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
Gottschling, D. E. (2012). Molecular biology. Fragile delivery to the genome. Science (New York, N.Y.), 337(6091), 160–161.
A journal article with 2 authors
Richards, T. A., & Gomes, S. L. (2015). Protistology: How to build a microbial eye. Nature, 523(7559), 166–167.
A journal article with 3 authors
Wang, X., Chen, X., & Wang, L. (2014). Random allocation of pies promotes the evolution of fairness in the Ultimatum Game. Scientific reports, 4, 4534.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Treiner, E., Duban, L., Bahram, S., Radosavljevic, M., Wanner, V., Tilloy, F., et al. (2003). Selection of evolutionarily conserved mucosal-associated invariant T cells by MR1. Nature, 422(6928), 164–169.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Krysinski, T., & Malburet, F. (2013). Mechanical Instability. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Detyniecki, M., García-Serrano, A., & Nürnberger, A. (Eds.). (2011). Adaptive Multimedia Retrieval. Understanding Media and Adapting to the User: 7th International Workshop, AMR 2009, Madrid, Spain, September 24-25, 2009, Revised Selected Papers (Vol. 6535). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Carment, D., Delany, C., Ampleford, S., Conway, G., & Ospina, A. (2006). Country Indicators for Foreign Policy Developing an Indicators-Based User Friendly Risk Assessment and Early Warning Capability. In R. Trappl (Ed.), Programming for Peace: Computer-Aided Methods for International Conflict Resolution and Prevention (pp. 81–113). 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
Andrews, R. (2017, January 16). Anti-Landmine Drone Built By Indian Teenager Receives $730,000 Grant. 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. (1992). Embedded Computer Systems: Significant Software Problems on C-17 Must Be Addressed (No. IMTEC-92-48). 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
Martinez, C. (2010). An after-school program at the middle school level for at-risk youth (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
Sturm, J. (2017, May 12). On the Move. New York Times, p. BR22.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Gottschling 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Gottschling 2012; Richards and Gomes 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Richards and Gomes 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Treiner 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

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