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
Adam, D. (2001). Plans for GM livestock fail the poor. Nature, 411(6836), 403.
A journal article with 2 authors
Stein, S., & Okal, E. A. (2005). Seismology: speed and size of the Sumatra earthquake. Nature, 434(7033), 581–582.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ferrier, K. L., Huppert, K. L., & Perron, J. T. (2013). Climatic control of bedrock river incision. Nature, 496(7444), 206–209.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Wang, L., Fan, C., Topol, S. E., Topol, E. J., & Wang, Q. (2003). Mutation of MEF2A in an inherited disorder with features of coronary artery disease. Science (New York, N.Y.), 302(5650), 1578–1581.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lunn, G., & Sansone, E. B. (2012). Destruction of Hazardous Chemicals in the Laboratory. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Teichler, U., & Cummings, W. K. (Eds.). (2015). Forming, Recruiting and Managing the Academic Profession (Vol. 14). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Yengoh, G. T., Dent, D., Olsson, L., Tengberg, A. E., & Tucker, C. J. (2016). Key Issues in the Use of NDVI for Land Degradation Assessment. In D. Dent, L. Olsson, A. E. Tengberg, & C. J. Tucker III (Eds.), Use of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) to Assess Land Degradation at Multiple Scales: Current Status, Future Trends, and Practical Considerations (pp. 31–35). Cham: 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 Research.

Blog post
Hale, T. (2016, October 18). 10,000 Endangered “Scrotum Frogs” Have Died Near Lake Titicaca. 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. (2009). Counterdrug Technology Assessment Center: Clarifying Rationale for the Research and Development Funding Decisions Would Increase Accountability (No. GAO-09-339R). 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
Vallaster, J. R. (2019). Recognizing and Supporting the Forgotten Poverty Frontier: Exploring Suburban School Poverty in Elementary Schools (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. (2017, July 2). 21 Killed in Series of Car Bomb Blasts in Syria’s Capital. New York Times, p. A5.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Adam 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Adam 2001; Stein and Okal 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Stein and Okal 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Wang et al. 2003)

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

Other styles