Complying with Guidelines for Preparing Papers for Personality Science

Please carefully read the guidelines and links provided here before you submit a paper to Personality Science (PS). Your paper should uphold the guidelines summarized here. Submissions that do not comply may be sent back or delay the reviewing, editing, and publication process significantly. The publication of manuscripts is contingent on adherence to the journal's guidelines and standards (concerning Open Science, reporting, language, style, formatting, etc.; see here and below) and thorough proofreading by the authors.


Using Official Journal Templates for Submissions

Papers submitted to PS should use the official paper template that can be downloaded here. Only submissions using the supplied template will be further processed in the system. The paper template asks you for a paper title, running head, and version date; whether a submission is "fresh" (i.e., first submission) or a resubmission (i.e., after a review round); what the paper category and type (if applicable) is; whether the paper was invited or not; whether the paper should be considered as part of a collection (i.e., a Theme Bundle or a Controversy Exchange); the optional (!) listing of authors on the paper; an English abstract (max. 150 words) and max. 8 keywords; an optional abstract with keywords in another language (if wished); a bulleted list of 3-5 key insights from the paper (max. 10 words per point); a relevance statement (max. 250 characters, including spaces); an optional plain language statement (500-750 words); and any URLs to different kinds of supplements (if applicable). After providing this information, the manuscript can be copy-pasted into the template. Tables and figures should be directly embedded into the text instead of being appended at the end.

Official PS Paper Template: Download

Notably, you do not need to upload any supplements (e.g., data, scripts, additional analyses, etc.) or images contained in the paper to the journal submission system for initial submissions; however, this will be necessary later. Once your paper has been conditionally accepted, the editorial decision letter will contain further information on how to compile all relevant information and files. This includes completing three additional template forms: Contributorships; Statements (on funding, competing interests, other manuscript versions, ethics, acknowledgements, other notes); and Supplements & Badges. You need to fill out all forms fully and correctly and upload them together with everything else to the journal submission system. Specifically, if a paper has been conditionally accepted, then one zip-file containing everything should be submitted to the system. This zip-file should contain the updated, final version of the manuscript; fully completed Contributorship, Statements, and Supplements & Badges template forms; all supplements files; and any high-resolution images (if figures are included in the paper). Importantly, it will be the basis for the final acceptance.  


The Article Information Form (AIF) in the Journal Submission System

Upon submission of your paper, the system will ask you if you have complied with the checklist provided at the Submissions page of this website. Please make sure that you have carefully read, understood, and agreed to the items provided there. By submitting your paper, you indicate that your paper complies with all the guidelines set forth and that you have agreed to all terms.
Traditional cover letters are not necessary in PS. Rather, the online journal submission system features an Article Information Form (AIF). The AIF, modeled after a consensus-based transparency checklist, contains an extensive set of questions that were devised to replace cover letters, provide more standardization, and gather additional information (e.g., in openness and transparency implementations). Several questions in the AIF have to be answered, but some only become available once certain responses have been given. Further, some questions will not apply to all paper categories and types. An overview of all AIF questions and information necessary can be found here.

Please closely consult the AIF Sample Document before submitting your paper to have all information ready.


General Guidelines

PS is published under the PsychOpen GOLD program, and thus all submissions must adhere to the Author Guidelines set forth under that program. Please carefully consult the materials compiled there and make sure your submission complies with the guidelines. The PsychOpen Style Guide compiles most important standards and gives various examples. Please follow it closely when writing and formatting your paper. Further, we ask that you use APA 7 formatting (for more information, see here).

Each paper should come with an English abstract (max. 150 words), bulleted list of Key Insights (3-5 points, max. 10 words each), and a Relevance Statement (250 characters, including spaces). Exceptions may apply for Comment papers. Abstracts for empirical papers should include information on Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions. Authors may also add one additional abstract (max. 150 words) in their language of choice. All of this information can be comfortably entered into the official PS Paper Template.


Guidelines for Specific Paper Categories and Types

PS currently features 5 categories of papers (Theory, Methodology, Empirical, Applied, Comment) and eight special types of papers (State of the Art Review, Tutorials, Projects & Data, Insights & Ideas, Cumulative Blitz Report, Registered Report, Replication, Meta-analysis). Further details and requirements (e.g., word counts) on these categories and types of papers can be found at Paper Formats. Papers should adhere to the word, reference, table, and figure counts for each category and type of paper. Additionally, some papers may be part of bundled paper collections (Theme Bundles, Controversy Exchange). Lastly, papers may have been invited by the editorial team or submitted without an invitation. Taken together, authors need to clearly indicate the type, (lack of) category, (lack of) bundle, and (lack of) invitation on the official PS Paper Template so that the paper can be properly classified and allocated.


Guidelines for Openness and Transparency

Under the umbrella of the European Association of Personality Psychology (EAPP), PS is committed to transparency and openness just like its sister-journal, the European Journal of Personality (EJP). Specifically, PS implements Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) guidelines corresponding to Levels II and III. Details can be found at Open Science on this website, and all papers published in PS must comply with these guidelines. Correspondingly, authors will be asked in the AIF to what extent they comply with, and have implemented, these guidelines in their papers in the journal submission system. Open materials, data, and scripts as well as pre-registrations need to be linked to in the paper (see details below under Guidelines for Supplements). These are intended to be also peer-reviewed.

In empirical articles (i.e., articles presenting data), eight sets of statements need to be woven into the text. To facilitate the detection of these statements in the text, we ask that each of the statements appear in blue color in the manuscript. Although not a set rule, we advise to insert several of these statements directly into a dedicated sub-section on “Transparency, Openness, and Reproducibility” in the Method section. An overview of the necessary statements and potential sections to place them is given in the table below.

Issue Statements in the Paper Potential Placement in the Paper
Pre-registration Report whether the study is based on a pre-registration, citing the openly accessible link to the (ideally frozen) pre-registration.

Clearly state what exactly was pre-registered and what not (e.g., background, hypotheses, methods, materials, scripts, interpretation guidelines, etc.).

Clearly describe whether, to what extent, and why deviations from the pre-registration occurred (if applicable).
(in the Current Study section)


Transparency, Openness, and Reproducibility
(in the Methods section)
Hypothesis Testing Report for each hypothesis (or test) whether it was pre-registered or not, and clearly distinguish between confirmatory and exploratory hypotheses and/or testing throughout the entire manuscript.

If pre-registered, the hypotheses and their testing may each be labeled “confirmatory”.

If not pre-registered, the hypotheses and their testing should each be labeled “exploratory”.
(in the Current Study section)


Transparency, Openness, and Reproducibility
(in the Methods section)
Sampling Describe how the sample size was determined for each study (e.g., a priori power analyses based on conservative estimates of the most complex effects that are analyzed).

Disclose any data exclusions and explain the rationale for these exclusions.

Include information on the diversity (or homogeneity vs. heterogeneity) within the sample and how the sample compares to other samples (e.g., in the pertinent literature, in applied settings, etc.).
(in the Methods section)
Procedures and Materials Provide information regarding all procedures applied as well as all instruments, materials, and measures used in the study, with a link to further information (including a codebook). In case of a broader empirical project that goes beyond just this paper (with may feature only a selection of variables), the selection(s) for this specific paper need(s) to be made transparent. Procedure and/or Materials
(in the Methods section)
Data Indicate if and where the dataset has already appeared (submitted or accepted) as well as the degree of overlap.

For own data: Provide a link to the processed data needed to reproduce the results and ideally also to the raw, preprocessed data OR justify why the data cannot be made openly available (e.g., for legal or ethical reasons).

For public data: Include a link to the public data directly or explain how the data can be accessed.
Transparency, Openness, and Reproducibility
(in the Methods section)
Scripts, Code, Syntax Provide a link to openly accessible data analysis scripts, code, or syntax that allow reproducing all reported results (even if the data could not be shared) and include any information necessary to access and run them. Data-analytical Strategy / Data-analysis
(in the Methods section)


Transparency, Openness, and Reproducibility
(in the Methods section)
Analyses and Statistics Report all analyses that were run. The detailed presentation of some analyses may be relegated to the online supplemental materials, but these materials should be referenced and discussed in the text of the paper.

Report basic descriptive statistics (central tendencies, dispersions, reliabilities, associations among variables), effect sizes, exact p-values, and 95% confidence or credible intervals (or explain why this is not possible).
Results section
Other Supplements Report were other supplements (e.g., additional analyses, in-depth presentations and explanations, visualizations, etc.) can be found. Transparency, Openness, and Reproducibility (in the Methods section)


Results section


Guidelines for Supplements

To permanently host supplements to papers, PS partners with PsychArchives which is a disciplinary repository preserving a variety of digital research objects (DROs), with different publication types (preprints, primary, and secondary publications), research data, tests, pre-registrations, multimedia, and code. It provides easy and free access to DROs according to the FAIR principles, which implies the commitment to ensure that research and research data are findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable. During initial submissions, supplements can be accessible on any repository of your choice; once your paper has been conditionally accepted, you will need to upload all supplements (with descriptions in a Supplements & Badges template form) to the journal submission system as they will be later uploaded to PsychArchives by journal staff.

Any supplements to the paper (e.g., materials, data, code, analyses, codebooks, additional information, pre-registrations etc.) will need to be uploaded only once a conditional acceptance has been issued. This means that, at the time of submitting your paper, you need to make sure that your supplements are accessible, using an open repository of your choice. Indeed, the official PS Paper Template will ask for the URLs to the supplements because these are expected to be also peer-reviewed. Once a conditional acceptance has been rendered and all supplements have been submitted to the journal submission system and checked, PsychOpen staff will upload them to PsychArchives and insert links to them in the copy-edited paper. This means that currently you do not have to upload your supplements to PsychArchives yourself; this will be done for you.

To fulfill the submission criteria for PsychArchives, you will need to do the following:

  • confirm that you and your co-authors agree to publish these materials in the PsychArchives repository under a CC BY 4.0 license (the same license as used for the article)
  • provide short descriptions of the contents of your supplements (it will be used for the "Supplements" section of the article linking to the repository) within the Supplements & Badges template form
  • provide a single guide (preferable as a PDF file) to all files, data, documents, materials, scripts, code, syntax, etc. (please ensure the re-useability of all of your materials)

PsychArchives offers the following benefits:

  • Permanent availability and linkage with article: Providing access to supplements via PsychArchives will guarantee their future availability as well as the linkage between them and the article. PsychArchives is a product of ZPID - Leibniz Institute for Psychology. ZPID is an Open Science Institute for psychological research (founded in 1971), which is funded by the German federal and state governments. Therefore, ZPID is not vulnerable to commercial risks.
  • Persistent identifier (DOI) to the PsychArchives submission: Every submission on PsychArchives is provided with a DOI.
  • Comprehensive enrichment with metadata: Every PsychArchives submission is comprehensively enriched with metadata (see an example of this here) which increases online discoverability.
  • Strict user guidelines enforce quality standards: Detailed metadata and user guidelines have been explicitly developed to avoid that PsychArchives becomes just another online “dump” for unspecified research related files. Comprehensible documentation ensures the re-usability of the provided files.
  • Integration of PsychArchives in the complete spectrum of (free-to-use) ZPID products: ZPID offers and develops free-to-use products to support psychologists during the whole research process (see here). These products are interconnected and enable researchers, for example, to find specific research data in PsychArchives, open these data in PsychNotebook, and perform analysis directly there.


Guidelines for Ensuring Anonymized Reviews (if Wished)

PS offers authors the possibility to remain anonymous or identify themselves in the reviewing process. The journal submission system only requires information on the submitting author (which is understood to be the corresponding author of the paper), and this information is by default not shared with reviewers. All other authors do not need to be entered into the system. If you wish to identify yourself to the reviewers, then you may include the author names in the Paper Template and do not need to attend to the anonymization issues below. However, if you wish to remain anonymous, you should of course not include author names in the Paper Template and additionally need to take following steps regarding the manuscript text and file properties:

  • You should delete identifying information in the manuscript text. This can include names when citing own research in the text, in references, or in footnotes (using, e.g., “Author, 2020”). However, this is sometimes not feasible or advisable, and reviewers may have a legitimate interest in checking, verifying, or consulting your previous work to understand certain parts of the submitted manuscript better. Thus, if your own cited work is essential for understanding and you still want to ensure transparency, you can include your actual names in citations and references. However, to remain anonomous, you may abstain from phrases such as “As we have shown earlier (Doe, 2019), …” and instead use “As has been shown earlier (Doe, 2019), …”.
  • As you will be submitting your manuscript with the Paper Template (an MS Office document), any author identification should also be removed from the properties of the file. You can do so by clicking on the following, beginning with “File” on the main menu of the MS Word application: File > Save As > Tools (or Options with a Mac) > Security > Remove personal information from file properties on save > Save.
  • Supplements will also be examined by the reviewers. Thus, to remain anonymous, you also need to remove any identifying information in the supplements and from the supplement files. The same applies to response letters submitted to the system.
  • Files should not contain author names (e.g., response_letter_doe.docx).

It is the sole responsibility of the authors to ensure proper anonymization if they wish for it. Editors will neither check nor change anonymity-related information. Thus, if you wish to remain anonymous, you need to carefully follow the steps above and anticipate situations where information could identify you.

If a paper is conditionally accepted, then a mandatory Contributorship Template needs to be filled out where information on all authors is provided, including their respective contributorships (according to the CRediT System). This information will also be available on the final published paper.


Guidelines for Reporting Standards

PS strongly recommends that authors follow the journal reporting standards (JARS) set forth by the American Psychological Association (APA). The JARS fall into three categories that will likely cover most if not all empirical papers submitted to PS: JARS-Quant for quantitative data, JARS-Qual for qualitative data, and JARS-Mixed for mixed-methods combining quantitative and qualitative data.

JARS-Quant Reporting Standards

Decision flowchart
Participant flowchart
General reporting guidelines for quantitative data
Non-experimental designs
Longitudinal designs
Meta-analyses (quantitative)
Replication studies
Experimental designs
Random assignment
Non-random assignment
Clinical trials
N-of-1 studies
Structural equation modeling (SEM)
Bayesian statistics

JARS-Qual Reporting Standards

General reporting guidelines for qualitative data
Meta-analyses (qualitative)

JARS-Mixed Reporting Standards

General reporting guidelines for mixed-method data (quantitative and qualitative)
In addition, the JARS-Quant and JARS-Qual recommendations summarized above should be consulted and used.

A glossary of terms can be found here.

Appelbaum, M., Cooper, H., Kline, R. B., Mayo-Wilson, E., Nezu, A. M., & Rao, S. M. (2018). Journal article reporting standards for quantitative research in psychology: The APA Publications and Communications Board task force report. American Psychologist, 73(1), 3-25.

Levitt, H. M., Bamberg, M., Creswell, J. W., Frost, D. M., Josselson, R., & Suárez-Orozco, C. (2018). Journal article reporting standards for qualitative primary, qualitative meta-analytic, and mixed methods research in psychology: The APA Publications and Communications Board task force report. American Psychologist, 73(1), 26-46.