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
Kiser B (2015) Early child development: Body of knowledge. Nature 523:286–289
A journal article with 2 authors
Raymo ME, Huybers P (2008) Unlocking the mysteries of the ice ages. Nature 451:284–285
A journal article with 3 authors
Marimuthu A, Zhang J, Linic S (2013) Tuning selectivity in propylene epoxidation by plasmon mediated photo-switching of Cu oxidation state. Science 339:1590–1593
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Shimizu K, Ishikawa H, Takao D, et al (2002) Superconductivity in compressed lithium at 20 K. Nature 419:597–599

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Reason B, Løvlie L, Brand Flu M (2015) Service Design for Business. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Signorini A (ed) (2011) Teorie non linearizzate in elasticità, idrodinamica, aerodinamica. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
Ikegami Y, Ito K, Ishii H, Ohkura M (2011) Development of a Tracking Sound Game for Exercise Support of Visually Impaired. In: Salvendy G, Smith MJ (eds) Human Interface and the Management of Information. Interacting with Information: Symposium on Human Interface 2011, Held as Part of HCI International 2011, Orlando, FL, USA, July 9-14, 2011, Proceedings, Part II. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 31–35

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
Fang J (2015) An X-Ray Outburst By Our Own Black Hole Shatters Existing Records. 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 (1970) Disposable Glassware for Laboratory Work. 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
Alameddine A (2013) Perceptions of executives from seven selected companies of the use of social media in marketing practices. Doctoral dissertation, Pepperdine 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
Saslow L (2007) Accreditation Restored At Nassau Medical Center. New York Times 14LI2

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Kiser 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Raymo and Huybers 2008; Kiser 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Raymo and Huybers 2008)
  • Three or more authors: (Shimizu et al. 2002)

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