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Submission Preparation Checklist

  • As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • Original submission: The submission has not been previously published, and is not being simultaneously submitted elsewhere (we accept submissions of manuscripts that have been previously distributed as online pre-prints in open repositories).
  • Double blind peer-review: I am aware that the peer review in this journal is double blind, meaning that the manuscript, any supplementary materials and/or datafile that I submit do not contain any identifying information.
  • File format: The text is provided as an editable file in either DOC, DOCX, or RTF format. The text follows formatting rules of APA (6th or 7th edition), uses a 12-point font and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • Copyrights: I understand that authors retain copyright and the article and all accompanying files will be published under Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0). No copyrighted material is used unless that material has also been made available under a CC-BY license.
  • A separate file "Cover letter" (mandatory) should contain:

    • Authors' name(s) and e-mail addresses.

    • Affiliation (for each author): Institution, City, Country.

    • Article type and the word count.

    • Highlights of the submitted contribution (what is already known on this subject & what this paper adds). Please write a statement of the conclusions of your study in up to four sentences (with a maximum of 100 words). Please include interesting information about your paper and do not only rephrase the title.

    • Funding: All sources of financial aid (if applicable) should be declared.

    • Competing interests (if applicable): Financial and personal relationships of any author with SPB or any organizations related to the study matter should be declared.

    • Data Availability: all empirical articles should contain datasets and codebooks as attachments to the submission (if it is not possible, please explain in detail).

    • Pre-registration statement: all empirical articles should contain a clear statement on study pre-registration.

    • Suggestions for at least 3 potential referees for peer review with their full names and affiliation (University, Country) and email address.
  • The main article body should be anonymized and should include:
    • Running head: short title (one line), no more than 50 characters including spaces

    • The abstract (with no more than 250 words)

    • Keywords: 4–7 keywords or brief phrases separated by commas

    • Main article body: Please note that the final publication (after peer-review) must not exceed 8,000 words in length (excluding only references) with a limit of 4 figures and 50 references. The supplementary materials do not have a word count nor figure/table/reference limit. Read more about word count and article types

    • All figures (including relevant captions) should be placed within the main article body (any small but readable versions of the figure)

    • All tables (including titles, description, footnotes) should be placed within the text body

    • References: APA style (6th or 7th Edition). Please use the to check if your references are accurate and complete.

    • Appendices (if any): Appendix A, Appendix B, etc (please mind the word count limit and you may want to use supplementary materials instead)

  • Supplementary files:
    • All datasets and codebooks should be uploaded during submission and clearly described using the metadata

    • All figures should be separately submitted in the original, high-resolution version (ready for print)

    • Each supplementary material should be explicitly referenced (by the file name) within the body of the article, e.g., "See supplementary file 1: 'Protocol_of_Study1.gif'".

  • Authorship: I certify that all authors who contributed to this article are named in the cover letter. I and all co-authors have read and contributed to the final version of the manuscript and all have agreed on its submission to this journal.
  • Author Guidelines

    Should you encounter any technical difficulties in submitting a manuscript to this journal, please contact the Editorial Office at

    The manuscript submission process is separated into the following five steps:


    • Step 1: Verifying the submission checklist and specifying the manuscript type

    • Step 2: Uploading the cover letter (with identifying information), the anonymized submission file (main article), datasets as well as any supplementary files (see guidelines for details on how to prepare those) 

    • Step 3: Specifying the author(s) names, contact information, title, abstract, keywords, and other metadata 

    • Step 4: Final verification of the submitted files and confirmation of your submission (please note this is the final step before sending out your submission to SPB Editorial Office)

    • Step 5: Summary of the peer-review process: Each submitted paper will be initially sent to the Editor-in-Chief's office who will appoint an Action Editor (if all authors' guidelines are met), who will seek and invite appropriate Reviewers. Each paper is sent to at least three Reviewers (experts in the field), and the decision is made on the basis of at least two reviews. The authors may follow the status of the paper throughout the whole process by logging into the system. The decision (accept, minor revision, revise and resubmit, or reject) will be communicated electronically (via e-mail) together with the reviews and letter from the Action Editor. 

    Copyright Notice

    Authors who publish with SPB agree to the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

    Creative Commons License