How to format your references using the Psychological Research citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Psychological 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
Goudsmit, J. (2009). Obituary: Daniel Carleton Gajdusek (1923-2008). Nature, 457(7228), 394.
A journal article with 2 authors
Michalski, J. R., & Bleacher, J. E. (2013). Supervolcanoes within an ancient volcanic province in Arabia Terra, Mars. Nature, 502(7469), 47–52.
A journal article with 3 authors
De’ath, G., Lough, J. M., & Fabricius, K. E. (2009). Declining coral calcification on the Great Barrier Reef. Science (New York, N.Y.), 323(5910), 116–119.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Gally, C., Eimer, S., Richmond, J. E., & Bessereau, J.-L. (2004). A transmembrane protein required for acetylcholine receptor clustering in Caenorhabditis elegans. Nature, 431(7008), 578–582.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Simon, M. K., Lee, D., Martin, W. L., Tsou, H., & Yan, T.-Y. (2005). Bandwidth-Efficient Digital Modulation with Application to Deep Space Communications. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Bestak, R., Kencl, L., Li, L. E., Widmer, J., & Yin, H. (Eds.). (2012). NETWORKING 2012: 11th International IFIP TC 6 Networking Conference, Prague, Czech Republic, May 21-25, 2012, Proceedings, Part II (Vol. 7290). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Rheinberger, H.-J. (2004). Writing Works: A Reaction to Michael Cahn’s Paper. In K. Chemla (Ed.), History of Science, History of Text (pp. 95–103). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

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 Research.

Blog post
Hale, T. (2016, May 6). Can You Decode This “Alien Message”? IFLScience. IFLScience. Accessed 30 October 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. (1998). Federal Communications Commission: Competitive Bidding Procedures (No. OGC-98-26). 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
Holbert, M. (2010). Knowledge is power (KIP): Kinship caregiver support group program curriculum (Doctoral dissertation). California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
Shear, M. D., & Davis, J. H. (2017, September 5). U.S. Ends Program Giving ‘Dreamers’ Legal Protection. New York Times, p. A1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Goudsmit 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Goudsmit 2009; Michalski and Bleacher 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Michalski and Bleacher 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (Gally et al. 2004)

About the journal

Full journal titlePsychological Research
AbbreviationPsychol. Res.
ISSN (print)0340-0727
ISSN (online)1430-2772
ScopeArts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
General Medicine
Developmental and Educational Psychology
Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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