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
Kideys AE (2002) Ecology. Fall and rise of the Black Sea ecosystem. Science 297:1482–1484
A journal article with 2 authors
Bernards R, Weinberg RA (2002) A progression puzzle. Nature 418:823
A journal article with 3 authors
Krug AZ, Jablonski D, Valentine JW (2009) Signature of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction in the modern biota. Science 323:767–771
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Rong H, Jones R, Liu A, et al (2005) A continuous-wave Raman silicon laser. Nature 433:725–728

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Molloy M, Larner W (2013) Fashioning Globalisation. John Wiley & Sons, Oxford
An edited book
Daniilidis K, Maragos P, Paragios N (eds) (2010) Computer Vision – ECCV 2010: 11th European Conference on Computer Vision, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, September 5-11, 2010, Proceedings, Part III. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
Roli A, Manfroni M, Pinciroli C, Birattari M (2011) On the Design of Boolean Network Robots. In: Chio CD, Cagnoni S, Cotta C, et al. (eds) Applications of Evolutionary Computation: EvoApplications 2011: EvoCOMPLEX, EvoGAMES, EvoIASP, EvoINTELLIGENCE, EvoNUM, and EvoSTOC, Torino, Italy, April 27-29, 2011, Proceedings, Part I. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 43–52

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
Taub B (2016) Just One Hit Of Cocaine Totally Screws Up The Dopamine System Of Recovering Addicts. 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 (1986) Rehabilitation Services: Administration of Grants to Human Services Training and Research Council. 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
Grether S (2012) All You Need is Love? An Examination of Interracial Divorce. Doctoral dissertation, George Washington 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
Wagner J (2017) Pitching Took Root After the Troubles Were Left Behind. New York Times D3

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Kideys 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Bernards and Weinberg 2002; Kideys 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Bernards and Weinberg 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Rong 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