How to format your references using the Psychological Methods citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Psychological Methods. 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
de Waal, F. B. M. (2009). Darwin’s last laugh. Nature, 460(7252), 175.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ramocki, M. B., & Zoghbi, H. Y. (2008). Failure of neuronal homeostasis results in common neuropsychiatric phenotypes. Nature, 455(7215), 912–918.
A journal article with 3 authors
Plotkin, J. B., Dushoff, J., & Fraser, H. B. (2004). Detecting selection using a single genome sequence of M. tuberculosis and P. falciparum. Nature, 428(6986), 942–945.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Ng, J., Nardine, T., Harms, M., Tzu, J., Goldstein, A., Sun, Y., Dietzl, G., Dickson, B. J., & Luo, L. (2002). Rac GTPases control axon growth, guidance and branching. Nature, 416(6879), 442–447.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Numai, T. (2010). Laser Diodes and their Applications to Communications and Information Processing. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Komorowski, J. (Ed.). (2011). ICAF 2011 Structural Integrity: Influence of Efficiency and Green Imperatives: Proceedings of the 26th Symposium of the International Committee on Aeronautical Fatigue, Montreal, Canada, 1-3 June 2011. Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Hoffman, J. (2016). Research Integrity and the Mmogo-method: Some Reflections. In V. Roos (Ed.), Understanding Relational and Group Experiences through the Mmogo-Method® (pp. 41–51). Springer International Publishing.

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 Psychological Methods.

Blog post
Fang, J. (2014, December 27). Male Jumping Spiders Square Off Against Animated Rivals. 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). Telecommunications: Competition in the Cellular Telephone Service Industry (T-RCED-92-72). 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
Rodriguez, R. M. (2017). Experimental Evaluation of Cooling Effectiveness and Water Conservation in a Poultry House Using Flow Blurring Atomizers [Doctoral dissertation]. University of South Florida.

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
Thrush, G., Kelly, K., & Haberman, M. (2017, February 26). Widespread Cuts in Trump Budget Bypass Military. 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 (de Waal, 2009).
This sentence cites two references (de Waal, 2009; Ramocki & Zoghbi, 2008).

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

  • Two authors: (Ramocki & Zoghbi, 2008)
  • Three authors: (Plotkin et al., 2004)
  • 6 or more authors: (Ng et al., 2002)

About the journal

Full journal titlePsychological Methods
AbbreviationPsychol. Methods
ISSN (print)1082-989X
ISSN (online)1939-1463
ScopePsychology (miscellaneous)

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