ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Guide to Authors

    Acta Psychologica Sinica is a scholarly journal sponsored by the Chinese Psychological Society and the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and published monthly by the Science Press. It is the flagship journal of the Chinese Psychological Society that publishes peer-reviewed original empirical studies and theoretical articles spanning the entire spectrum of scientific psychology. Acta Psychologica Sinica publishes high-quality research that investigates the fundamental mechanisms of mind and behavior and aims to deliver scientific knowledge to enhance our understanding of culture and society. It welcomes submissions of manuscripts reporting research that is up-to-date, scientifically excellent, and of broad interest and significance. Manuscripts attempting to open new areas of inquiry or proposing unique and innovative perspectives are particularly encouraged. Meanwhile, manuscripts that address only technical but not scientifically meaningful problems are often rejected without review.


    We accept submissions in either English or Chinese. For Chinese manuscripts, English titles and abstracts are required (please refer to our Chinese website under “Note for Preparing an English Abstract” for details). Authors for whom English is a second language may solicit assistance from a native speaker or opt to have their manuscripts professionally edited before submission.

    Manuscript Style, Structure, and Content
    Please prepare manuscripts according to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition), except for where the journal sets its own style. Once you have prepared your submission in accordance with the guidelines, manuscripts should be submitted online.

    Title: The title should be short and informative. Chinese titles are limited to 20 characters.
    Abstract: The abstract must be structured and state the purpose, methods, results, and conclusion of the reported research. Chinese abstracts are limited to 200 characters, and English abstracts must have a minimum of 500 words.
    Keywords: Three to five keywords should be supplied below the abstract.
    Main text: Sections should be organized by Arabic numeral subheadings. Not more than three levels of subheadings are allowed.
    Tables: Tables should be presented in a three-line format, with dependent variables in columns and independent variables in rows.
    Figures: Legends should be concise but comprehensible.
    References: References should be prepared in style according to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2019). A complete reference list should appear alphabetically by name at the end of the manuscript. All citations mentioned in the abstract, main text, footnotes, tables, and figures must be included in the reference list.
    The content of an accepted Chinese manuscript should be presented in the following order.

    (1) Title (Chinese)

    (2) Authors (Chinese)

    (3) Author affiliations and addresses (Chinese)

    (4) Abstract (Chinese)

    (5) Keywords (Chinese)

    (6) Literature category index number

    (7) Funding information

    (8) Main text

    (9) Acknowledgement

    (10) Reference list

    (11) Title (English)

    (12) Authors (English)

    (13) Author affiliations and addresses (English)

    (14) Abstract (English)

    (15) Keywords (English)

    Research Design and Statistics
    Many previously published studies have the problem of inadequate statistical power. To alleviate this problem, authors must explain why their sample sizes are appropriate. For quantitative studies, the effect sizes, expected power, and software used to calculate sample sizes must be specified, and the rationales underlying these estimates must be provided. For more detailed reasons and procedures of sample size planning, please refer to this website for more information.
    Cross-sectional studies with self-reports of convenience samples are relatively easy to conduct but have several serious limitations. Therefore, manuscripts with only such studies may be rejected without review. Manuscripts in organizational, clinical, personality, and social psychology areas that rely solely on self-report questionnaire methods need to control the common method bias by using procedural and statistical remedies. Please refer to this document for more information in this respect.
    Authors must report the effect sizes of their main results (e.g., t score, Cohen’s d, η2 or partial η2 for ANOVA, and standardized regression coefficients) and 95% confidence intervals instead of, or in addition to, standard deviations and standard errors of the mean (e.g., 95% CI of a difference or that of a correlation or regression coefficient). For calculation and plotting of 95% CI, please refer to this website for more information.
    To ensure data integrity, authors must confirm that the total number of excluded observations and the reasons for these exclusions (if any) have been reported in the Methods section. Authors must also ensure that all dependent variables or measures analyzed for their study’s intended research question(s) have been reported in the Methods section.

    Review and Acceptance
    The acceptance criteria for all manuscripts are the quality and originality of the research, its relevance and significance to our readership, and the fulfillment of the aims and scope of the journal. Except where otherwise stated, manuscripts are peer-reviewed by at least two reviewers in double-blind fashion and the Editor. The final acceptance or rejection of a manuscript is decided by the Editorial Board.
    Acta Psychologica Sinica recognizes the numerous benefits of archiving data and research instruments for scientific progress. The journal expects that where possible, all data supporting the results of published papers should be archived in an appropriate public archive that offers open access and guarantees preservation. The archived data must allow each result in the published paper to be recreated and the analyses reported in the paper to be replicated in full to support the conclusions made.
    Preprint Policy
    Acta Psychologica Sinica will consider reviewing manuscripts previously available as preprints on non-commercial servers such as ArXiv, bioRxiv, psyArXiv, SocArXiv, engrXiv, ChinaXiv, PsyChinaXiv, etc. The journal will not reject manuscripts due to their high similarities with the preprint versions of the manuscripts.
    Copyright and Access
    Accepted papers will be passed to the production process for publication. A completed Copyright Transfer Agreement with the signature of all authors should be sent directly to the editorial board office or uploaded as a file. The full text of the journal articles could be downloaded freely via the journal’s homepage.

    Human and/or Animal Studies
    Where applicable, manuscripts must contain a statement to the effect that all reported human and/or animal studies were reviewed by an appropriate ethics committee and conducted in accordance with appropriate ethical standards, such as those specified in the APA Publication Manual (Section 8.04, 6th Edition). The authors should also state clearly in the main text that all participants had given their informed consent prior to their inclusion in the study. Details that may disclose participants’ identities should be omitted.
    Acta Psychologica Sinica requires that clinical trials submitted for the journal’s consideration must be pre-registered in a publicly accessible database. Other basic and applied research is also encouraged to be pre-registered before data collection. Pre-registration shall include Introduction, Methods (including proposed analyses), and Pilot Data (where applicable). This practice is designed to minimize publication bias and other biases in hypothesis-driven research. A recommended website for pre-registration is Pre-registration will significantly increase the likelihood of acceptance.
    Conflict of Interest
    Authors must declare any potential conflicts of interest relevant to the publication of the manuscript by disclosing financial interests or connections, whether direct or indirect, and other situations that might raise the question of bias in the work reported or the conclusions, implications, or opinions stated. These items may include commercial or other sources of funding, personal relationships, or direct academic competition. Such information will be held in confidence while the paper is under review and will not influence the editorial decision. If the article is accepted for publication, the Editor will usually discuss with the authors the manner in which such information is to be communicated to the readers.
    Submission Declaration
    Authors should note that a submission implies that (i) the content has not been published previously in any language or venue, except as an abstract in the proceedings of a scientific meeting or symposium; (ii) the manuscript is not currently under consideration for publication elsewhere; and (iii) the corresponding author should ensure that there is a full consensus of all co-authors in approving the final version of the paper and its submission for publication.
    The journal charges a publication fee only if the manuscript is accepted for publication. There is no submission charge. Instruction for payment is sent during publication process. Payment can be made by bank transfer. Publication fee, 250 RMB Yuan per page at a maximum of 3000 RMB Yuan, is required to cover the cost of publication, and should be paid before publication.
    Publication Ethics
    Acta Psychologica Sinica follows the code of conduct of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and COPE’s guidelines when a misconduct is suspected or alleged. The following issues are highlighted.

    Originality and plagiarism: The authors should ensure that their work is original, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others, then this must be appropriately cited or quoted.
    Data access and retention: Authors may be asked to provide raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review and should be prepared to provide public access to such data.
    Multiple, redundant, or concurrent publication: An author should not publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication.
    Please note that Acta Psychologica Sinica uses the Academic Literature Misconduct Check system of the Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure to screen manuscripts for plagiarism risks. By submitting your manuscript to Acta Psychologica Sinica, you are agreeing to any originality checks your manuscript may undergo during the peer-review and production processes.
    Where author or peer reviewer misconduct is identified, a due process will be followed to investigate the issue, giving those involved a right to appeal in a formal way. The publisher and editors will deal with the allegations of research misconduct according to COPE guidelines ( In the event that any allegation of research misconduct is proven, the journal is always ready to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed. 
    Reproduction of Copyright Material
    If excerpts from copyrighted works owned by third parties are included, credit must be shown in the contribution. It is also the author’s responsibility to obtain written permissions for reproduction from the copyright owners.

    5 Open Access Agreement
    All content in Acta Psychologica Sinica is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 (CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0) International License. All articles are published in open access format as defined by the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 License. Published articles can be made public immediately and are permanently accessible free of charge on the official website (ChineseEnglish), allowing users to read, download, copy, print, search, or obtain a link to the full text of the articles, or use them for other legitimate purposes.

    Instructions for free access and use:
    All users of articles in this journal should use the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 License as a prerequisite. The License allows users to copy and distribute articles provided that:

    1. This is not done for commercial purposes and further does not permit distribution of the Article if it is changed or edited in any way.

    2. The user gives appropriate credit (with a link to the formal publication through the relevant DOI) and provides a link to the license but not in an any way implying that the licensor is endorsing the user or the use of the work.

    3. No derivatives including remix, transform, or build upon the material was allowed for distribution.

    4. The journal allows authors or their institutions to store all their research papers published in the journal in the Institutional Repository of their institution for open access.

    Please follow the link ( for details.

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