How to format your references using the Methods in Psychology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Methods in 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
Kelly, K.A., 2004. Atmospheric science. Wind data: a promise in peril. Science 303, 962–963.
A journal article with 2 authors
Shapiro, B., Hofreiter, M., 2014. A paleogenomic perspective on evolution and gene function: new insights from ancient DNA. Science 343, 1236573.
A journal article with 3 authors
Golding, N.L., Staff, N.P., Spruston, N., 2002. Dendritic spikes as a mechanism for cooperative long-term potentiation. Nature 418, 326–331.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Dong, C., Huang, F., Deng, H., Schaffrath, C., Spencer, J.B., O’Hagan, D., Naismith, J.H., 2004. Crystal structure and mechanism of a bacterial fluorinating enzyme. Nature 427, 561–565.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Shand, M.A., 2006. The Chemistry and Technology of Magnesia. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Gourbesville, P., Cunge, J., Caignaert, G. (Eds.), 2014. Advances in Hydroinformatics: SIMHYDRO 2012 – New Frontiers of Simulation, Springer Hydrogeology. Springer, Singapore.
A chapter in an edited book
Zhao, Y.X., Wang, S.Y., Uria, L.C., Mishra, S.K., 2011. A Derivative for Semipreinvex Functions and Its Applications in Semipreinvex Programming, in: Mishra, Shashi Kant (Ed.), Topics in Nonconvex Optimization: Theory and Applications, Springer Optimization and Its Applications. Springer, New York, NY, pp. 79–86.

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 Methods in Psychology.

Blog post
Andrew, E., 2015. Rising Seas Could Drown Turtle Eggs: New Research [WWW Document]. IFLScience. URL (accessed 10.30.18).


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, 2014. Manufacturing Extension Partnership: Most Federal Spending Directly Supports Work with Manufacturers, but Distribution Could Be Improved (No. GAO-14-317). 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
Sheppard, K.C., 2017. An Examination of School Choice Access, Opportunities, and Academic Outcomes in an Intra-District School Choice Program (Doctoral dissertation). University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA.

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
Walsh, M.W., 2012. California Debt Higher Than Earlier Estimates, a Task Force Reports. 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 (Kelly, 2004).
This sentence cites two references (Kelly, 2004; Shapiro and Hofreiter, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Shapiro and Hofreiter, 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Dong et al., 2004)

About the journal

Full journal titleMethods in Psychology
ISSN (print)2590-2601

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