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
Watson, M. (2015). Test the effects of ash on jet engines. Nature, 520(7546), 133.
A journal article with 2 authors
Su, C.-Y., & Carlson, J. R. (2013). Neuroscience. Circuit logic of avoidance and attraction. Science (New York, N.Y.), 340(6138), 1295–1297.
A journal article with 3 authors
Cuello, L. G., Cortes, D. M., & Perozo, E. (2004). Molecular architecture of the KvAP voltage-dependent K+ channel in a lipid bilayer. Science (New York, N.Y.), 306(5695), 491–495.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Mallucci, G., Dickinson, A., Linehan, J., Klöhn, P.-C., Brandner, S., & Collinge, J. (2003). Depleting neuronal PrP in prion infection prevents disease and reverses spongiosis. Science (New York, N.Y.), 302(5646), 871–874.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Unhelkar, B. (2005). Verification and Validation for Quality of UML 2.0 Models. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Emmer, M. (Ed.). (2006). Matematica e Cultura 2006. Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Cohen, J. A., & Rae-Grant, A. (2010). Disease-modifying therapy. In A. Rae-Grant (Ed.), Handbook of Multiple Sclerosis (pp. 29–42). Springer Healthcare Ltd.

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
Andrew, E. (2015, August 26). Indian Boy Born With Three Penises. 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. (2016). Highlights of a Forum: Data and Analytics Innovation: Emerging Opportunities and Challenges (GAO-16-659SP). 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
Li, X. (2008). Two essays on “mining market basket data: Models and applications in marketing” [Doctoral dissertation]. George Washington 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
Baker, A. L., & McKINLEY, J. C., Jr. (2017, January 19). Bullet in Bronx Takes a Detour, Turning Deadly. New York Times, A1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Watson, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Su & Carlson, 2013; Watson, 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Su & Carlson, 2013)
  • Three authors: (Cuello et al., 2004)
  • 6 or more authors: (Mallucci et al., 2003)

About the journal

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

Other styles