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
Kaufman, A. J. (2005). Geology. The calibration of Ediacaran time. Science (New York, N.Y.), 308(5718), 59–60.
A journal article with 2 authors
Donovan, P. J., & Gearhart, J. (2001). The end of the beginning for pluripotent stem cells. Nature, 414(6859), 92–97.
A journal article with 3 authors
James, A., Pitchford, J. W., & Plank, M. J. (2013). James et al. reply. Nature, 500(7463), E2-3.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Preis, T., Moat, H. S., Bishop, S. R., Treleaven, P., & Stanley, H. E. (2013). Quantifying the digital traces of Hurricane Sandy on Flickr. Scientific Reports, 3, 3141.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Morris, M. (2011). Concise Dictionary of Social and Cultural Anthropology. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
An edited book
Peccati, G., & Reitzner, M. (Eds.). (2016). Stochastic Analysis for Poisson Point Processes: Malliavin Calculus, Wiener-Itô Chaos Expansions and Stochastic Geometry (Vol. 7). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Stellrecht, E., Han, B., & Pecht, M. (2010). Characterization of Hygroscopic Deformations by Moiré Interferometry. In X. J. Fan & E. Suhir (Eds.), Moisture Sensitivity of Plastic Packages of IC Devices (pp. 113–130). Boston, MA: Springer US.

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
Davis, J. (2016, October 18). Is The Great Barrier Reef Really Dead? Retrieved October 30, 2018, from


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. (2012). Transportation Security Administration: Progress and Challenges Faced in Strengthening Three Key Security Programs (No. GAO-12-541T). 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
Mac Garrigle, E. F. (2006). A validation of the enterprise management engineering approach to knowledge management systems engineering (Doctoral dissertation). George Washington University, Washington, DC.

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
Hubbard, B. (2016, December 22). Evacuation Ends, Leaving Aleppo in Government Hands. New York Times, p. A6.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Kaufman, 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Donovan & Gearhart, 2001; Kaufman, 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Donovan & Gearhart, 2001)
  • Three authors: (James, Pitchford, & Plank, 2013)
  • 6 or more authors: (Preis, Moat, Bishop, Treleaven, & Stanley, 2013)

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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