Newswise — WASHINGTON -- The American Psychological Association has launched a website to guide researchers in psychology in using the APA Style Journal Article Reporting Standards, which are aimed at enhancing the quality of published research by promoting transparency and facilitating the assessment of rigor.

The APA Style JARS companion website includes frequently asked questions, user-friendly checklists to facilitate the reporting process, information on training and learning opportunities, the history of APA's Journal Article Reporting Standards, and an informational video.

“APA Style JARS are aimed at helping researchers in psychology thoroughly and accurately communicate important aspects of their research, increasing opportunities for funding, collaboration, and replication,” said Rose Sokol-Chang, PhD, publisher of APA’s journals. “We hope this website makes it easy for anyone seeking to publish in APA journals to understand and apply the standards, which will positively shape the future of psychology and psychological research.”

In January 2018, APA released to new sets of reporting standards. The first set applies to quantitative research and is an expansion of standards first issued in 2008. This set focuses on enhancing reproducibility. The second set applies to qualitative and mixed methods research, created in response to the increasing application of these methodologies. This set aims to enhance the assessment of methodological integrity. Both sets of standards and a related editorial are available via open access.  

The standards are specific to psychological research and offer guidelines on the information needed in a research article to ensure that the elements included are comprehensible and that the study could be replicated.  

The new JARS

  • recommend the division of hypotheses, analyses, and conclusions into primary, secondary, and exploratory groupings to allow for a full understanding of quantitative analyses presented in a manuscript and to enhance reproducibility;
  • offer modules for authors reporting on N-of-1 designs, replications, clinical trials, longitudinal studies, and observational studies, as well as the analytic methods of structural equation modeling and Bayesian analysis;
  • address the plurality of inquiry traditions, methods, and goals, providing guidance on material to include across diverse qualitative research methods; and
  • provide standards for reporting research using mixed methods designs, drawing on both qualitative and quantitative standards.

“Through these standards, we hope to improve the quality of the research published in psychology journals and offer a place for reviewers and editors to point, thus reducing the redundancy of feedback provided to authors,” said Sokol-Chang. “Our aim is to provide a framework for authors to contextualize their research in a way that is understandable to reviewers, even if they are not expert in the analysis used in a manuscript.”

The American Psychological Association, the nonprofit publisher of over 90 psychology journals, books and serial publications, is dedicated to advancing psychology as a science and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare by disseminating psychological knowledge. APA journals are among the most widely circulated, most frequently cited and most often used publications in the behavioral and social sciences.

Contact: Rose Sokol-Chang at [email protected][email protected] or (202) 336-5700.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA's membership includes nearly 115,700 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.

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