Category Archives: APA Guidelines

About APA’s rules and guidelines for writing scientific papers.

Common mistakes made in APA style

What’s the most difficult part of the APA style for students? Continuing the practice from 2010, I’ll demonstrate the typical mistakes found in the manuscripts submitted for the 4th issue of the Journal of European Psychology Students (JEPS). Given that JEPS requires submitted manuscripts to follow APA style, this post may be useful for anyone writing papers according to these regulations.

This post will also refer to any material that would provide more information on how to avoid the incompatibility with the APA style.

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APA supporting Open Access?

Four years ago, the President of the American Psychological Association, addressed the ‘thorny debate of Open Access’ as she puts it. What is APA’s standing on open access?

Does APA, probably the most influential organization in psychology today, support the goal of open access to research? I am a bit confused as to an answer to that question, so I tried to write an informed perspective on APA’s policy on open access. You can find what my inquiry has elucidated in the rest of this post.

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Ivan Flis

Ivan Flis is a PhD student in History and Philosophy of Science at the Descartes Centre, Utrecht University; and has a degree in psychology from the University of Zagreb, Croatia. His research focuses on quantitative methodology in psychology, its history and application, and its relation to theory construction in psychological research. He had been an editor of JEPS for three years in the previous mandates.

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Table formatting according to APA

How to format tables in APA Style?

Before formatting tables you have created to support the existing data in your article, you should consider checking the following questions to ensure whether embedding tables is necessary or whether it the data could be presented otherwise:

  • Is the table necessary?
  • Is the entire table  single or double-spaced (including the title, headings, and notes)?
  • Are all comparable tables presented consistently?
  • Is the title brief but explanatory?
  • Does every column have a column heading?
  • Are all abbreviations; special use of italics, parentheses, and dashes; and special symbols explained?
  • Are the notes organized according to the convention of general, specific, probability?
  • Are all vertical rules eliminated?
  • If the table or its data are from another source, is the source properly cited?
  • Is the table referred to in the text?

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Sina Scherer

Sina Scherer

Sina Scherer, studying at University of Münster, Germany, and University of Padova, Italy. I have previously worked as JEPS Bulletin Editor and am active in a NMUN project simulating the political work of the United Nations as voluntary work. I am interested in cognitive neuroscience and intercultural psychology, anthropology and organizational psychology (aspects of work-life balance, expatriation).

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Can you find an article in 5 sec? The world of DOIs

The Digital Object Identifier SystemImagine this: you have a reference to an article you have decided to read. How can you access it within the next 5 seconds? Welcome to the world of DOIs! DOI is short from Digital Object Identifier and if you ask me, it’s a brilliant invention.

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Online resources: APA Style and formatting

All psychology students around the world have problems with the nooks and crannies of APA style. Most of us (hopefully) know the basics without consulting a manual or asking a colleague, but there are always those obscure rules nobody really uses regularly. How to cite a TV series? How are appendixes handled? How to cite an unpublished manuscript? All these questions and many more have an answer – but the problem is, where to find it? Online, of course. Here, I offer a list of useful APA style resources and their short descriptions. Maybe this will help you sometime in the future, when you’re wondering how to use et al at 4 AM.

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Ivan Flis

Ivan Flis is a PhD student in History and Philosophy of Science at the Descartes Centre, Utrecht University; and has a degree in psychology from the University of Zagreb, Croatia. His research focuses on quantitative methodology in psychology, its history and application, and its relation to theory construction in psychological research. He had been an editor of JEPS for three years in the previous mandates.

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How much do You know about plagiarism?

Germany’s Minister of Defence, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (or more correctly: Karl Theodor Maria Nikolaus Johann Jacob Philipp Franz Joseph Sylvester Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg), faces allegations and extensive proof of plagiarism as well as consequences for his mistakes. Obviously, plagiarism has much finer shades than plain copy-paste. It now seems to be most appropriate to talk about what could be considered as taking credit for someone else’s (or one’s own previous) work and how to correctly refer to the original source.

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How to write a brilliant abstract?

It may seem to be impossible to cut down 30 pages to just into some 120 words*. Still, this is the part of your work upon which readers will decide whether they want to keep reading your paper. Therefore, you should carefully plan what to tell researchers who stumble upon your work in a database.

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How to avoid mistakes in APA Style?

Although inner qualities should play a more important role than looks, it cannot be argued that the first impression is often based on the appearance. Naturally that also goes for formatting one’s paper, even if the content of such work is often studied to great depth and less is done to analyse the layout and formalities.

Still, editors need to assess whether a certain manuscript should be reviewed and/or published or not. To set a standard for presentation of one’s work, journals only publish manuscripts that conform to the publication guidelines. JEPS, as many other journals in psychology, follows the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association’s (APA, 2009). Although the APA manual is widespread and used on almost every continent, manuscripts often fail to comply with its rules.

This post introduces suggestions to avoid the main mistakes found in the manuscripts submitted for the 3rd issue of JEPS. Given that JEPS follows APA Style, this post may be useful for anyone writing papers in that system.

Figure 1. Common Mistakes in Manuscripts submitted to JEPS

The post is structured to introduce most common mistakes first and less common ones later on. Figure 1 gives an overview of what will be under discussion. Referencing caused the majority of incompliances with the APA Style followed by troubles with formatting headings correctly. Writing abstract and keywords as well as making the tables and figures look correct each made up 12% of the mistakes. Finally, 7% of the mistakes stemmed from errors in blind review rules. Each of these will be discussed, common errors brought out and suggestions on how to avoid them given.

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Letter from the Editorial Board

Writing scientific texts is inevitable in Academia. Publishing good articles is a crucial factor in one’s scientific career. Nevertheless, the students often concentrate on what to write, rather than how to write. This blog is launched to help students to become acquainted with the latter.

The JEPS Bulletin will elaborate on many different aspects of writing and publishing. First, we introduce you to the authors’ experience starring students who have published in JEPS or somewhere else, so that they could share their endeavour with you. Of course, we then cannot neglect the opinions of the reviewers, who undoubtedly gain many insights having read tens or hundreds of manuscripts before they have been published in peer-reviewed journals. Read more about their insights under reviewer’s experiences.

Having had a sneak peak into all those experiences, you will probably feel inspired to go for it yourself. At this point we will take you by the hand and guide you through the process of writing a scientific text providing all the information you would need to produce a high standard scientific text of your own. We aim underpin all the important points, and to further enhance your practical knowledge on writing techniques, structure, dos and don’ts etc. Furthermore, we will demonstrate to you a full manuscript analysis of different texts written by other students and analysed by experienced reviewers. Naturally we cannot overlook the APA manual (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association). We’ll look into the rules of APA style, which has been adapted by many disciplines and is used by academics around the world.

We hope that all of the above will fully equip you to write a text that will make you proud of yourself. Once you are done and eager to share it with peers, you can seek guidance under publishing in scientific journals.

Furthermore, as source of inspiration and encouragement, we will bring interviews with a number of interesting people who have great knowledge on these topics.

To sum, our aim is to establish a good quality medium for online knowledge and experience transfer in the field of scientific publishing. In order to achieve this aim, we welcome your contributions. You can post to this blog, share your experiences – may they be good or bad, or simply suggest us what would you like us to write about!

Don’t hesitate to contact us: journal@efpsa.org!

We wish you the best in your future endeavours of scientific writing and publishing. Enjoy the blog!

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