How to format your references using the British Journal of Psychology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for British Journal of Psychology. 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
Watts, C. (2004). Immunology. The bell tolls for phagosome maturation. Science (New York, N.Y.), 304(5673), 976–977.
A journal article with 2 authors
Kelley, D. H., & Ouellette, N. T. (2013). Emergent dynamics of laboratory insect swarms. Scientific Reports, 3, 1073.
A journal article with 3 authors
Zhang, L., Lu, C., & Tieu, K. (2014). Atomistic simulation of tensile deformation behavior of ∑5 tilt grain boundaries in copper bicrystal. Scientific Reports, 4, 5919.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Alerstam, T., Gudmundsson, G. A., Green, M., & Hedenstrom, A. (2001). Migration along orthodromic sun compass routes by arctic birds. Science (New York, N.Y.), 291(5502), 300–303.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hoy, J. (2015). Forensic Radio Survey Techniques for Cell Site Analysis. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Jin, D., & Lin, S. (Eds.). (2012). Advances in Electronic Engineering, Communication and Management Vol.1: Proceedings of 2011 International Conference on Electronic Engineering, Communication and Management(EECM 2011), held on December 24-25, 2011, Beijing, China (Vol. 139). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Pavlova, M., & Lomakina, T. (2016). Sustainable Development as a World-view: Implications for Education. In C.-M. Lam & J. Park (Eds.), Sociological and Philosophical Perspectives on Education in the Asia-Pacific Region (pp. 37–50). 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 British Journal of Psychology.

Blog post
Andrews, R. (2015, November 16). Why Are Cats So Insanely Afraid Of Cucumbers? IFLScience; IFLScience.


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. (1992). Army Accounting Adjustments--Tank-Automotive Command (AFMD-92-102ML). 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
Hartley, D. L. (2010). Transnational jazz and blues: Aural aesthetics and African diasporic fiction [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
Craig, S. (2016, August 21). Trump’s Empire: A Maze of Debts and Opaque Ties. New York Times, A1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Watts, 2004).
This sentence cites two references (Kelley & Ouellette, 2013; Watts, 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (Kelley & Ouellette, 2013)
  • Three authors: (Zhang et al., 2014)
  • 6 or more authors: (Alerstam et al., 2001)

About the journal

Full journal titleBritish Journal of Psychology
AbbreviationBr. J. Psychol.
ISSN (print)0007-1269
ISSN (online)2044-8295
ScopeArts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
General Psychology

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