How to format your references using the Social Psychology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Social Psychology. 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
Schoener, T. W. (2011). The newest synthesis: understanding the interplay of evolutionary and ecological dynamics. Science (New York, N.Y.), 331(6016), 426–429.
A journal article with 2 authors
Oh, D. Y., & Olefsky, J. M. (2010). Medicine. Wnt fans the flames in obesity. Science (New York, N.Y.), 329(5990), 397–398.
A journal article with 3 authors
Young, I. R., Zieger, S., & Babanin, A. V. (2011). Global trends in wind speed and wave height. Science (New York, N.Y.), 332(6028), 451–455.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Liou, Y. C., Tocilj, A., Davies, P. L., & Jia, Z. (2000). Mimicry of ice structure by surface hydroxyls and water of a beta-helix antifreeze protein. Nature, 406(6793), 322–324.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Pearce, R., & Barnes, S. (2006). Raising Venture Capital. John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
An edited book
Laconte, J. (2006). Micromachined Thin-Film Sensors for SOI-CMOS Co-Integration (D. Flandre & J.-P. Raskin, Eds.). Springer US.
A chapter in an edited book
Burningham, H. (2015). Gravel Spit-Inlet Dynamics: Orford Spit, UK. In G. Randazzo, D. W. T. Jackson, & J. A. G. Cooper (Eds.), Sand and Gravel Spits (pp. 51–65). 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 Social Psychology.

Blog post
Andrews, R. (2017, May 4). Synthetic Human DNA Could Be Just 5 Years Away. 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. (2002). Head Start and Even Start: Greater Collaboration Needed on Measures of Adult Education and Literacy (GAO-02-348). 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
Sundell, M. (2009). From fine art to fashion: Man Ray’s ambivalent avant-garde [Doctoral dissertation]. Columbia University.

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. (2015, September 26). Rhode Island Averts Pension Crisis and Higher Tax. New York Times, B1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Schoener, 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Oh & Olefsky, 2010; Schoener, 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Oh & Olefsky, 2010)
  • Three authors: (Young et al., 2011)
  • 6 or more authors: (Liou et al., 2000)

About the journal

Full journal titleSocial Psychology
ISSN (print)1864-9335
ISSN (online)2151-2590
ScopeArts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
General Psychology
Social Psychology
Sociology and Political Science

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