Havrylyshyn O (eds) Return to Growth in CIS Countries: Monetary Policy and Macroeconomic Framework. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 90–121

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 Systemic Practice and Action Research.

Blog post
O`Callaghan J (2017) Feast Your Eyes On The World’s Biggest Plane. In: IFLScience. Accessed 30 Oct 2018


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 (1989) The SEMATECH Consortium’s Start-up Activities. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Abedin G (2010) Exploring the potential of art-based education for adolescents with learning disabilities: A case study of engagement in learning through the arts. Doctoral dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park

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
Sisario B, Alter A, Chan S (2016) Bob Dylan Wins Nobel Prize, Redefining the Boundaries of Literature. New York Times A18

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Rubin 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Krüger and Ohrnberger 2005; Rubin 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Krüger and Ohrnberger 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Crooker et al. 2005)

About the journal

Full journal titleSystemic Practice and Action Research
AbbreviationSyst. Pract. Action Res.
ISSN (print)1094-429X
ISSN (online)1573-9295
ScopeManagement of Technology and Innovation
Strategy and Management

Other styles