Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

The Journal of Social and Political Psychology (JSPP) is a peer-reviewed open-access journal (without author fees), published online. It publishes articles at the intersection of social and political psychology that substantially advance the understanding of social problems, their reduction, and the promotion of social justice. It also welcomes work that focuses on socio-political issues from related fields of psychology (e.g., peace psychology, community psychology, cultural psychology, environmental psychology, media psychology, economic psychology) and encourages submissions with interdisciplinary perspectives.

JSPP is comprehensive and integrative in its approach. It publishes high-quality work from different epistemological, methodological, theoretical, and cultural perspectives and from different regions across the globe. It provides a forum for innovation, questioning of assumptions, and controversy and debate. JSPP aims to give creative impetuses for academic scholarship and for applications in education, policymaking, professional practice, and advocacy and social action. It intends to transcend the methodological and meta-theoretical divisions and paradigm clashes that characterize the field of social and political psychology, and to counterbalance the current overreliance on the hypothetico-deductive model of science, quantitative methodology, and individualistic explanations by also publishing work following alternative traditions (e.g., qualitative and mixed-methods research, participatory action research, critical psychology, social representations, narrative, and discursive approaches). Because it is published online, JSPP can avoid a bias against research that requires more space to be presented adequately.

JSPP publishes several categories of articles, in particular theoretical articles, review articles, and original research reports (including replication studies). To stimulate controversy and debate, JSPP also publishes commentaries on selected articles in these categories that have been accepted for publication. In addition, JSPP publishes action teaching reports.

JSPP also offers the possibility for guest editors to organize special thematic sections; please see the list of past, current, and upcoming special thematic sections. For further information please consult the guidelines for prospective guest editors.

JSPP is indexed in PsycINFO, Scopus, PubPsych, OpenAIRE, DOAJ, BASE, Google Scholar, CNKI Scholar, and Genios.


Section Policies

Theoretical Articles

Theoretical Articles criticize or develop and advance a particular theoretical perspective. Ideally, manuscripts in this category contribute to theoretical integration, by considering and critically evaluating already existing theoretical perspectives on the question of interest.

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Review Articles

Review Articles integrate and evaluate the empirical literature on a particular phenomenon. Manuscripts in this category aim to structure and organize the literature through theoretically relevant categories, provide an overview of the "state of the art" in the particular area, and identify important avenues for future research. Daryl Bem (1995) has written a useful guide for writing a review article (available at http://www.dbem.ws/Writing%20Review.pdf). For reporting standards for research syntheses see Atkinson, Koenka, Sanchez, Moshontz, and Cooper (2015).

Atkinson, K. M., Koenka, A. C., Sanchez, C. E., Moshontz, H., & Cooper, H. (2015). Reporting standards for literature searches and report inclusion criteria: Making research syntheses more transparent and easy to replicate. Research Synthesis Methods, 6, 87–95.

Bem, D. J. (1995). Writing a review article for Psychological Bulletin. Psychological Bulletin, 118, 172–177.

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Original Research Reports

Original Research Reports report on an empirical study or a series of empirical studies, using quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods. Manuscripts in this category should provide complete and detailed information about the empirical methods and findings (e.g., operationalizations, coding manuals, treatment of outliers, failed experimental conditions, descriptive statistics, effect sizes) to allow replication and safeguard against "false positive" findings (see APA Working Group on JARS, 2008; Simmons, Nelson, & Simonsohn, 2011; for reporting standards for qualitative research see Levitt et al., in press). It should also be explained why the methods used were appropriate in light of the given research questions. Manuscripts that report on (successful or unsuccessful) replications of previous empirical findings are also welcomed.

APA Publications and Communications Board Working Group on Journal Article Reporting Standards. (2008). Reporting standards for research in psychology: Why do we need them? What might they be? American Psychologist, 63, 839–851.

Levitt, H., Bamberg, M., Creswell, J.W., Frost, D.M., Josselson, R., & Suarez-Orozco, C. (in press). Journal article reporting standards for qualitative research in psychology: The APA Publications and Communications Board Task Force Report. American Psychologist.

Simmons, J. P., Nelson, L. D., & Simonsohn, U. (2011). False-positive psychology: Undisclosed flexibility in data collection and analysis allows presenting anything as significant. Psychological Science, 22, 1359–1366.

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Commentaries respond to articles that have been accepted for publication, or comment on current issues or books relevant to the journal's profile. Commentaries can be specifically invited by the Editorial Team in response to selected articles that have been accepted for publication, or can be submitted unsolicited in response to published articles. They form an integral part of JSPP's ambition to provide a platform for controversy and debate and to create impetuses for academic scholarship and applications in education, policymaking, professional practice, and/or advocacy and social action. Commentaries should be concise and specific in their contribution. They can provide theoretical, methodological, or empirically based critiques or elaborations; offer alternative perspectives; embed the article in a broader context; point to interdisciplinary links; or discuss ethical issues and implications for applications (e.g., in education, policymaking, professional practice, social action).

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Action Teaching Reports

Action Teaching Reports describe innovations in teaching about social and political psychology, in line with the journal's profile. JSPP publishes teaching reports based on the belief that social and political psychology education can play an important role in the betterment of society and the promotion of social justice. This belief is exemplified by the concept of action teaching – teaching that contributes to peace, social justice, and sustainable living at the same time as it educates students (Plous, 2012). JSPP provides a platform to disseminate innovative and effective teaching techniques along these lines.

Plous, S. (2012). Action teaching. In D. Christie (Ed.), Encyclopedia of peace psychology (pp. 1–5). New York: Wiley-Blackwell.

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Peer Review Process

JSPP operates a rigorous and transparent peer-review process that ensures scholarly excellence. Manuscripts submitted to JSPP undergo an initial screening, usually by one or both of the main editors (and sometimes an additional associate editor), to assess whether a submission matches JSPP’s general profile. Specifically, even if the manuscript is otherwise strong, a manuscript that does not meet the following criteria may be desk-rejected:


  • Does the manuscript substantially advance the understanding of social or political problems, their reduction, or the promotion of social justice?
  • Does the manuscript contribute to JSPP as a forum for innovation, questioning of assumptions, and controversy and debate?
  • Does the manuscript have the potential to inspire applications in education, policymaking, professional practice, or advocacy and social action?


  • Does the manuscript make its theoretical positioning explicit, and does it critically engage with alternative theoretical perspectives?
  • Does the manuscript draw on constructs and theories from the literature in social and political psychology – while remaining open to other disciplinary perspectives?
  • Does the manuscript consider the historical, political, and socio-cultural context that shapes research questions and findings?

Methodology (for empirical manuscripts)

  • Are the methods and analytical procedures appropriate? Are they thoroughly and transparently documented and justified? For quantitative research: are data, instruments, and analysis scripts provided, or does the manuscript give justification why this is impossible or inadvisable?
  • Is the selection of participants justified for the research questions examined and the conclusions drawn; and are the sample characteristics sufficiently documented (e.g., race/ethnicity, location, gender, SES, where recruited and how)?
  • Is the sample size appropriate and justified (e.g., through statistical power analysis for quantitative studies or relevant guidelines for qualitative research)?
  • Are limitations (e.g., ecological validity, generalizability, possibilities for causal inference, distribution of key variables) critically discussed, particularly where findings rely on cross-sectional data from single, unrepresentative, and/or non-transferable samples of participants, or where participants are exclusively students or drawn from crowdsourcing sites (e.g., MTurk)? Is there sufficient documentation of steps taken to ensure data quality and trustworthiness (e.g., attention and comprehension checks)?
  • In single-study manuscripts reporting quantitative data, is the empirical evidence and quality of the data sufficiently strong to warrant publication as a stand-alone study? Are the conclusions drawn from this single study without replication sufficiently cautious?

Optional features (added benefits)

  • Does the manuscript relate to issues relevant to regions of the world underrepresented in psychological research, or do research participants belong to populations underrepresented in psychological research?
  • Does the manuscript introduce new research methods, or use multiple methods or methods underrepresented in psychological research?

Having passed this first stage, manuscripts are assigned to a handling editor, who will organize the peer-review process and recruit reviews from at least two (sometimes three or four) experts. The review process uses a broad range of criteria, not only focusing on scientific rigor but also including aspects that are sometimes less prominently considered in other journals, such as creativity of methodology and potential to open up new avenues as described above. We aim to reach a first decision within three months of submission.

For manuscripts that have previously been rejected at other selective peer-reviewed journals, authors may submit the prior reviews and decision letter/s along with their revised manuscript and cover letter, and the editors may make use of these materials in the review process.


Publication Frequency

Accepted regular manuscripts will be published immediately after undergoing the copyediting and layout process.

Manuscripts that are part of a special thematic section will usually be published collectively, but alternatively might be published immediately after undergoing the copyediting and layout process.


Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global and more democratic exchange of knowledge.

The Journal of Social and Political Psychology also charges no author fee for submission or publication of papers.



This journal ensures the long-term availability of its contents by partnering with CLOCKSS.

CLOCKSS system has permission to ingest, preserve, and serve this Archival Unit.


Additional Features

Buddy System

JSPP offers a "buddy system" that allows authors of promising manuscripts who have difficulties in English to get support from an English speaker (typically a member of the Editorial Board) to assist with language and presentation issues. Authors who want to make use of either of these possibilities may indicate this when submitting their manuscript. The editors may also suggest the buddy system to authors where this seems appropriate.

Non-English Summaries

JSPP allows authors of accepted manuscripts to produce summaries in other languages than English.

Non-Technical Summaries

To facilitate dissemination to non-academic audiences, authors are also encouraged to provide an additional summary that is accessible to a broad audience. For an example see http://jspp.psychopen.eu/article/view/642/html#nts


Publication Ethics

Responsibilities of JSPP's editors, reviewers, and authors concerning publication ethics and publication malpractice are described in PsychOpen's Guidelines on Publication Ethics.


Preprint Policy

As part of JSPP's submission process, authors are required to confirm that the submission has not been previously published, nor has been submitted (or will be submitted while under consideration at JSPP).

However, prior to submitting their article and prior to acceptance and publication in JSPP, authors may make their submissions available as preprints on personal or public websites. "A preprint is a draft of an academic article or other publication before it has been submitted for peer-review or other quality assurance procedure as part of the publication process. Preprints cover initial and successive drafts of articles, working papers or draft conference papers" (SHERPA. (n.d.). Glossary of open access abbreviations, acronyms and terms. Retrieved from http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/glossary.html).

Published conference presentations, posters etc. are considered preprints, provided they do not appear in a peer-reviewed, published conference proceeding.

After a manuscript has been published in JSPP we suggest to link to the final article version, using the assigned article DOI in this way: https://doi.org/DOI, e.g.



Plagiarism Screening

Crossref Similarity Check logo

JSPP uses Similarity Check, a multi-publisher initiative to screen published and submitted content for originality. Similarity Check uses the iThenticate software, which checks submissions against millions of published research papers (the Similarity Check database), documents on the web, and other relevant sources. These submitted papers are not retained in the Similarity Check system after they have been checked.

Read more at Crossresf's Similarity Check & Reseachers page.


Corrections and Retractions

In accordance with generally accepted standards of scholarly publishing JSPP does not alter articles after publication:

"Articles that have been published should remain extant, exact and unaltered to the maximum extent possible" (STM, 2006. Preservation of the objective record of science).

In cases of serious errors or (suspected) misconduct JSPP publishes corrections and retractions (expressions of concern).


In cases of serious errors that affect the article in a material way (but do not fully invalidate its results) or significantly impair the reader’s understanding or evaluation of the article JSPP publishes a correction note that is linked to the published article. The published article will be left unchanged.

Retractions (Expressions of Concern)

In accordance with the "Retraction Guidelines" by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) JSPP will retract a published article if

  • there is clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (e.g. data fabrication) or honest error (e.g. miscalculation),
  • the findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper crossreferencing, permission or justification (i.e. cases of redundant publication),
  • it constitutes plagiarism,
  • it reports unethical research.

An article is retracted by publishing a retraction notice that is linked to or replaces the retracted article. JSPP will make any effort to clearly identify a retracted article as such.

If an investigation is underway that might result in the retraction of an article JSPP may choose to alert readers by publishing an expression of concern.


Cookie Policy

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There are two types of cookie:

  • permanent cookies, which remain on a visitor’s computer for a certain, pre-determined duration (days, months, or even years)
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On this website only session cookies are used: One session cookie is used to store a session ID on your computer. This ID is required to identify logged-in users and give them access to their user pages. This is a first-party cookie, accessible only by PsychOpen (jspp.psychopen.eu). Additionally, a second session cookie is used, which is required for the Twitter Follow-Botton. This is a third-party cookie, accessible by Twitter (cdn.syndication.twimg.com).

No permanent cookies are used.

You can disable the use of cookies in the security settings of your web browser. If you have deactivated cookies you can still view the JSPP website and read the articles. However, if you want to log in, e.g., to submit a manuscript, you have to enable session cookies to be saved on your computer during your visit of the website.

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