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 How to cite an unpublished manuscript?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.
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.
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.
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.
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.