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
Trenberth, K. (2005). Climate. Uncertainty in hurricanes and global warming. Science (New York, N.Y.), 308(5729), 1753–1754.
A journal article with 2 authors
Riser, S. C., & Johnson, K. S. (2008). Net production of oxygen in the subtropical ocean. Nature, 451(7176), 323–325.
A journal article with 3 authors
Jansen, V. A. A., Mashanova, A., & Petrovskii, S. (2012). Comment on “Lévy walks evolve through interaction between movement and environmental complexity.” Science (New York, N.Y.), 335(6071), 918; author reply 918.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Laughlin, G., Deming, D., Langton, J., Kasen, D., Vogt, S., Butler, P., et al. (2009). Rapid heating of the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet. Nature, 457(7229), 562–564.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Elias, H.-G. (2009). Macromolecules. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Mohd Sidek, N. Z., Ali, S. M., & Ismail, M. (Eds.). (2016). Proceedings of the ASEAN Entrepreneurship Conference 2014. Singapore: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Glazer, S., Moliner, C., & Carmona, C. (2014). An Integrated International Learning Model for Internationalizing I/O Psychology Programs. In R. L. Griffith, L. F. Thompson, & B. K. Armon (Eds.), Internationalizing the Curriculum in Organizational Psychology (pp. 79–103). New York, NY: Springer.

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
Carpineti, A. (2016, September 27). US Approves World’s Most Sensitive Dark Matter Detector To Begin Hunt In 2020. 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. (1996). Human Resources Information Systems Issue Area: Active Assignments (No. AA-96-29(2)). 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
Sato, O. (2010). The use of statistical metrics as a decision making tool in brief experimental analysis (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
Walsh, M. W. (2016, July 21). Hedge Funds Sue Governor of Puerto Rico Over Spending. New York Times, p. B6.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Trenberth 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Riser and Johnson 2008; Trenberth 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Riser and Johnson 2008)
  • Three or more authors: (Laughlin et al. 2009)

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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