Guidelines for authors

(Guidelines for Guest Editors of thematic issues are on a separate page.)


PSiCL carries original articles with a theoretical impact on any area of linguistics, discussion papers and reply articles, as well as review articles and book reviews.

The language of the journal is English.

Papers submitted to PSiCL must stricly follow the guidelines below.

The optimum submission length for original studies is 6000–7000 words (excluding references). Review articles, discussion papers and replies will be assessed on an individual basis. In exceptional situations, shorter submissions may be accepted as "reports". Book reviews should aim at a length of 1500–3000 words.

All submissions will be subject to a double-blind peer-review process with at least two external reviewers.

Authors of original studies must declare that the submission is their original work, and that it has not been submitted to any other journal. "Ghost writing" and "guest authorship" are not permitted in any form and under any circumstances; all persons involved in the preparation of the work submitted must be declared as authors or identified in an acknowledgments section; and no persons whose contribution to the work was insignificant may be included among the authors.

You will be asked to make the respective declarations during the electronic submission process, and the submission will only be processed if the three conditions are met.

Sources of funding, if any, must be identified.

Electronic submission

All papers must be submitted using our Editorial Manager online submission system [link opens in a new tab/window]. We accept pdf files, as well as Microsoft Word files. While the system does convert Word documents to pdf in order to maintain consistency across different computers and operating systems, we recommend submitting pdf if extensive graphics or phonetic transcription is used. A free, open-source pdf generator is available here. Please check the pdf file (whether generated by yourself or by Editorial Manager) very carefully to ensure that it is fully correct.

Note that, if your submission is accepted, we will require an editable file such as Word or for further processing.

Note that all information allowing the identification of the author must be removed, including from the metadata of your document.

Technical instructions regarding the use of the online submission system can be found on Editorial Manager's webpage.


You will be asked to provide the title of the submission (up to 120 characters), full names of all the authors, and full contact details in a separate electronic form during the submission process. Do not include any of this information in the article file itself. Please note that the first author's full contact details, including the postal address of her/his institution of affiliation, will appear in the final published version of the article.

Also, a running head of no more than 50 characters (including spaces) should be provided. This will appear in the right-hand page headers in the published paper.

An abstract of 150–200 words is required, and up to 5 keywords. Please select your keywords carefully, as they will be passed on to abstracting services in the event your article is accepted. Please delimit the keywords using colons in the submission form.

All pages of the manuscript must be double-spaced and numbered consecutively.

All sections must be numbered consecutively up to a depth of three levels (e.g. 2.1.1). Wherever possible, use the section numbers for cross-referencing within the article.

Please avoid excessive use of notes. Use footnotes rather than endnotes. Keep the footnotes as short as possible.

Do not associate footnotes with the article title or abstract. If you think you need to give acknowledgment or comment on the origin of the article, do so in a separate Acknowledgments section at the end, in the Introduction, or in a footnote associated with the title of the Introduction section or one of its paragraphs.


Important: formatting should be kept to an absolute minimum. We will remove/change most formatting if your article is accepted. In particular, custom styles for page numbers, footnotes, page headers, section titles, as well as automatic numbering etc. must be avoided wherever possible in the editable file submitted for further processing upon acceptance.

It is acceptable to use bold face, italics, underlining, small capitals, superscript and subscript.


If you submit your paper as a Word or OpenOffice file through Editorial Manager, make absolutely sure that the resulting pdf file contains all the necessary symbols.

Non-standard fonts must be avoided. If your paper is accepted, all special characters (phonetic symbols in particular) will have to be produced using the Doulos SIL font available free of charge from here.

If the use of a custom font is essential, this should be a Unicode font. Check that you will be able to make the font file available to us. (Note that there may be copyright restrictions for commercial fonts.)


Please plan your tables carefully. Limit special formatting to an absolute minimum. Do not attempt to format the table to look like the finished tables we publish; we will do it for you. Leave the table as plain as possible, with all cell borders set to a single line (thick or double if needed). Note that the width of the text column in PSiCL is 11.5 cm, and tables wider than this will cause problems.

Also note that PSiCL is printed in black and white, limiting the use of colour for table organisation. While we can include colour tables in the online version (whichi is the reference version), plan your tables so that they can be understood without recourse to colour.

Finally, note that tables do not count as figures, and they are numbered separately. In the body text, please refer to tables by number, e.g. "see Table 2", not "see the table below". We may change the placement of tables slightly in the final version to improve text flow and page breaks.

Figures and images

Please note that for graphs etc. we will require vector rather than raster images for the accepted version of your submission.

If you produce your graphs etc. using Microsoft Excel or Word, or their OpenOffice equivalents, please keep the original format files, as we may ask for them in some cases. Do not use 3D effects in graphs.

For other figures, we will require the figures to be exported from your originating software to a vector format, such as Encapsulated Post Script (eps), or, alternatively, pdf. Please contact us for details.

Raster formats (such as jpg) are only acceptable for photographs and similar images.

If your submission is accepted, please place each figure should be placed on a separate page at the end of the article, after the References section (instead of or in addition to placing them within the body text). If you decide to only include the figures at the end of the file, the location of the figures in the body of the article should be indicated with the following text: [place figure x about here]. In the body text, please refer to figures by number, e.g. "see Figure 2", not "see the figure below". We may change the placement of figures slightly in the final version to improve text flow and page breaks.

Note that the width of the text column in PSiCL is 11.5 cm, and problems will arise when figures wider than this become difficult to read after scaling to that width.

Also note that PSiCL is printed in black and white. While we can include colour figures in the online version (which is the reference version), you should plan your figures so that they can be understood without recourse to colour.

Linguistic examples

All linguistic exmaples must be numbered consecutively throughout the paper, using parenthesised Arabic numerals (e.g. (3)). Please do not use automatic numbering.

Examples in the body text should be set in italics; those presented as numbered examples outside of body text paragraphs should not be set in italics. Examples from languages other than English should be provided with an English gloss in single quotation marks (e.g. menedżer 'manager'), without surrounding brackets. Examples using scripts other than Latin should also be transliterated using the most standard transliteration scheme for the given langauge. 

If a word-for-word gloss is needed for a longer example, we strongly recommend using a table or aligning the words using tabs. Do not under any circumstances use spaces to align words.


(You may also use our sample papers to familiarise yourself with our refenrece system.)

All sources referred to in the body text must appear in a References section at the end of the article. The section must not contain any sources not referred to in the text. Please verify that the names and dates match exaclty.

For all book and article titles in lesser-known languages, an English translation must be provided in addition to the original.

Please note the use of punctuation, capitalisation and first name initial ordering.

Keep the formatting to an absolute maximum. We advise against indenting reference section entries but if you prefer to have an indent, make absolutely sure you do so using the hanging indent feature rather than tabs within the entry text.

Reference format examples: Body text

According to Gibbon (2005: 450)...

This process is not new (Collins and Mees 1996; Fabricius 2002).

This is discussed by many sources (e.g. Ashby and Maidment 2005: 119; Ladefoged 2001: 55–56).

Knight et al. (2000) compiled a collection... [if there are more than two authors]

There has been a wealth of research into this (Studdert-Kennedy 1998, 2000; Studdert-Kennedy and Goldstein 2003).

Reference format examples: Reference section

The references should be arranged alphabetically, and works by the same author should be sorted chronologically.

Ashby, M. and J. Maidment. 2005. Introducing phonetic science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Collins, B. and I. Mees. 1996. "Spreading everywhere? How recent a phenomenon is glottalisation in Received Pronunciation?" English World Wide 17(2). 175–187.

Fabricius, A. "Ongoing change in modern RP. Evidence for the disappearing stigma of t-glottalling". English World-Wide 23(1). 115–136.

Gibbon, D. 2005. "Afterword: Navigating pronunciation in search of the Golden Fleece". In: Dziubalska-Kołaczyk, K. and J. Przedlacka (eds.), English pronunciation models: A changing scene. Bern: Peter Lang. 439–464.

Knight, C., M. Studdert-Kennedy and J. Hurford (eds.). 2000. The evolutionary emergence of language: Social function and the origins of linguistic form. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ladefoged, P. 2001. A course in phonetics. Boston: Heinle & Heinle.

Studdert-Kennedy, M. 1998. "The particulate origins of language generativity: From syllable to gesture". In: Hurford, J., M. Studdert-Kennedy and C. Knight (eds.), Approaches to the evolution of language: Social and cognitive bases. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 202–221.

Studdert-Kennedy, M and L. Goldstein. 2003. "Launching language: The gestural origin of discrete infinity". In: Christiansen, M. and S. Kirby (eds.), Language evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 235–254.