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Author Guidelines

Manuscript Structure, Style, and Content Guidelines

Manuscripts must be submitted in the style of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, with the exception that figures and tables should be embedded within the main text near to where they are discussed rather than at the end of the manuscript. Other considerations regarding elements of Psychological Science submissions can be found below.

Research paper/ article formatting guidelines for academic papers and articles  

Our Journal publishes original research articles in following format. In most cases, we do not impose strict limits on word count or page number. However, we strongly recommend that students and professional should write concisely and stick to the following guidelines

·Use 12 pt Times New Roman

·Set 1 inch page margins (left, right, top, bottom)

·Apply double line spacing

·Insert a running head on every page

·Indent every new paragraph ½ inch

APA format  

Running head

In the header of each page you include the paper title and page number. If your paper title is longer than 50 characters you should use a shortened version as running head. The page number should be positioned in the top right-hand corner.  


Throughout your paper you use different heading levels. The levels ranging from one to five help structure the document. Major headings, or heading 1, are used for the titles of chapters such as “Methods” or “Results”. Heading levels two to five are used for subheadings. Each heading level is formatted differently. These are the APA heading guidelines:

Heading level

APA format

Heading 1

Centered, Bold, Title Case Capitalization

Heading 2

Left-Aligned, Bold, Title Case Capitalization

Heading 3

     Indented, bold, Sentence case capitalization, a final period. The body text begins immediately after the period.

Heading 4

     Indented, bold, italics, sentence case capitalization, a final period. The body text begins immediately after the period.

Heading 5

     Indented, italics, sentence case capitalization, a final period. The body text begins immediately after the point.


Title case capitalization: Capitalize the first, last, and principal words.
Sentence case capitalization: Capitalize only the first word and any proper nouns

The structure described here applies to all research articles

1]Title page / Cover Page

The APA title page, also called cover page, is the first page of your paper. The regular formatting guidelines regarding font and margins apply. In addition, an APA formatted title page contains:

  • Running head including page number
  • Full paper title (in title case)
  • Author name(s), without titles and degrees
  • Institutional affiliation

 Guidelines of Student and professional papers

APA title page (cover page) APA provides different guidelines for student and professional papers. The student version of the APA title page should include the following information (double spaced and centered):

  • Paper title
  • Author name
  • Department and university name
  • Course number and name
  • Instructor name
  • Due date of the assignment

Paper title

Write an informative, striking title that summarizes the topic of your paper. Try to keep the title focused and use relevant keywords.

Place the title three or four lines down from the top of the paper. Center align and bold it. Don’t forget to use title case capitalization (capitalize the first letter of each word, except small words such as articles and short prepositions).


Write the author’s name under the paper title (leave a blank line in between). Give their full names (first name, middle initial(s) and last name), but don’t include titles (Dr., Prof.) or degrees (Ph.D., MSc).

Multiple authors on the title page

List the authors in order of their contribution. If there are two authors, separate their names with the word “and”, like this:

John T. Taylor and George Kotler

If there are more than two authors, separate their names with a comma. Only write “and” before the last author, like this:

John T. Taylor, George Kotler, Dennis G. Parker and Laura Johnson

Institutional affiliation

Write the author’s affiliation on the next line under the author names. Students should specify the department and institution where they’re attending school. Professional researchers should specify the department and institution where they conducted their research.

Multiple authors with different affiliations

Use superscript numbers on the author line to indicate which institution they’re affiliated with. Don’t use superscript numbers if all authors are affiliated with the same institution (and department).

John T. Taylor1, George Kotler2, Dennis G. Parker1 and Laura Johnson3
1 Department of Psychology, Harvard University
2 Department of Economics, Princeton University
3 Department of Mathematics, Stanford University

Course information

On a student title page, provide information about the course. List the following information on separate (double spaced) lines under the author’s affiliation:

  • Course number and name
  • Instructor(s)
  • Assignment’s due date

 Page header

For a student title page, the page header consists of just a page number in the top-right corner. 

A professional title page does have a running head. The running head is an abbreviated version of the paper title in all capital letters. The maximum length is 50 characters (counting spaces).

2] Abstract

An APA abstract is a one paragraph (± 200 words) summary of your paper. It introduces the objective or problem statement of the paper and includes information on the method, research results, and conclusions of your research.  

Although most regular APA formatting guidelines apply, the abstract page also has specific requirements. The abstract starts with a centered heading “Abstract”. In contrast to regular APA headings, no styling is applied. The first line of the paragraph is, unlike regular paragraphs, not indented.

At the end of the abstract, keywords relevant to the research are included. These keywords improve the findability of your paper in databases. Indent the line with keywords and start with the italicized word “Keyword:”, followed by the keywords.

3]Statement of Problem

The Statement of Problem should explain why the research reported in the submission is of interest and significance beyond the specific sub-area in which it is situated and, ideally, to the public at large. The aim of the Statement of Problem is to broaden the impact of the management science reported in the journal and make it easier for interested readers to appreciate and understand authors efforts. It should make clear why the questions that motivated the study and the findings that bear on them matter beyond psychology laboratories and college and university campuses. The Statement of Problem should be on a separate page and no longer than 150 words.


The introduction should explain the rationale behind the current study, placing the research topic and study within the context of the current research landscape. Authors should summarize and cite previous research relevant to the current study and highlight the gap in knowledge being filled by the present research. The introduction should clearly pose the research question, describe the experimental design, and outline the authors’ hypothesis.

5] Method

This section (or sections: e.g., Participants, Materials, Procedure) should contain a clear and concise description and, when needed, justification of the conditions and procedures of the study, as well as the analytical tools or methodology used. All excluded observations, independent variables/manipulations, and dependent variables/measures must be reported, and authors should be sure to explain how the sample size was determined.

6] Results

This section should present the collected data and analysis. Results for all measures should be reported in a concise, straightforward manner, using tables or figures when appropriate. Duplication of information that is presented in tables or figures should be minimal in the text, and all results should be reported in the text, rather than figure captions. We encourage authors to include effect sizes accompanied by 95% confidence intervals rather than standard deviations or standard errors. Authors should be particularly attentive to APA style when typing statistical details (e.g., Ns for chi-square tests, formatting of dfs) and mindful to exclude interpretation and discussion of the findings or any details related to methodology from this section.

7] Discussion

This section should discuss the findings in the context of the research question initially posed and the authors’ hypothesis. The Discussion should also explore the broader implications and significance of the findings, as well as specific recommendations for the direction of future research on the topic.

A Note on Manuscripts Presenting Multiple Studies: For some Research Articles that include multiple studies, an alternate structure might be appropriate, e.g., general introduction – Study 1 introduction – Method – Results – Discussion – Study 2 introduction – Method – Results – Discussion – etc. – General Discussion.  Authors who choose to structure their manuscript in this manner should note that Results and Discussion sections for each study should not be combined; a combined Results and Discussion section will be treated simply as a Discussion section and will be counted toward the word limit.

8] Author Contributions

After the body of the main text and before any acknowledgments, each submitted manuscript must include a paragraph (not included in the word count) that states each author’s contribution.

Example: “D. P. Smith developed the study concept. All authors contributed to the study design. Testing and data collection were performed by D. P. Smith. D. P. Smith and A. C. Brown performed the data analysis and interpretation under the supervision of H. L. Jones. D. P. Smith drafted the manuscript, and A. C. Brown and H .L. Jones provided critical revisions. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript for submission.”

9] In-text citations and references

APA format citations consist of parenthetical citation in the text (in-text citations) and the full reference in the reference list. For each webpage, journal article, book or any other source specific citation guidelines apply.

The publication year appears directly after the author’s name when using the narrative format. The parenthetical citation can be placed within or at the end of a sentence, just before the period.

Every citation in the text should be listed in the reference list, and vice versa.  Note that online sources should be cited in the same manner as print sources (i.e., author and date in parentheses).  Be sure to cite sources for all software and include full reference information. References should be formatted in accordance with APA style.

10] Reference page / Reference list

The APA reference page, also called reference list, is where all sources that are cited in the text are listed. The citations differs for each source type. Aside from the references itself the reference page as a whole also has specific APA formatting guidelines.

The APA reference page example below highlights those guidelines regarding page margins, hanging indent and the reference page title “References”. Furthermore, the reference list is sorted alphabetically.  

APA alphabetization guidelines

References are ordered alphabetically by the first author’s last name. If the author is unknown, order the reference entry by the first meaningful word of the title (ignoring articles: “the”, “a”, or “an”).

Guidelines for Tables

Tables should be editable and created using the tables function in Word rather than using tabs to separate columns. There should be no empty rows or columns. Column heads cannot change partway down a table; in such cases, the new heads and the data under them must be placed in a separate table, with its own title. Tables should be embedded near to where they are discussed in the text. Example: Table 1.


Title of Table 1

Stub column head

Column head 2

Column head 3a

Straddle head 1

Straddle head 2

Column head 8

Column head 4

Column head 5

Column head 6

Column head 7

Row head 1


                Row 1 label








                Row 2 label








                Row 3 label








 Row head 2


                Row 4 label








                Row 5 label








                Row 6 label








                Row 7 label








Note: [Explanatory notes that apply to the entire table or large sections of the table go here. Explanations of all abbreviations and symbols used (except symbols indicating statistical significance) also go in this note.]

a[Specific notes that apply to a particular column, row, or cell entry are called out by letters a, b, etc.]

*p < .05. **p < .01. [If asterisks (or daggers) are used to indicate results of tests of significance, the symbols are explained here.]

Other considerations:

  • Tables must be numbered in the order in which they are referred to in the text.
  • All tables must be referred to in the text, and the text needs to give a full indication of the information that is included in every table. For example, if a table presents results of multiple statistical tests, the text must refer to them all, whether in a general way or individually. The full scope of a table can be indicated all at once or cumulatively by multiple references to the table.

Guidelines for Figures

For original submissions, figures should be embedded near to where they are discussed in the text. For revisions, authors should also submit separate production-quality figures. For a graph or other line art, we ask that authors submit a computer file in the native file format, which is the format of the program in which the figure was originally created. For example, if you created a graph in Excel, supply the original Excel file rather than an Excel file embedded in a Word document. Photographic images such as brain scans or photos of the experimental setup should be submitted in standard image formats, like JPEG. To avoid images appearing blurry or pixelated in print, use a minimum resolution of 300 pixels per inch. (Do not submit images in TIFF format.

Please adhere to the following format when naming figure files: AuthorLastNameFigX.fileformat (e.g., SmithFig1.xls, SmithFig2.jpg, etc.). 


Figure Captions

Figure captions should be provided in the main text document; they should not be included in the figure files.  Each caption should begin with “Fig.” and then the appropriate number, following by a period (e.g., “Fig. 1.”). The text of the caption begins on a separate line.

A caption should be concise and describe only what is shown in the figure itself. Results should not be summarized. Each caption should begin with a sentence fragment that serves as a title and covers the entire content of the figure (not just selected panels), at least in a general way. All the text following this fragment should be in complete sentences.

Other considerations:

  •  A caption should be clear by itself. That is, a reader should be able to understand the figure without referring elsewhere. However, if providing a complete explanation would be too cumbersome, the caption can instead refer readers to the text or another figure or table.
  • References to panel letters in a caption should be in parentheses and, if possible, precede the relevant text: for example, “Reaction times in (a) Experiment 1 and (b) Experiment 2 as a function of experimental condition.” Do not begin a caption or a sentence in a caption with a panel letter. 
  • If a figure includes error bars, the caption must explain what they represent (e.g., 95% confidence intervals).
  • Treat each caption as a separate entity: Spell out all abbreviations on first use and cite all references as initial citations (in regard to using “et al.”). An abbreviation used in a figure must be explained in the caption.
  •  The caption should not repeat information that is included in a key within the figure (e.g., that dashed lines are used for a particular experimental condition).
  •  There is no requirement for a figure that contains multiple panels to have panel letters. If panel letters are used, they are always lowercase letters, and they must be referred to in the caption.
  •  Figures must be numbered in the order in which they are referred to in the text.
  • All figures must be referred to in the text, and the text needs to give a full indication of the information that is included in every figure. For example, if a figure has two panels, the text cannot refer to only one of them (but the text does not have to call out each panel separately—e.g., if Fig. 1. has panels (a) and (b), the text can refer to Fig. 1 as a whole). The full scope of a figure can be indicated all at once or cumulatively by multiple references to the figure.
  • If a figure has asterisks to indicate significance, the caption should explain them (i.e., what was tested and what p value is indicated by a single asterisk, two asterisks, etc.). Unlike in a table, this explanation should be incorporated into a complete sentence.

Checklist for Submission Components

In Manuscript/Main Text File

  1. Title page that includes all authors’ names and affiliations, and full contact information for the corresponding author
  2. Abstract (200 words or less)
  3. Text organized according to above guidelines
  4. Tables formatted according to guidelines (using the tables function in Word)
  5. Tables and figures embedded near to where they are discussed in main text
  6. Captions in main document rather than in figure files
  7. Author Contributions paragraph
  8. References formatted in APA style
  9. Other Submission Files
  10. Separate figure files (revisions)