Author Guidelines

Submitted work should be original, meaning it should not be submitted for consideration to another journal nor should it have been published in whole or in part in another journal. Yet, as we support and encourage authors to seek pre-publication reviews, we will accept submissions that have been previously distributed as online preprints. Also, once your work appears in SPB, the CC-BY-4.0 licence agreement will not stop you from sharing your article with whomever you wish, to communicate your findings to a broader audience (i.e. using alternative channels: press releases, university bulletins, social media platforms such as FB, Twitter, ResearchGate). This way we can celebrate a genuine open-access to knowledge and enhance research transparency.

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 editorial system. The decision (accept, minor revision, revise and resubmit, or reject) will be communicated electronically (within the OJS editorial system and via separate e-mails) together with the reviews and letter from the Action Editor.

  • All submissions are subject to plagiarism screening (read our policy on Plagiarism Screening).
  • We encourage authors not to structure the narrative of their articles on accepting or rejecting hypotheses, but rather on discussing the quality of evidence supporting/opposing their theoretical claims (as Jerzy Neyman’s legacy that "statistics should never be used mechanically"; cf. Gigerenzer, 2004).
  • We encourage authors to make good use of the generous word limit on the abstract length (up to 250 words), which should allow authors to describe their results/conclusion in fair detail.
  • Authors are asked to report the exact level of significance (e.g., p = .055 or p = .045).
  • We encourage the use of tables for summarizing the results (with the appropriate inferential (including CI and size of the effect) and descriptive (N, M, SD) statistics).
  • For diagrams, we encourage authors to use the color scales/palettes that would ensure robust greyscale distribution (please try using "viridis" package in R or consult the ColorBrewer tool when choosing specific hues that are colorblind safe).

All texts should respect the rules of the APA Publication Manual (see sample papers conforming to the APA style) and the PsychOpen Author Guidelines

Organizing Your Submission

Please make sure that your cover letter describes your contribution within the journal's scope. We kindly request authors to consult the Accepted Formats section prior to submission and to verify that the paper complies with the respective limits for words, references, figures, and tables . Before attempting an online submission, please consider preparing the following file types:

  1. Main article file (Anonymized)
    We employ the double-blind reviewing process. The authors should not reveal their identities in the main body of the manuscript. The main file should contain no identifying author information.
    Manuscripts should be assembled in the following order: Running head, Title, Abstract, Keywords, Word count, Main body with tables and figures embedded in the text, References (APA style), Appendices (if any). Please note, this is an exemption of an APA style guide - please put the tables and figures in the text. This way we are making it easier for reviewers to examine the results.
    Main file of the manuscript (DOC, DOCX, or RTF) should be anonymized and should include all tables and figures embedded in the text. Please note that low-resolution figures and tables should be embedded (within the main text) in the main file - any image format that is readable and clear enough will be acceptable. 
  1. Cover letter
    Please note that once the paper is accepted by the Handling Editor, the content of the cover letter (author names, affiliations, their contribution, and highlights) will be moved from the cover letter to the article’s main body. Cover letter (DOC, DOCX, or RTF) should cover:
    • Authors' name(s) and e-mail addresses.
    • Affiliation (for each author): Institution, City, Country.
    • Corresponding author's contact address: full postal and email address.
    • Article type and word count.
    • The letter should also list the highlights of the submitted contribution (what we already know on this subject & what this paper adds).
    • Acknowledgment (if applicable): Any significant non-financial support from other persons or organizations should be acknowledged.
    • Preregistration: please clearly list the studies for which protocols/analyses were pre-registered. 
    • Funding/financial disclosure (if applicable): All sources of funding should be declared.
    • Competing interests (if applicable): Financial and personal relationships of any author with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence the work should be declared.
    • Reviewer suggestions: At least three suggested reviewers of the submitted work.

  2. Datasets & Codebooks, and High-resolution figures must be submitted during the same submission process in one of the accepted file formats (see below):
    • Dataset files for each separate study should be clearly titled & it should include a codebook (description of the content of the file; cf. Meyer, 2018). Codebooks for datasets should cover at least all the variable names (& description) and values. When in doubt please comply with the Data Dictionary style guide on the Open Science Framework. Ideally, all the datasets should be viewable using free or widely available tools, e.g., suitable file formats for datasets are CSV (Comma separated values) and XLS (Excel spreadsheet),
    • Files of figures, graphs, photos etc. must be provided separately in high resolution. These will be used for the production of the final article and thus to precipitate the process you should upload them separately with your initial submission. Each figure should be uploaded as an individual file in one of the following image file formats: EPS, TIFF, JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP. 

      Supplementary materials (if available).

      We encourage the fair use of supplementary materials (prepared separately from the main article). These materials should provide additional information to the reader (e.g., additional analyses and/or the exact stimuli used). Supplementary materials must be non - redundant and essential for the full understanding of the main paper. These materials will be processed within the same peer-review procedures as the main article. (Supplementary materials will have its own DOI and be distributed using a permanent data repository PsychArchives. For more details see Supplementary Material Guidelines. Online publishing allows authors to increase the impact of their submissions by providing interactive attachments to their papers, e.g., animated paradigms (.gif files), video files (.mov), syntax of their analysis (.R or .txt) or datasets (.csv). Please upload your supplementary files along with the main text during the initial submission. The supplementary files will be integrated into the article as viewable/downloadable files. All supplementary files should also be explicitly referenced (by the file name) within the body of the article, e.g., "See supplementary file 1: 'Protocol_of_Study1.gif' for an animated demonstration"

Data Sharing

  • We require authors to share their data along with their manuscript (using any public depository or our submission panel). There are many benefits to sharing your data openly with the scientific community (i.e. preserving your data, allowing meta-analysis, increasing citations, collaboration, and data re-use; see McKiernan, et al., 2016; Tennant, et al., 2016). If you cannot share your data, please provide a valid explanation in the cover letter. 
  • Data files should be anonymized and should contain (or be accompanied by) a codebook describing the labels of variables and the responses in English.
  • Data files provided in the submission panel will be reviewed, deposited (with a separate doi) using a permanent data repository (PsychArchives) and distributed along with the accepted article


Gigerenzer, G. (2004). Mindless statistics. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 33, 587–606.

McKiernan, E. C., Bourne, P. E., Brown, C. T., Buck, S., Kenall, A., Lin, J., McDougall, D., Nosek, B. A., Ram, K., Soderberg, C. K., Spies, J. R.,  Thaney, K., Updegrove, A,, Woo, K. H., Yarkoni, T. (2016). Point of view: How open science helps researchers succeed. ELife, 5, e16800.

Meyer, M. N. (2018). Practical tips for ethical data sharing. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science, 1(1), 131–144.

Tennant, J., Waldner, F., Jacques, D., Masuzzo, P., Collister, L., & Hartgerink, C. (2016). The academic, economic and societal impacts of Open Access: An evidence-based review [version 3; referees: 4 approved, 1 approved with reservations]. F1000Research, 5(632).