Category Archives: Manuscript analysis

An analysis of a scientific text manuscript done by a reviewer, with specific guidelines, suggestions and advice regarding the text.

A Psychologist’s Guide to Reading a Neuroimaging Paper

Psychological research is benefiting from advances in neuroimaging techniques. This has been achieved through the validation and falsification of established hypothesis in psychological science (Cacioppo, Berntson, & Nusbaum, 2008). It has also helped nurture links with neuroscience, leading to more comprehensive explanations of established theories. Positron Emission Tomography (PET), functional MRI (fMRI), structural MRI (sMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and numerous other lesser-known neuroimaging techniques can provide information complimentary to behavioural data (Wager, 2006). With these modalities of research becoming more prevalent, ranging from investigating the neural effects of mindfulness training to neuro-degeneration, it is worth taking a moment to highlight some points to help discern what may be good or poor research. Like any other methodology, neuroimaging is a great tool that can be used poorly. As with all areas of science, one must exercise a good degree of caution when reading neuroimaging papers. Continue reading


What Are The Most Common APA Style Mistakes Done By Students?

Following our tradition from 2010 and 2011, we present you an overview of the aspects of APA style that students find the most difficult. The data was collected from the manuscripts submitted to us in 2012. Just as in the previous two posts, we were more interested in the type of mistakes that students do, rather than their quantity. In this year’s analysis, more categories have been included compared with the previous two (27 in total), which allowed us to conduct a more detailed investigation on common APA style mistakes. This was done by identifying the mistake categories with the highest frequencies from the papers submitted to us. This post will guide you through the most common APA style mistakes and offer you advice on how to avoid them when writing your own paper. We will start off with the general formatting of the paper; then, we will move on to citing sources and formatting the reference list.

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In the shoes of a peer-reviewer

As psychologists and, more importantly, as psychology students, we heavily rely on the peer-review process. When conducting an online search for journal articles that shall inform our next research project or assignment, we expect to find high-quality research right then and there. The peer-review process saves us time; we approach our search with the assumption that a large amount of articles that we find (at least those published in peer-reviewed journals) provide us with valuable insights into the area we are focussing on, even by just reading through the abstract. The reviewer is our friend! In this post I will offer some insight into my personal experiences regarding the peer-review process from the standpoint of the reviewer. More specifically I will highlight how I have systematically approached manuscripts that I was asked to review.

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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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Lessons from a published fake study

There are so many obstacles you have to face when doing your own research: After finding a suitable field, conducting your research and writing it down on paper, your supervisor might end up tearing it into pieces should they find shortcomings in your methodology or results section. In contrast to the widespread procedure, the authors of the study presented below have failed not only to discuss methodological issues, but they have made up a complete study that got published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry. Has the entire review process failed for this study? What does this case teach you?

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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!

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