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Instructions for authors

Important notice: We have become aware that there are websites such as University Press Journals, Association of British University Presses and International Agency for Development of Culture, Education and Science (IADCES) which are claiming to offer publication in certain Cambridge University Press journals for a fee. We do not work with such companies. Submissions to Cambridge University Press journals can only be made via the online peer review systems linked to from this Cambridge Core website, or else directly to the editorial offices of those journals that do not operate online peer review systems. To submit a paper, go to the 'Submission of manuscripts' section below and follow the instructions. For more information on predatory publishing, please visit the Think Check Submit website

Psychological Medicine is a journal aimed primarily for the publication of original research in clinical
psychiatry and the basic sciences related to it. These include relevant fields of biological, psychological and social sciences. Review articles, editorials and letters to the Editor discussing published papers are also published. Contributions must be in English.

Submission of manuscripts

Manuscripts should be submitted online via our manuscript submission and tracking site, Full instructions for electronic submission are available directly from this site. To facilitate rapid reviewing, communications for peer review will be electronic and authors will need to supply a current e-mail address when registering to use the system.

Papers for publication from Europe, (except those on genetic topics, irrespective of country), and all papers on imaging topics, should submitted to the UK Office.

Papers from the Americas, Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Middle East, (except those dealing with imaging topics), and all papers dealing with genetic topics, irrespective of country, should be sent to US Office.

Please see the below table for the types of papers accepted:

Article Type Usual Max

Word count*

Abstract References Tables/figures** Supplementary material online only
Original article 4500 250 words,

structured, using subheadings Background, Methods, Results, Conclusions

APA style – see

elsewhere in this document for full details

Usually up to 5


Review article 4500 250 words, not


APA style Usually up to 5


Editorial 3500 No APA style Usually up to 5


Correspondence*** 1500 No max 20

APA  style

Max 1 No
Commentary 2000

By invitation of editor

No max 20

APA style

Not usually Yes

* Editors may request shortening or permit additional length at their discretion in individual cases

** May be adjusted in individual cases at Editors' discretion

*** Please note, Correspondence papers must be in response to content published in PSM


  1. 1. Figures should be submitted as discrete files, not embedded in the text of the main document.
  2. 2. Supplementary material for online only should be submitted as discrete files, not as part of the main text.

Generally papers should not have text more than 4500 words in length (excluding abstract, tables/figures and references) and should not have more than a combined total of 5 tables and/or figures. Papers shorter than these limits are encouraged. For papers of unusual importance the editors may waive these requirements. Articles require a structured abstract of no more than 250 words including the headings: Background; Methods; Results; Conclusions. Review Articles require an unstructured abstract of no more than 250 words. The name of an author to whom correspondence should be sent must be indicated and a full postal address given in the footnote. Any acknowledgements should be placed at the end of the text (before the References section).

Contributors should also note the following:

  1. 1. S.I. units should be used throughout in text, figures and tables.
  2. 2. Authors should spell out in full any abbreviations used in their manuscripts.
  3. 3. Foreign quotations and phrases should be followed by a translation.
  4. 4. If necessary, guidelines for statistical presentation may be found in: Altman DG., Gore SM, Gardner, MJ. Pocock SJ. (1983).  Statistical guidelines for contributors to medical journals. British Medical Journal 286, 1489-1493.

Neuroscience-based Nomenclature

For papers concerning neuropsychopharmacological treatments, Psychological Medicine encourages authors to utilize the ‘Neuroscience-based Nomenclature’ developed by the ECNP Taskforce on Nomenclature. The need for such a change arose to address a longstanding concern within the neuropsychopharmacological community that the nomenclature of psychotropic drugs did not properly reflect the underlying neuroscience of these compounds, as well as being unhelpful to clinicians and confusing to patients (e.g. the prescription of ‘antipsychotics’ for depression).

More information about the nomenclature can be found on the ECNP website here, and in the paper here. The Neuroscience-based Nomenclature (NbN) itself is available free of charge as a mobile app (for both Android and iOS devices).


The guidelines set forth in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) should be used in the text and a complete list of References cited given at the end of the article.

Citing References in Text:

Type of citation

First citation in text

Subsequent citation int text

Parenthetical format, in first citation

Parenthetical format, Subsequent citation int text

One work by one author

Walker (2007)

Walker (2007)

(Walker, 2007)

(Walker, 2007)

One work by two authors

Walker and Allen (2004)

Walker and Alien (2004)

(Walker & Allen, 2004)

(Walker & Alien, 2004)

One work by three authors

Bradley, Ramjrez, and Soo (1999)

Bradley et al. (1999)

(Bradley, Ramirez, & Soo, 1999)

(Bradley et al., 1999)

One work by four authors

Bradley, Ramirez, Soo, and Walsh (2006)

Bradley et al. (2006)

(Bradley, Ramirez, Soo, & Walsh, 2006)

(Bradley et al., 2006)

One work by five authors

Walker, Alien, Bradley, Ramirez, and Soo (2008)

Walker et al. (2008)

(Walker, Allen, Bradley, Ramirez, & Soo, 2008)

(Walker et al., 2008)

One work by six authors or more

Wasserstein et al. (2005)

Wasserstein et al. (2005)

(Wasserstejn et al., 2005)

(Wasserstejn et al., 2005)

The References section should be in alphabetical order. Examples follow:

Journal article
Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year published). Article title. Journal Title, Volume(Issue), pp.-pp.

Journal article with DOl
Nevin, A. (1990). The changing of teacher education special education. Teacher Education and Special Education: The Journal of the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children, 13(3-4), 147-148. doi:XXX

Light, M. A., & Light, I. H. (2008). The geographic expansion of Mexican immigration in the United States and its implications for local law enforcement. Law Enforcement Executive Forum Journal, 8, 73–82. doi:XXX

Journal article without DOl (when DOl is not available)
Good, C. D., Johnsrude, I. S., Ashburner, J., Henson, R. N. A., Firston, K. J., & Frackowiak, R. S. J. (2001). A voxel-based morphometric study of ageing in 465 normal adult human brains. NeuroImage, 14, 21–36. Retrieved from http://xxxx

No retrieval date is needed.

Journal article with DOl, more than seven authors
Gilbert, D. G., McClernon, F. J., Rabinovich, N. E., Sugai, C., Plath, L. C., Asgaard, G., ... Botros, N. (2004). Effects of quitting smoking on EEG activation and attention last for more than 31 days and are more severe with stress, dependence, DRD2 A1 allele, and depressive traits. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 6, 249–267. doi:XXX

Journal article without DOl, title translated into English, print version
Guimard, P., & Florin, A. (2007). Las evaluations des enseignants en grande section de maternelle sont-elles predictives des difficultes de lecture au cours préparatoire? [Are teacher ratings in kindergarten predictive of reading difficulties in first grade?]. Approche Neuropsychologique des Apprentissages chez l'Enfant, 19, 5–17.

Journal article with DOI, advance online publication
Von Ledebur, S. C. (2007). Optimizing knowledge transfer by new employees in companies. Knowledge Management Research & Practice. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1 057/palgrave.kmrp.8500141

In-press article
Briscoe, R. (in press). Egocentric spatial representation in action and perception. Philosophy and Phenornenological Research. Retrieved from

Citations for Websites
Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year, Month Day published). Title of article or page. Retrieved from URL

Simmons, B. (2015, January 9). The tale of two Flaccos. Retrieved from

Figures and tables

Only essential figures and tables should be included and should be provided in black and white except in exceptional circumstances, eg PET scan images etc. If you request colour figures in the printed version, you will be contacted by CCC-Rightslink who are acting on our behalf to collect Author Charges. Please follow their instructions in order to avoid any delay in the publication of your article. Further tables, figures, photographs and appendices, may be included with the online version on the journal website.

All wording within submitted figures must be Arial, point size 8. To ensure that your figures are reproduced to the highest possible standards and your article is published as quickly and efficiently as possible, Cambridge Journals recommends the following formats and resolutions for supplying electronic figures. Please note that submitting low quality figures may result in a delay in publishing your valuable research

Please ensure that your figures are saved at final publication size (please see the latest issue of the journal for column widths) and are in our recommended file formats. Following these guidelines will result in high quality images being reproduced in both the print and the online versions of the journal.

Line artwork

Format: tif or eps Colour mode: black and white (also known as 1-bit) Size: please size to final publication size Resolution: 1200 dpi

Combination artwork (line/tone)

Format: tif or eps Colour mode: grayscale (also known as 8-bit) Size: please size to final publication size Resolution: 800 dpi

Black and white halftone artwork

Format: tif Colour mode: grayscale (also known as 8-bit) Size: please size to final publication size Resolution: 300 dpi

Colour halftone artwork

Format: tif Colour mode: CMYK colour Size: please size to final publication size Resolution: 300 dpi

If you require any further guidance on creating suitable electronic figures, please visit the Cambridge Journals Artwork Guide.

All graphs and diagrams should be referred to as figures and should be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals. Captions for figures should be typed double-spaced on separate sheets. Tables should be numbered consecutively in the text in Arabic numerals and each typed on a separate sheet after the References section. Titles should be typed above the table.

Online Supplementary Material

Relevant material which is not suitable for print production, such as movies or simulations/animations, can be uploaded as part of the initial submission. Movies should be designated as ‘Movie’ and each individual file must be accompanied by a separate caption and a suitable title (e.g., Movie 1). Accepted formats are .mov, .mpg, .mp4, and .avi, though they should be archived as a .zip or .tar file before uploading. Each movie should be no more than 10MB. Upon publication these materials will then be hosted online alongside the final published article. Likewise, should there be detailed tables or figures which are likely to take up excessive space in the printed journal, these can also be published online as supplementary material [designated as `Other supplementary material']. Note that supplementary material is published 'as is', with no further production performed.

Required Statements


You may acknowledge individuals or organisations that provided advice, support (non-financial). Formal financial support and funding should be listed in the following section.

Financial support

Authors must include a Funding Statement in their manuscript. Within this statement please provide details of the sources of financial support for all authors, including grant numbers, for example: “Funding Statement: This work was supported by the Medical Research Council (grant number XXXXXXX)”. Grants held by different authors should be identified as belonging to individual authors by the authors’ initials, for example: “Funding Statement: This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust (AB, grant numbers XXXX, YYYY), (CD, grant number ZZZZ); the Natural Environment Research Council (EF, grant number FFFF); and the National Institutes of Health (AB, grant number GGGG), (EF, grant number HHHH).” Where no specific funding has been provided for research, you should include the following statement:

“Funding Statement: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.”

Conflicts of Interest

Authors are required to include a Conflicts of Interest declaration in their manuscript. Conflicts of Interest are situations that could be perceived to exert an undue influence on an author’s presentation of their work. They may include, but are not limited to, financial, professional, contractual or personal relationships or situations. Conflicts of Interest do not necessarily mean that an author’s work has been compromised. Authors should declare any real or perceived Conflicts of Interest in order to be transparent about the context of their work. If the manuscript has multiple authors, the author submitting the manuscript must include Conflicts of Interest declarations relevant to all contributing authors. 

Example wording for your Conflicts of Interest declaration is as follows: “Conflicts of Interest: Author A is employed at company B. Author C owns shares in company D, is on the Board of company E and is a member of organisation F. Author G has received grants from company H.” If no Conflicts of Interest exist, your declaration should state “Conflicts of Interest: None”.

Ethical standards

Where research involves human and/or animal experimentation, the following statements should be included (as applicable): “The authors assert that all procedures contributing to this work comply with the ethical standards of the relevant national and institutional committees on human experimentation and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2008.” and “The authors assert that all procedures contributing to this work comply with the ethical standards of the relevant national and institutional guides on the care and use of laboratory animals.”

Proofs and offprints

Page proofs will be sent to the author designated to receive correspondence. Authors will automatically receive a PDF of their article as soon as the issue in which it appears is published.

Papers will be published at no charge to the author under a standard author publishing agreement, unless the author elects to publish their paper under an open access license. Both forms can be found here. Please see Cambridge Open section below for more details.

Open Access

Authors in Psychological Medicine have the option to publish their paper under a fully Open Access agreement, upon payment of a one-off Article Processing Charge. In this case, the final published Version of Record will be made freely available to all in perpetuity under a creative commons license, enabling its re-use and re-distribution. This Open Access option is only offered to authors upon acceptance of an article for publication. The current Article Processing Charge, can be found on our website. 

Author Support

Author AID

AuthorAID is a global network that provides free support, mentoring, resources and training to help researchers in developing countries to write, publish and otherwise communicate their work.

Key features of AuthorAID are:

    discussion and questions where researchers can benefit from advice and insights from members across the globe
    documents and presentations on best practice in writing and publication
  • world-wide training workshops and MOOCs on scientific writing
  • personal mentoring by highly published researchers and professional editors

For any authors new to publishing research articles, we encourage you to make use of the AuthorAID resources before submitting your paper to Psychological Medicine. Through the AuthorAID network, guidance can be found to help researchers through the process of writing and submitting scientific papers, advice about responding to reviewer comments, as well as research design and grant applications.

Please note that seeking support through AuthorAID will not guarantee acceptance for publication in Psychological Medicine, or affect the editorial process in any way.

Author Language Services

Cambridge recommends that authors have their manuscripts checked by an English language native speaker before submission; this will ensure that submissions are judged at peer review exclusively on academic merit. We list a number of third-party services specialising in language editing and / or translation, and suggest that authors contact as appropriate. Use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author's own expense.

Peer Review

Please visit the Cambridge University Press Peer Review Hub for general information on how to peer review journal articles, a peer review FAQ, ethics in peer review, and more information.

Publication Ethics

Please visit for information on our ethical guidelines.

Last updated 2 January 2020