If you have gone through the trouble of picking up a copy of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA, 2010), I’m sure your first reaction was similar to mine: “Ugh! 272 pages of boredom.” Do people actually read this monster? I don’t know. I don’t think so. I know I haven’t read every last bit of it. You may be relieved to hear that your reaction resonates with some of the critique that has been voiced by senior researchers in Psychology, such as Henry L. Roediger III (2004). But let’s face it: APA style is not going anywhere. It is one of the major style regimes in academia and is used in many fields other than Psychology, including medical and other public health journals. And to be fair, standardizing academic documents is not a bad idea. It helps readers to efficiently access the desired information. It helps authors by making the journal’s expectations regarding style explicit, and it helps reviewers to concentrate on the content of a manuscript. Most importantly, the guidelines set a standard that is accepted by a large number of outlets. Imagine a world in which you had to familiarize yourself with a different style every time you chose a new outlet for your scholarly work. Continue reading
APA-guidelines, don’t we all love them? As an example, take one simple black line used to separate words – the hyphen: not only do you have to check whether a term needs a hyphen or a blank space will suffice, you also have to think about the different types of hyphens (Em-dash, En-dash, minus, and hyphen). Yes, it is not that much fun. And at JEPS we often get the question: why do we even have to adhere to those guidelines?
The answer is rather simple: The formatting constraints imposed by journals enable for the emphasis to be placed on the manuscript’s content during the review process. The fact that all manuscripts submitted share the same format allows for the Reviewers to concentrate on the content without being distracted by unfamiliar and irregular formatting and reporting styles.
The Publication Manual counts an impressive 286 pages and causes quite some confusion. In JEPS, we have counted the most frequent mistakes in manuscripts submitted to us – data that the EndNote-blog has translated into this nice little graphic.
Here you can find some suggestions on how to avoid these mistakes in the first place.
American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Vainre, M. (2011). Common mistakes made in APA style. JEPS Bulletin, retrieved from http://blog.efpsa.org/2011/11/20/common-mistakes-made-in-apa-style/
Throughout the course of our studies, we have all read a lot of literature reviews or scientific papers, those whose methodological standard we could have learned from and improved and others that make us wonder how they ever made it through the peer- review process of the journal. Nevertheless, we have to admit that we all still make mistakes and sometimes submit manuscripts that do not match APA guidelines. In order to improve our general knowledge about how to format papers in our beloved APA style or to refresh our previous knowledge related to it, this post intends to give a brief overview over the structure of a scientific paper and some other crucial APA features your paper should contain.
Writing the title takes just a fraction of the time you need to put down your work on paper. Nonetheless, this starting point is very important one, because it may influence the impact of your work and the number of readers that it will attract. With the increasing digitalization of research, more and more people are using abstract databases to find articles relevant to their work. That’s why, if you want your article to come up in the search results, you should make sure that its title is a good summary of your work and that it addresses the right audience. How can you do this? Here is a step-by-step guide with some useful tips.
Last year we did an analysis, here at the JEPS Bulletin, trying to find out how many of the most reputable journals in psychology are open access. The conclusion was, to say the least, defeating. But as Stevan Harnad likes to remind us, gold open access journals are far from being the only route to achieving widespread access to scientific literature. Green open access is a way to go too. But can scholars, and under what conditions, archive the articles they publish in topmost psychology journals? That’s what we’re going to find out in today’s post.
A recent JEPS bulletin post revealed that the largest percent (37%) of APA style mistakes in the manuscripts submitted for the 4th issue of the Journal of European Psychology Students (JEPS) are related to reference formatting. This is consistent with the analysis of APA style mistakes from 2010 where the largest proportion of APA style mistakes in the past JEPS submissions were related to references as well, although in a significantly larger percent (51%).
As described in a previous post, writing proper references may involve several issues–correctly listing references cited in text, as well as having all references in the list cited in text. Problems also occur in correct spelling of the references, formatting in-text citations according to APA guidelines, formatting the reference list according to the specific APA rules applying to each type of publication and ordering the references alphabetically by the authors’ surnames.
Even though the APA manual is the guide no.1 in resolving these issues–doing it manually by the book requires a lot of time and attention. The good news is that there is a number of electronic tools that can also help to avoid these mistakes. This post offers you a brief introduction to two solutions–Zotero and Mendeley Desktop.
Journals in psychology, although most of them are not yet Open Access (optimistically speaking) as previous posts have indicated, function as working memory of scientific findings. They usually follow the idea of collecting and saving and commonly sharing findings that have been investigated qualitatively and quantitatively in the world and transmitting them worldwide and onto following generations. Although the idea of free access to most of the journals has not been fulfilled, journals nevertheless guide us through the quickly growing field of research. In order not to get too confused and overwhelmed by the mass of journals nowadays, this post intends to structure the journal world starting historically from the first and only journal in psychology established at the end of the 19th century. Continue reading
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.
In the publish or perish world of modern psychology, the question of who publishes the journals we send our manuscripts to is not asked as often as it should be. We usually aren’t even aware who the publishers are. This is the case even when we only read, cite and use articles from scientific journals. As a rule of thumb, we are more than aware of the prestige of particular journals and their public face – topic, review policy, editorial team and even access policy; but who publishes them? Who owns them and what are their policies?
Find out in this installment of the Journal of European Psychology Students Bulletin.