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Psychiatric Services 2000; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.51.2.185
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Psychiatric Services is a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal published monthly by the American Psychiatric Association. The journal provides comprehensive coverage of all aspects of psychiatric care, treatment, and service delivery. It has a strong clinical focus but also offers in-depth coverage of administrative, legal, economic, and public policy issues.

The journal gives priority to material that is clearly applicable in everyday clinical and administrative practice or in public policy development. Wherever appropriate, practical implications should be emphasized in such a way that they lend themselves to a highlighted presentation (such as a list or table) when the article is published. Abstracts should be clear, concise, and readable and able to stand on their own as a description of the article.

To enhance readability, authors should use a minimum of jargon and abbreviations. They should use active voice, first person, and short sentences whenever possible. Language should be gender-neutral.


General requirements

Psychiatric Services reviews material for publication on condition that it has not been previously published, including electronic publication, and is not being reviewed for publication elsewhere.

Six paper copies of a manuscript, plus a PC-compatible disk with the manuscript file, are needed for peer review. Label the disk with the manuscript name and software program. Send all copies to the editor, John A. Talbott, M.D., Psychiatric Services, 1400 K Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005. (Phone inquiries, 202-682-6070; fax, 202-682-6189; e-mail, psjournal@psych.org.) Include telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address for the corresponding author.

For peer review, all material, including case reports and references, must be double-spaced on standard-size paper, with all margins a minimum of 1 1/2 inches. All pages should be numbered.

Authors must protect patient anonymity and disguise identifying information.


Copyright, financial disclosure

Psychiatric Services requires transfer of copyright to APA so that the rights of authors and the association can be protected. The journal also requires disclosure of financial interests in products or services described in the paper. A form describing these requirements, which must be signed by all authors, will be sent to the corresponding author.


Types of articles

Please state in the covering letter the type of article submitted and the word count (excluding references and tables).


Regular articles, including research reports.

In general, articles should not exceed 3,000 words excluding references and tables, although some exceptions are made by the editor. For articles not reporting research studies, include an unstructured abstract of 100 to 150 words providing factual information.

Research reports must include a structured abstract (maximum 250 words) with the following headings and information: Objective, the study purpose or research question; Methods, including study design, setting, subjects, intervention(s) if any, and main outcome measure(s); Results, the main results of the study; and Conclusions directly supported by the data.

Research reports should follow these guidelines:

1) Use the standard format of introduction, methods, results, discussion, and conclusions. 2) In the last paragraph of the introduction, state the purpose of the research. (If the purpose is not stated as a research question, it should be translatable into a research question.) Also indicate the type of study design, such as experiment, survey, or retrospective or prospective study. 3) Include data on the sex, age, and race of the study subjects. 4) Include the dates the original data were collected. 5) Preferably in the methods section, describe the data analysis procedure concisely and in a manner understandable by nonstatisticians. 6) In the results section, including tables, report only the findings related directly to the research purpose or research question. Omit other data. 7) Report numbers for all percents. 8) When reporting statistically significant results, always report the observed test statistic value, degrees of freedom, probability level, and, for t and F tests, whether repeated measures were used.

The journal considers publication of randomized research trials with negative findings if they are accompanied by adequate statistical power analysis and a discussion of what was learned from the research.


Literature reviews and special articles.

Generally they are solicited by the editor and are 4,000 to 7,000 words plus no more than 100 references. Anyone interested in submitting such material should consult the editor. Reviews should focus on recent literature.

Literature reviews must include a structured abstract (maximum 250 words) with the following headings and information: Objective, the primary purpose of the review; Methods, the data sources searched, how studies were selected or excluded, and (if applicable) how data were abstracted; and Results and Conclusions, the main findings or conclusions from the review and their applicability.


Brief reports.

Maximum length is 1,200 words, plus no more than ten references and one table or figure. Include an unstructured abstract of 100 words maximum. When reporting research in a brief report, follow the guidelines for research reports, above, but provide an unstructured abstract of 100 words maximum.


Reports of unusual cases.

Reports describing unusual or challenging patients and their management should not exceed 1,200 words plus ten references. They should consist of a brief literature review, an account of the case and its treatment, and a discussion. Include an unstructured abstract of 100 words maximum.



Provocative commentaries of 425 words maximum are invited for Taking Issue. Authors may also submit commentaries of up to 1,200 words and ten references for the Open Forum section. The editor may invite one or more commentaries (for Open Forum or elsewhere) on any paper accepted for publication. Authors may be asked for source material to support factual statements in opinion pieces.



Letters (published at the editor's discretion) can be no more than 500 words with a maximum of three authors and five references. Letters related to material published in Psychiatric Services will be sent to the author for possible reply.



Material for columns is solicited by the column editors. Authors of possible submissions should contact the column editor directly.


Book reviews.

Books to be considered for review should be sent to the book review editor, Jeffrey L. Geller, M.D., M.P.H., Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, Massachusetts 01655. Book reviewers are selected by Dr. Geller; potential reviewers should contact him.


Title page

Psychiatric Services uses a blind review system; thus on all manuscripts except letters and book reviews, put authors' bylines and identifications on a title page that can be removed when the manuscript is sent for review. Please provide a second title page with only the manuscript title.



Only principal researchers or writers should be listed as authors. Persons listed as authors must have made a substantial contribution to the paper (that is, to conception and design or data interpretation, and to drafting, and to final approval) and must be able to take public responsibility for it. Other contributors can be named in an acknowledgment.

For each author, list a maximum of two academic degrees or certifications and the author's primary current affiliation (including specific title and department or agency). List a second affiliation if desired. If an author's affiliation when doing the work described was different from the current affiliation, list it also.



List all financial support, including drug company support, and any financial relationships that may pose a conflict of interest. (See the financial disclosure form sent to the corresponding author for details.) For grants, include the grant number and full name of the granting agency. Acknowledgment of individuals or groups is limited to those who contributed to the paper's intellectual or technical content.


Other title-page information.

Include the corresponding author's full address; also include phone and fax numbers and e-mail address. List the word count, excluding references and tables.

If the paper was presented at a meeting within the last three years, give the meeting name, city, and full meeting dates.


Tables and figures

Include tables only when they present relevant numerical data more clearly than could be done in text; data in short tables often can be incorporated more concisely in text. Authors will be asked to delete extraneous tables. Follow the table formats used in recent issues of the journal. Specify all units of measure clearly. Tables will be edited to conform to journal style.

Figures are published only when they contain essential information that cannot be adequately presented in text or tables. Most figures without data, especially flow charts, are judged nonessential.

Figures accepted for publication must be clear, uncluttered, and two-dimensional. Please provide a separate electronic file for each figure, on a PC-compatible disk, specifying the software used. Because the journal recreates some figures, please list, on a separate sheet, values for the data points shown on the figure.

Psychiatric Services discourages the use of previously published tables or figures. Authors who use such material must obtain written permission for reprinting from the copyright owner and include it when they submit the paper.

Checklists and forms generally are not published. A note that such material is available from the author may be included in the paper.



Limit references to relevant published material cited in text, including all but widely known tests and scales. Complete literature reviews are rarely necessary.

Only material that has been published, accepted for publication, or presented at a major national meeting is included in the reference list. Citations of material in press must include journal or publisher name. (If unpublished material is cited, note the source and year in parentheses in the text of the paper. Citation of unpublished material should be kept to a minimum.)

Double-space all references. Arrange and number them in order of appearance in text, not alphabetically.

In the reference list, name all authors and editors through the third; if there are more than three, list the first three, followed by et al. Spell out journal names; do not underline or use italic or boldface. Follow Psychiatric Services style for reference punctuation.


Journal articles.

Include authors, title, journal name (not abbreviated or underlined), volume number, first and last pages, and year. Example: Aleman A, Hijman R, de Haan EHF, et al: Memory impairment in schizophrenia: a meta-analysis. American Journal of Psychiatry 156:1358-1366, 1999


Books or monographs.

Include authors or editors, book title (not underlined), volume or edition (for federal government publications, any series designation), city, publisher, year, and, if pertinent, page numbers of the material cited. Example: Goldberg JF, Harrow M (eds): Bipolar Disorders: Clinical Course and Outcome. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Press, 1999


Chapters in books.

Include chapter authors, chapter title, book title (not underlined), volume or edition, book editors, city, publisher, and year. Example: Clark HW, Kanas N, Smith DE, et al: Substance-related disorders: alcohol and drugs, in Review of General Psychiatry, 4th ed. Edited by Goldman HH. Norwalk, Conn, Appleton & Lange, 1995


Legal proceedings.

Follow The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, published by the Harvard Law Review Association.

Manuscripts submitted for publication (including invited papers) are sent for blind review to at least three independent reviewers. Separate statistical review is often obtained. The final decision is the editor's. Authors are usually notified of a decision within three months, although some delays are unavoidable.

Revised manuscripts. Authors may be asked if they wish to make suggested revisions in a paper and resubmit it. If substantial revisions are requested, the paper will be sent again for outside review. Every effort will be made to expedite such review.

Revised manuscripts must conform to the general requirements listed above, including minimum 1 1/2-inch margins, full double-spacing, and a word count. Authors submitting a revised manuscript will be asked to provide four copies and a PC-compatible disk.

Manuscripts (including revised manuscripts) are accepted with the understanding that they will be edited for clarity, elimination of redundancy, and conformity with Psychiatric Services style. Generally, manuscripts are edited within three or four months from date of acceptance.

The corresponding author receives a printout of the edited paper (not galley proofs). He or she will be asked to check the printout carefully to make sure the editing did not introduce any inaccuracies and to make any necessary changes, answer editorial queries, and contact the editorial office by a specified date.

All authors receive complimentary copies of the issue as well as a price list for ordering reprints.

Psychiatric Services is covered in Index Medicus, MEDLINE, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Current Contents, Excerpta Medica, HealthSTAR, Psychological Abstracts, PsycINFO, Social Science Citation Index, and other indexes and databases. Recent years of the journal are available on line at psychservices.psychiatryonline.org. The journal publishes an annual index each December.




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