A Lawrence Erlbaum Journal: The Journal of Personality Assessment - Instructions for Authors 
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Instructions for Authors

Printable PDF Version

Aims and Scope:

The Journal of Personality Assessment primarily publishes articles dealing with the development, evaluation, refinement, and application of personality assessment methods. Desirable articles address empirical, theoretical, instructional, or professional aspects of using psychological tests, interview data, or the applied clinical assessment process. They also advance the measurement, description, or understanding of personality, psychopathology, and human behavior. The Journal is broadly concerned with developing and using personality assessment methods in clinical, counseling, forensic, and health psychology settings; with the assessment process in applied clinical practice; with the assessment of people of all ages and cultures; and with both normal and abnormal personality functioning. Manuscripts focused on personality constructs or processes rather than their assessment ordinarily should be submitted elsewhere.

The Journal encourages articles addressing under-studied areas. These include (a) systematic reviews or meta-analyses that summarize a body of evidence, (b) the effective integration of nomothetic empirical findings with the idiographic requirements of practice in which the assessor reasons through test and extra-test information to make individualized judgments and provide assessment feedback, and (c) the practical value of the clinical assessment process on the individuals receiving services and/or those who refer them for evaluation.

Case studies are also encouraged. Submissions may illustrate the prototypical presentation for a disorder, describe how complex results or referral questions were resolved, show how an assessment addressed therapeutic impasses, model how to reason carefully through cross-method inconsistencies, illustrate how nomothetic research findings can be effectively linked to idiographic clinical inferences, model ways to systematically challenge and refine inferences, demonstrate how to collaborate with clients and others affected by an assessment, show how the collaborative discussion of findings shapes final impressions and recommendations, highlight ethical dilemmas, illustrate the sophisticated use of a specific test, illuminate how to contend with ambiguities regularly encountered in practice, or help others learn what to avoid by sharing mistakes and faulty inferences. Preference will be given to case submissions that contain commentary from an external source who was present during the assessment, received assessment feedback, or reviewed the author’s case material (e.g., the client himself or herself, the referral source, a person significant to the client). Comments may focus on the content, implications, and/or experience of the assessment.

Articles describing statistical developments applicable to personality assessment are also welcomed. Submissions should be written clearly using jargon-free language in a manner understandable by nonstatisticians. They should describe new procedures, provide updates about older procedures, or illustrate practical applications for personality assessment research and/or practice.

Finally, the Journal invites comments and product reviews. Each comment should express a substantive opinion on an issue germane to personality assessment, including articles from recent Journal issues. The Book, Software, and Test Reviews section publishes brief, paragraph-length descriptions of new personality assessment products as well as detailed reviews written by an expert in the field. Reviews should evaluate the strengths and limitations of books, software, or tests that are relevant to personality assessment practice or research. Comments and reviews typically will be limited to 1,000 words and an abstract is not required.

Submissions to the Editor:

Email submissions are preferred. Please send the manuscript and cover letter as attached Word files to jpa@utnet.utoledo.edu. If it is necessary to submit by post, include a paper and an electronic copy of the manuscript and cover letter. Electronic files should be on a 3.5-inch IBM-compatible disk in Word. Send submissions to Gregory J. Meyer, Ph.D., Journal of Personality Assessment, Department of Psychology, University of Toledo, Mail Stop 948, Toledo, OH 43606-3390, USA (phone: 419-530-4312).

Publishers may send new book, software, or test review materials to either of the section editors: Charles A. Peterson, Ph.D., Veterans Administration (116B), One Veterans Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55417, USA, charles.peterson@med.va.gov (phone: 612-725-2074) or Steven V. Rouse, Ph.D., Pepperdine University, Seaver College, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90263, USA; steve.rouse@pepperdine.edu (phone: 310-506-7959).

Each manuscript must be accompanied by a statement that it has not been published elsewhere and that it has not been submitted simultaneously for publication elsewhere. Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce copyrighted material from other sources and are required to sign an agreement for the transfer of copyright to the publisher. All accepted manuscripts, artwork, and photographs become the property of the publisher.

All parts of the manuscript should be typewritten and double-spaced, with margins of at least one inch on all sides. Manuscript pages should be consecutively numbered throughout the paper. Authors should also supply a shortened version of the title suitable for the running head, not exceeding 50 character spaces. Each article should be summarized in an abstract of not more than 100 words. The abstract should avoid abbreviations, diagrams, and reference to the text.

All authors should qualify for authorship by having made a substantial contribution to the conception, design, analyses, or interpretation of data, and by participating in writing or revising the manuscript. If portions of a manuscript were presented at a conference, the Author Notes should provide specifics. All submissions, but especially case reports, protect anonymity by avoiding or disguising information that could potentially identify a client. The cover letter for a case submission should clearly explain how issues of privacy and confidentiality were addressed. Manuscripts are sent anonymously to reviewers and should be ready for blind review when submitted. Thus, place Author Notes on the title page and do not intentionally reveal author identity in other ways.

Manuscripts are to be prepared according to the 5th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (www.apastyle.org). Authors of research manuscripts should incorporate the recommendations in “Statistical Methods in Psychology Journals: Guidelines and Explanations” by Wilkinson and the APA Task Force on Statistical Inference (1999, American Psychologist, 54, 594-604; or www.apa.org/journals/amp/amp548594.html) and must report standard effect size measures (e.g., r, Cohen’s, d) for all statistical results. Authors are also encouraged to compute and report effect sizes when describing specific findings from previous studies. Researchers studying the diagnostic accuracy of tests are strongly encouraged to follow the Standards for Reporting Diagnostic Accuracy (STARD) guidelines. Resources for following the STARD guidelines and for computing effect sizes are available at www.erlbaum.com/jpainfo3_resources.htm.


Cite in the text by author and date (Smith, 1983). Prepare reference list in accordance with the APA Publication Manual, 5th ed. Examples: Journal: Brierly, D. (2007). Emotional memory for words: Separating content and context. Cognition & Emotion,21, 495-521. Book: Smith, E., & Mackie, D. (2000).Social psychology. Philadelphia: Psychology Press. Contribution to a Book: Tanner, W. P., & Swets, J. A. (2001). A decision-making theory of visual detection. In S. Yantis (ed.), Visual perception (pp. 48-55). Philadelphia: Psychology Press.


Illustrations submitted (line drawings, halftones, photos, photomicrographs, etc.) should be clean digital files and should follow these guidelines:

  • 300 dpi or higher
  • Sized to fit on a journal page
  • Submitted on separate pages of the manuscript file, not embedded in a page of regular text

Color illustrations will be considered for publication; however, the author will be required to bear the full cost involved in their printing and publication. The charge for the first page with color is $900.00. The next three pages with color are $450.00 each. A custom quote will be provided for color art totaling more than 4 journal pages. Good-quality color prints should be provided in their final size. The publisher has the right to refuse publication of color prints deemed unacceptable.

Tables and Figures:

Tables and figures (illustrations) should not be embedded in the text, but should be included as separate pages at the end of the manuscript file. A short, descriptive title should appear above each table with a clear legend and any footnotes suitably identified below. All units must be included. Figures should be completely labeled, taking into account necessary size reduction. Captions should be typed, double-spaced, on a separate page at the end of the manuscript file.

Proofs and Reprints:

Page proofs are sent to the designated author using Taylor & Francis’ Central Article Tracking System (CATS). They must be carefully checked and returned within 48 hours of receipt. Reprints of individual articles are available for order at the time authors review page proofs. A discount on reprints is available to authors who order before print publication.

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