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
Wan, Z. (2015). China’s scientific progress hinges on access to data. Nature, 520(7549), 587.
A journal article with 2 authors
Sack, F. D., & Chen, J.-G. (2009). Plant science. Pores in place. Science (New York, N.Y.), 323(5914), 592–593.
A journal article with 3 authors
Barnett, T. P., Adam, J. C., & Lettenmaier, D. P. (2005). Potential impacts of a warming climate on water availability in snow-dominated regions. Nature, 438(7066), 303–309.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Yen, W.-C., Chen, Y.-Z., Yeh, C.-H., He, J.-H., Chiu, P.-W., & Chueh, Y.-L. (2014). Direct growth of self-crystallized graphene and graphite nanoballs with Ni vapor-assisted growth: from controllable growth to material characterization. Scientific Reports, 4, 4739.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
AIChE Equipment Testing Procedure. (1987). Tray Distillation Columns. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Mak, P.-I. (2012). High-/Mixed-Voltage Analog and RF Circuit Techniques for Nanoscale CMOS (R. P. Martins, Ed.). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Boenink, M. (2016). Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease: Searching for the Missing Link Between Biology and Clinic. In M. Boenink, H. van Lente, & E. Moors (Eds.), Emerging Technologies for Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease: Innovating with Care (pp. 63–82). Palgrave Macmillan UK.

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
O`Callaghan, J. (2015, August 21). IceCube Observatory Confirms The Discovery Of Cosmic Neutrinos. 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. (1988). Estimates of Potential Savings by Retiring Two Aircraft Carriers Early (T-NSIAD-88-16). 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
Chaisson, C. (2014). An Investigation of Lower Wilcox Group Coals in Portions of Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, Lasalle, and Rapides Parishes, Louisiana [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Louisiana.

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
Vecsey, G. (2017, February 11). Fixing What Ain’t Broke? That’s Ruinous. New York Times, D3.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Wan, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Sack & Chen, 2009; Wan, 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Sack & Chen, 2009)
  • Three authors: (Barnett et al., 2005)
  • 6 or more authors: (Yen et al., 2014)

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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