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
Lehmann, F. O. (2001). Matching spiracle opening to metabolic need during flight in Drosophila. Science (New York, N.Y.), 294(5548), 1926–1929.
A journal article with 2 authors
Zindl, C. L., & Chaplin, D. D. (2010). Immunology. Tumor immune evasion. Science (New York, N.Y.), 328(5979), 697–698.
A journal article with 3 authors
Frumkin, A., Shimron, A., & Rosenbaum, J. (2003). Radiometric dating of the Siloam Tunnel, Jerusalem. Nature, 425(6954), 169–171.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Cho, D.-Y., Tappertzhofen, S., Waser, R., & Valov, I. (2013). Chemically-inactive interfaces in thin film Ag/AgI systems for resistive switching memories. Scientific Reports, 3, 1169.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Sue, D. W. (2003). Overcoming Our Racism. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Lee, K.-H. (2016). Business Value and Sustainability: An Integrated Supply Network Perspective. (S. Vachon, Ed.). London: Palgrave Macmillan UK.
A chapter in an edited book
Bichsel, P., Camenisch, J., De Decker, B., Lapon, J., Naessens, V., & Sommer, D. (2012). Data-Minimizing Authentication Goes Mobile. In B. D. Decker & D. W. Chadwick (Eds.), Communications and Multimedia Security: 13th IFIP TC 6/TC 11 International Conference, CMS 2012, Canterbury, UK, September 3-5, 2012. Proceedings (pp. 55–71). Berlin, Heidelberg: 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 Social Psychology.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2015, July 2). Researcher who Faked HIV Vaccine Trial Data gets 4 Year Jail Sentence. Retrieved October 30, 2018, from


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. (2011). Reimbursable Space Act Agreements: NASA Generally Adhering to Fair Reimbursement Controls, but Guidance on Waived Cost Justifications Needs Refinement (No. GAO-11-553R). 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
Olsen, C. M. (2009). A violinist in a non-classical world: Sugizo’s use of violin in popular music (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
Midler, T., & Leland, J. (2017, September 1). On Any Given Wednesday. New York Times, p. MB7.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Lehmann, 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Lehmann, 2001; Zindl & Chaplin, 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Zindl & Chaplin, 2010)
  • Three authors: (Frumkin, Shimron, & Rosenbaum, 2003)
  • 6 or more authors: (Cho, Tappertzhofen, Waser, & Valov, 2013)

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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