How to format your references using the The Journal of Positive Psychology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for The Journal of Positive 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
Schiermeier, Q. (2003). Nobel laureate slams misconduct smear. Nature, 421(6925), 773.
A journal article with 2 authors
Weaver, B. A. A., & Cleveland, D. W. (2007). Comment on “A centrosome-independent role for gamma-TuRC proteins in the spindle assembly checkpoint.” Science (New York, N.Y.), 316(5827), 982; author reply 982.
A journal article with 3 authors
Depew, M. J., Lufkin, T., & Rubenstein, J. L. R. (2002). Specification of jaw subdivisions by Dlx genes. Science (New York, N.Y.), 298(5592), 381–385.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Takato, N., Bus, S. J., Terada, H., Pyo, T.-S., & Kobayashi, N. (2004). Detection of a deep 3-microm absorption feature in the spectrum of Amalthea (JV). Science (New York, N.Y.), 306(5705), 2224–2227.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Denison, E., & Ren, G. Y. (2014). Luke Him Sau Architect. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Martin, U. (Ed.). (2009). Engineering of Stem Cells (Vol. 114). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Miyashita, H. (2016). A Tale of Two Privacies: Enforcing Privacy with Hard Power and Soft Power in Japan. In D. Wright & P. De Hert (Eds.), Enforcing Privacy: Regulatory, Legal and Technological Approaches (pp. 105–122). 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 The Journal of Positive Psychology.

Blog post
Andrews, R. (2017, February 28). Mount Etna Just Exploded Into Life. 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. (1998). Federal Surplus Ships: Government Efforts to Address the Growing Backlog of Ships Awaiting Disposal (NSIAD-99-18). 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
Wester, A. M. (2013). Readers’ trust, socio-demographic, and acuity influences in citizen journalism credibility for disrupted online newspapers [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Phoenix.

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
Greenhouse, L. (2006, December 8). Antitrust Policy Ambiguity To Be on Justices’ Docket. New York Times, C3.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Schiermeier, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Schiermeier, 2003; Weaver & Cleveland, 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Weaver & Cleveland, 2007)
  • Three authors: (Depew et al., 2002)
  • 6 or more authors: (Takato et al., 2004)

About the journal

Full journal titleThe Journal of Positive Psychology
AbbreviationJ. Posit. Psychol.
ISSN (print)1743-9760
ISSN (online)1743-9779
ScopeGeneral Psychology

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