Author Guidelines


Submissions can reflect different epistemological, methodological, theoretical, and cultural perspectives. Work using the dominant hypothetico-deductive method of scientific inquiry and quantitative methodology is as welcome as work adopting alternative approaches (i.e., inductive or abductive methods of science, qualitative and mixed methods research). Submissions should contribute to innovation, questioning of assumptions, and controversy and debate. They should give creative impetuses for academic scholarship and, where appropriate, for applications in education, policymaking, professional practice, or advocacy and social action.

JSPP operates a rigorous and transparent peer-review process that focuses on a broad range of criteria. The overarching purpose of the peer-review process is to help achieve the highest possible quality for JSPP’s manuscripts. Its aims are (1) to ensure that the research is technically sound; and (2) to offer guidance to support authors in making their manuscript as strong as possible, in line with JSPP's profile. JSPP uses a broad range of review criteria, some of which are less prominently considered in other journals. Depending on the type of article (see below), this may include:

  • Societal importance and noteworthiness of the problem or topic
  • Thoroughness of foundation, as documented in a comprehensive, fair, and critical review of the theoretical and empirical literature that situates the research meaningfully in relevant contexts
  • Consistency of research goals and objectives, rationale and purpose, and research questions
  • Suitability and creativity of the methodological approach in light of the research questions
  • Quality and rigour of research design, sampling, data generation or measurement, and analysis
  • Consistency of inferences and interpretation, insightfulness of discussion, adequacy of conclusions
  • Degree of contribution to the literature, including potential to open up new avenues
  • Interest and accessibility to a broad audience
  • Sensitivity to ethical issues, including potential political and societal consequences of the research
  • Clarity of presentation, including quality of writing and parsimony of tables and figures

Further information on quality criteria for quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research can be found in, for example, Dellinger and Leech (2007), Elliot, Fischer, and Rennie (1999), and Teddlie and Tashakkori (2009).

Manuscript length

We have two general categories of word limits. Exceptions to these limits are possible only if very well justified and when discussed before submission and/or publication with the editors. The word limits include everything in the article (with the exception of the non-technical summary): Abstract, main text, figures, tables, references, appendices. To be able to meet the word limit, we encourage creating online supplementary materials for lengthier appendices and additional materials or descriptions you wish to include in your article. Despite the word limits, we expect transparent and detailed methodological reporting and a sufficient contextualization and elaboration of theoretical background of the research.

8000 words: for quantitative papers reporting one study or two studies with a similar design, and commentaries (which, however, typically are much shorter)

10,000 words: for qualitative papers, multi-study quantitative papers and quantitative papers with more complicated methods or analyses, review and theoretical papers

A) First submissions

For first submissions authors are requested to provide:

  1. Your manuscript in one of the following formats: doc/docx (recommended), rtf, pdf, odt. Maximum file size: 5MB. Usage of our JSPP First-Submission Template is recommended: Download JSPP First-Submission Template.
    Note: You may embed low-resolution (< 100 ppi), screen-optimized versions of your figures within the text at the appropriate positions, or the end of the manuscript. For accepted articles a separate, high-resolution (300 ppi) image file for each figure is required – see (B-3) below.
  2. Any further digital content of relevance for the review process but not embedded in your manuscript (like charts, images, appendices). Submit these additional items as supplementary files at step 4 of the online submission process. Maximum file size: 8MB each.

Please make sure that all personal information (including in the file properties) has been removed from the manuscript, and that the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been observed.

B) Accepted manuscripts

If your manuscript has been accepted for publication, you are requested to provide:

  1. The final version of your manuscript, including all revisions, in Microsoft Word format (if you use another program, e.g. OpenOffice, please save your manuscript as a .doc or .docx file in Microsoft Word format). Maximum file size: 5MB. To avoid formatting errors we recommend using our JSPP Accepted-Manuscript Template: Download JSPP Accepted-Manuscript Template.
    Note: Do not send manuscripts by email. Instead, please log into your JSPP author account to upload the final author version of your manuscript.
  2. Every figure as a separate, high-resolution (300 ppi), print-ready image file. Maximum file size: 8 MB each. File format: PNG.
    Note: Do not send image files by email. Instead, please log into your JSPP author account and upload each image file as a supplementary file.
  3. Media files, data files, or any other digital content that you want to make accessible along with your article. Maximum file size: 8 MB each.
    Note: Do not send supplementary files by email. Log into your JSPP author account and upload each file as a supplementary file.

All submitted materials have to comply with the PsychOpen Author Guidelines. Because JSPP is not published for profit, it is important that authors follow these guidelines closely. Publication of manuscripts is contingent on thorough proofreading and adherence to the stylistic guidelines by the author(s).

Note that submissions are subject to plagiarism screening (read more). Please also see PsychOpen's Guidelines on Publication Ethics.

Electronic Supplementary Materials (EMS)

Authors may submit study data, analysis scripts, and other study materials for manuscripts that involve new data as Electronic Supplementary Materials (ESM). The Electronic Supplementary Material (ESM) is not included in the word count. In general, ESM contains additional items that are not essential for inclusion in the full text but would nevertheless benefit the reader (e.g., raw data sets).

ESM will be published at the PsychArchives repository. PsychArchives is a disciplinary repository for psychology, provided by Leibniz  Institute for Psychology (ZPID). All ESM will be published under a CC-BY license, meaning that authors grant others permission to use the ESM in whole or in part provided that the original work is properly cited. (Please check that no copyrighted material is included unless that material has also been made available under a CC-BY license. For more details see Supplementary Material Guidelines.)

ESM will be published online as received from the author(s) without any conversion, testing, or reformatting. They will not be checked for typographical errors or functionality. The responsibility for the content and functionality remains entirely with the author(s).