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
Goudsmit, J. (2009). Obituary: Daniel Carleton Gajdusek (1923-2008). Nature, 457(7228), 394.
A journal article with 2 authors
Hug, C., & Lodish, H. F. (2005). Medicine. Visfatin: a new adipokine. Science (New York, N.Y.), 307(5708), 366–367.
A journal article with 3 authors
Mendoza, M., Herrmann, H. J., & Succi, S. (2013). Hydrodynamic model for conductivity in graphene. Scientific Reports, 3, 1052.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Fischle, W., Tseng, B. S., Dormann, H. L., Ueberheide, B. M., Garcia, B. A., Shabanowitz, J., Hunt, D. F., Funabiki, H., & Allis, C. D. (2005). Regulation of HP1-chromatin binding by histone H3 methylation and phosphorylation. Nature, 438(7071), 1116–1122.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Pollak, P. (2011). Fine Chemicals. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Qi, E., Shen, J., & Dou, R. (Eds.). (2013). The 19th International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management: Assistive Technology of Industrial Engineering. Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Greenbaum, B., Trifonov, V., Khiabanian, H., Levine, A., & Rabadan, R. (2011). The Emergence of 2009 H1N1 Pandemic Influenza. In R. Rappuoli & G. Del Giudice (Eds.), Influenza Vaccines for the Future (pp. 95–111). 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 The Journal of Positive Psychology.

Blog post
Carpineti, A. (2017, January 4). Astronomers Discovered Where A Radio Burst Is From For The First Time. 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. (2005). Commercial Aviation: Initial Small Community Air Service Development Projects Have Achieved Mixed Results (GAO-06-21). 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
Heyer, C. (2017). Advocacy Services for College Students With Disabilities: A Grant Proposal [Doctoral dissertation]. California State University, Long Beach.

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
Powell, M. (2017, August 16). Two Teams Diverge on a Common Path. New York Times, B8.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Goudsmit, 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Goudsmit, 2009; Hug & Lodish, 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Hug & Lodish, 2005)
  • Three authors: (Mendoza et al., 2013)
  • 6 or more authors: (Fischle et al., 2005)

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