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Call for Papers

Psychiatric Services welcomes high-quality submissions addressing the delivery of mental health services. Authors should be able to answer the questions, How does this paper inform or improve service delivery? and What knowledge gap is this paper closing? We encourage broad and diverse viewpoints. A global perspective allows consideration of an expansive range of problems and solutions. We welcome submissions that focus on various populations (e.g., children, adults, underserved) and types of disorders (e.g., addiction, psychosis, trauma). No population or type of disorder is excluded. Submissions are especially welcome in the following areas:

  • Integration of psychiatric and general medical care
  • Criminal justice and psychiatric services
  • Suicide prevention
  • Digital and online psychiatric services
  • Social determinants of health in psychiatric care
  • Implementation strategies
  • Impact and alleviation of bias, racism, and health disparities
  • Effectiveness of peer support interventions
  • Incorporating voices of lived experience in care
  • Effects of federal, state, and local policies on people with serious mental illness
  • Substance use and mental illness, particularly in public-sector populations
  • Early interventions and preventive strategies

Submissions will undergo the journal’s standard rigorous peer review. Various study designs may be used. Randomized trials are welcomed but not required, as are other designs that balance internal and external validity.

To submit your paper, please visit and select "Begin Submission."

Information for Contributors

Psychiatric Services is a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal published monthly by the American Psychiatric Association. Research published in Psychiatric Services focuses on delivery of behavioral health services in organized systems of care in the public and private sectors and on the development, dissemination, and adaptation of evidence-based interventions in practice. The journal has a strong clinical focus but also provides in-depth coverage of administrative, legal, and policy issues.

The journal gives priority to material that is clearly applicable in everyday clinical and administrative practice or in public policy development.

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General Policies

The requirements stated below are in accordance with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, of which Psychiatric Services is a member. See “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals” (

Reporting of Race/Racialization, Ethnicity, and Culture (REC) Data

Research examining mental health services, service inequities, and strategies for improving service delivery can benefit from a comprehensive, critical approach to collecting, analyzing, and reporting findings related to Race/Racialization, Ethnicity, and Culture (REC). This approach requires describing REC-related aspects of the study rationale, design, sampling, data collection, data analysis, and interpretation of results. The need for REC reporting guidelines has been repeatedly noted, and Psychiatric Services has made this process a priority.

Authors of mental health research articles that include participant- or population-level data (qualitative or quantitative, including administrative data sets) with REC-related definitions and descriptions will be asked to complete a checklist at submission.

The goal of this REC review is to enhance systematic reporting of data that can guide strategies to eliminate disparities and promote equity in health and health care. This review does not require the inclusion of REC-related factors when they are not pertinent to the research topic nor does it seek to promote examining these factors in isolation from other social factors such as gender or socioeconomic class.

The full checklist, along with terminology clarifications and guidance, is available here.

Feedback on the checklist (might it be useful in your future work? in what ways could it be improved?) is welcome at [email protected] (subject: REC checklist).

Prior Publication

Manuscripts are accepted for consideration by Psychiatric Services with the understanding that they represent original material, have not been published previously, are not being considered for publication elsewhere, and have been approved by each author. (Clinical trial registration does not constitute prior publication and will not preclude consideration for publication.)

Authors submitting manuscripts containing data or clinical observations already used in published papers or used in papers that are in press, submitted for publication, or soon to be submitted should provide this information and electronic copies of those papers (or links to the online publications) to the Editor in a cover letter uploaded to ScholarOne Manuscripts. An explanation of the differences between the papers should be included.

Clinical Trial Registration

Psychiatric Services requires, as a condition of consideration for publication, registration of clinical trials in a public trials registry. Trials must be registered at or before the onset of patient enrollment. For this purpose, a clinical trial is defined as any research project that prospectively assigns human subjects to intervention or comparison groups to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a medical intervention and a health outcome. Studies designed for other purposes, such as to study pharmacokinetics or major toxicity (for example, phase I trials), are exempt. The journal does not advocate one particular registry but requires authors to register their trial in a registry that meets several criteria. The registry must be accessible to the public at no charge. It must be open to all prospective registrants and managed by a not-for-profit organization. There must be a mechanism to ensure the validity of the registration data, and the registry must be electronically searchable.

An acceptable registry must include at minimum the following information: a unique identifying number, a statement of the intervention (or interventions) and comparison (or comparisons) studied, a statement of the study hypothesis, definitions of the primary and secondary outcome measures, eligibility criteria, key trial dates (registration date, anticipated or actual start date, anticipated or actual date of last follow-up, planned or actual date of closure to data entry, and date trial data were considered complete), target number of subjects, funding source, and contact information for the principal investigator. To our knowledge, at present, only, sponsored by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, meets these requirements; there may be other registries, now or in the future, that meet all these requirements. Registration information must be provided in the cover letter at submission.


All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content. The corresponding author affirms that he or she had access to all data from the study, both what is reported and what is unreported, and also that he or she had complete freedom to direct its analysis and its reporting, without influence from the sponsors. The corresponding author also affirms that there was no editorial direction or censorship from the sponsors. Preparation of drafts of manuscripts by employees of the sponsor who are not listed as authors is expressly prohibited.

Authorship credit should be based on

  1. Substantial contributions to conception and design or analysis and interpretation of data.
  2. Substantial contributions to drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content.
  3. Final approval of the version to be published.
  4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Conditions 1, 2, 3, and 4 must ALL be met. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding or the collection of data does not left authorship. General supervision of the research group is also not sufficient. Any part of an article critical to its main conclusions must be the responsibility of at least one author.

Only those with key responsibility for the material in the article should be listed as authors; others contributing to the work should be recognized in an Acknowledgment.

Use of AI-Assisted Technologies

The American Psychiatric Association has adopted the following policies regarding the use of generative artificial/augmented intelligence (AI) in any manuscript or book submitted for potential publication:

  • If a generative AI tool was used at any stage in the creation of a submitted work, both the relevant text of the submitted work and the cover letter or email accompanying the submission must fully identify all details of the AI use (including the tool used and the relevant output)
  • Submitted works may not include images produced with generative AI at this time
  • Only human persons can be listed as authors of a work (i.e., no AI tool may be identified as author)
  • Authors are responsible for all material contained within the submitted work, including any material first produced through the use of generative AI. This comprises responsibility for the accuracy of such material (i.e., confirming that it is not incorrect, incomplete or biased) and for ensuring that all relevant material includes appropriate attribution and does not constitute plagiarism
  • Material produced through a generative AI tool may not be cited as a primary source

Disclosure of Financial Relationships

Disclosure of financial relationships is required at the time of submission (see further information in the subsection about disclosures under Title Page below). Financial support for the study is always disclosed, whether from governmental, nonprofit, or commercial sources. Nonfinancial forms of support for the study, such as medications and other in-kind support, must also be disclosed. The authors are responsible for informing the editorial office of any additional financial relationships that may arise prior to the date of publication of the paper.

On acceptance of a manuscript, the corresponding author and all coauthors will receive an e-mail with a link to the Authorship, Disclosure, and Copyright Transfer form and instructions for online submission of the form. This form requires all authors to individually disclose all financial relationships, whether or not directly related to the subject of the paper. Reporting should encompass the previous 36 months. Such reporting must include all equity ownership, profit-sharing agreements, royalties, patents, and research or other grants from private industry or closely affiliated nonprofit funds. For income from pharmaceutical companies, the purpose must be specified—e.g., speakers’ bureau honoraria or other CME activity, travel funds, advisory panel payments, or research grants. If an author has no interests to disclose, the form requires an author to specifically state this, which will be noted in print as “The author reports no competing interests.”

The Editor will review all author statements of financial support to determine whether there is evidence of bias from these sources. If it appears that there may be, then further review and possible rejection of the manuscript may occur. Authors are encouraged to contact the Editor at any stage in the manuscript review process if they believe that they have relationships that require review.

Copyright Transfer

On acceptance of a manuscript, the corresponding author and all coauthors will receive an e-mail with a link to the Authorship, Disclosure, and Copyright Transfer form and instructions for online submission of the form. Psychiatric Services requires transfer of copyright to the American Psychiatric Association (APA) so that the author(s) and the Association are protected from misuse of copyrighted material. Accepted manuscripts will not be scheduled for publication until a completed form has been received in the editorial office.

In addition, authors must obtain letters of permission from publishers and pay any fees for use of extensive quotations (more than 500 words) or figures that have been previously published or submitted elsewhere.

Public Access Policy

Broad access to the research literature and the rights of our authors are important to the American Psychiatric Association, the publisher of Psychiatric Services. Read our public access policy for guidelines on deposit mandates for research funded by NIH and others and institutional repositories.

Informed Consent

Manuscripts that report the results of experimental investigation and interviews with human subjects must include a statement that written informed consent was obtained after the procedure(s) had been fully explained. In the case of children, authors are asked to include information about whether the child’s assent was obtained. If your submission does not address written informed consent and Institutional Review Board approval, it will not be reviewed.

Case Reports

While recognizing the educational value of case reports, APA Publishing seeks to ensure what it publishes respects an individual’s privacy and protects personal health information. For all submissions wherein an individual is described, we ask at submission for confirmation that the individual has seen the version of the report, that the individual understands it is being submitted for publication consideration, and that the individual has been informed that if published, the report will be freely accessible to anyone 1 year after publication and thus confidentiality cannot be guaranteed despite all efforts to disguise personal details. For disguising, identifying information such as names, initials, hospital numbers, and dates must be avoided. In addition, authors should disguise information about the characteristics and personal history of patients and indicate in the text or in the article notes that they have done so, e.g.: “The authors have confirmed that details of the cases presented have been disguised to protect patient privacy.” When possible, APA Publishing prefers fictionalized composite accounts. Submissions employing this tactic should specify in the text “The case presented is a fictionalized account bringing together disguised characteristics of [number] individuals.

Review Process

All manuscripts receive an initial review by the Editor of Psychiatric Services to determine the originality, validity, and importance of content and conclusions. Manuscripts with insufficient priority for publication will be rejected promptly.

Other manuscripts are sent for peer review to at least three independent reviewers. The journal uses a double-blind review system (authors and all reviewers remain anonymous). Separate statistical review is obtained when a reviewer requests it. Authors are informed about the Editor’s decision after the review process is completed. Authors are usually notified of a decision within three months.

Manuscripts not rejected after the first round of peer review usually require revision and re-review by one or more of the original reviewers. Authors will be sent reviewer comments that are judged to be useful to them. Revised manuscripts must conform to the general requirements listed above, including specified word limits. They are submitted online via ScholarOne Manuscripts.

The final decision is the Editor’s. Authors should contact the Editorial Office if they become concerned about a delay.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please consult our FAQs page here.

The Manuscript


The journal uses ScholarOne Manuscripts, a Web-based manuscript submission and tracking system. To submit your paper, please visit ScholarOne Manuscripts and either use your existing account or create an account if you don’t have one. Then follow the instructions to upload your manuscript. Because the journal’s peer review process is double-blind, please ensure that the manuscript’s title page, acknowledgments, and disclosures do not contain any author information. Do not use authors’ initials in the text or file names.

Types of Articles

Psychiatric Services publishes several types of articles, including regular articles and brief reports, which present the results of original research, and reviews and overviews. In addition, the journal publishes regular columns on a range of clinical, policy, legal, and financial issues; commentaries on topics of current interest; and letters. To determine the best category for your article, use the guidelines and summary table below.

Psychiatric Services welcomes submissions that examine new applications of established clinical or research instruments with populations receiving or providing mental health services. Basic psychometric work on the development of new scales should not be submitted.

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

Guidelines for publication in Psychiatric Services, by article type
Type Word limit (main text) Highlights (bullet points) Abstract Approximate number of references Limit on displayed itemsa
Type Word limit
Regular article 3000 3–4 Structured 250 50 5
Review 4,000 to 6,000 3–4 Structured or unstructured 250 100 5
Special Article 4000 3 Unstructured 200 75 5
Brief report 1800 2–3 Structured 150 15 1
Column 2,400b 2–3 Unstructured 100 10
Open Forum 1600 0 Unstructured 100 15 0
Taking Issue 750 0 None 0 0
Viewpoint 1200 0 None 5 0
Letterc 500 0 None 5 0
Frontline Reportsc 700 0 None 0 0

aDisplayed items may include tables, figures (graphs, line art), or boxes (lists).
bTotal word count, including references and abstract.
cLimited to 3 authors.

Regular Articles, Brief Reports, Reviews and Overviews, Special Articles
In general, Regular Articles are usually within 3,000 words, excluding abstract, references, and tables and figures. Please do not submit articles of more than 3,000 words.

Brief Reports should be a maximum 1,800 words (excluding abstract, references, and table), plus one small table or one small (one-panel) figure. References should generally be limited to 15. Use only main research report headings (Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions).

Reviews and Overviews bring together important information on a topic of general interest to psychiatry and include synthetic reviews, policy reviews, literature reviews, and meta-analyses. Before submitting a review of any type, please consult the Editor at [email protected], stating in your message a word count of the main text (excluding length of abstract, references, and tables or figures) and attaching an abstract for the proposed paper.

Policy Reviews address key policy issues that affect behavioral health systems; they define a specific policy-relevant issue, describe current knowledge and limitations, and discuss policy implications in depth.

Policy Reviews

Policy Reviews should define an important policy-relevant issue (including relevant historical and regional contexts), describe current knowledge and limitations (including academic literature, gray literature, and real-world policy experiences of successes and failures), and discuss policy implications in depth. Topics for consideration should be relatively broad in scope (e.g., parity, integrated care, or suicide prevention); articles on a specific policy innovation or implementation experience should be submitted to one of the journal’s columns. The review should provide a critical analysis of the potential levers at the federal, state, tribal, and/or local levels; strategies for ensuring sustainability and addressing key stakeholder interests; and approaches to tracking progress. It should propose specific and high-priority actionable steps, as well as alternative strategies, for policy makers and other key stakeholders, including:

  • Legislation—Identify legal obstacles or opportunities that could be addressed with changes in federal, state, or local law (e.g., major workforce expansions, new program appropriations, program/agency reorganizations, and specific considerations for specialty populations such as youths or veterans).
  • Regulation—Identify regulatory obstacles or opportunities that could be addressed with changes in federal, state, or local regulations (e.g., patient eligibility criteria for programs, rules regarding types of services offered in certain settings, and accreditation requirements).
  • Financing—Identify obstacles to or opportunities for funding and sustaining specific services or programs that could be addressed with changes in reimbursement mechanisms, public funding, new grant opportunities, or other sources of support.
  • Accountability—Identify obstacles to or opportunities for holding providers, programs, and payers accountable for high-quality care that could be addressed with changes in quality measurement and reporting mechanisms or a transition to value-based payment strategies.
  • Workforce development—Identify obstacles to or opportunities for fostering an adequate workforce that could be addressed with training, program-level technical assistance, and workforce expansion (e.g., advanced practice providers and peer specialists) or incentives (e.g., salary increases and loan repayment).
  • Social determinants and health disparities—Identify ways to engage and better serve vulnerable and underserved populations through expansion of programs and coordination across social services agencies (e.g., recovery support services, housing, employment, schools, and the criminal justice system).
  • Antiracism—Identify policies that advance racial justice and dismantle structural, systemic, and institutional racism in mental health services and systems.
  • Antidiscrimination—Identify policies that promote equal opportunity in mental health services and systems and reduce discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, housing status, and socioeconomic status, among others.
  • Technology—Identify new technologies that could facilitate high-functioning clinical management or program workflows (e.g., mobile technologies, tablet-based platforms, and Web portals).
  • Stakeholder engagement and advocacy—Identify stakeholders that could have a positive influence if convened in a workgroup or committee authorized by a governing body. Describe the role that politics may play in the advancement of a given policy and explain how advocacy groups might be engaged to advance a given policy (e.g., clinicians, administrators, payers, policy makers, lobbyists, people with lived experience and their families).
  • Implementation—Identify obstacles to or opportunities for successful implementation and sustainability of the proposed policies (e.g., needs assessment, technical assistance, continuous quality improvement, and balancing short-term priorities vs. long-term needs).
  • Research—Identify gaps in the literature that require additional research investment to inform evidence-based policy making.

Before submitting a policy review, please consult the Editor at [email protected] and attach an abstract for the proposed paper. Authors may request consultation from the Psychiatric Services Policy Advisory Group. Such consultation could assist with planning and conceptualizing the focus, reviewing an outline, and generally evaluating if the paper is a good fit for Psychiatric Services. You may request a consultation by email at the same address.

Qualitative and Mixed-Methods Approaches

Qualitative and mixed-methods approaches are increasingly part of the methodological tool kit of mental health services researchers. These approaches are of crucial importance for representing the subjective experiences of people who use mental health services. In addition, they may be used in an exploratory way to generate hypotheses about relatively unknown phenomena. They are also essential for assessing the causes and mechanisms driving treatment success and failure. Psychiatric Services aims to publish qualitative research that demonstrates the highest standards of research design, analysis, and ethics. We encourage authors to use interpretive rigor in qualitative analysis to contribute original findings that expand our knowledge of how to care for diverse patient populations. Submissions utilizing the full potential of qualitative approaches will build on, revise, or challenge existing theories of treatment and service delivery as described by current scholarship.

Psychiatric Services suggests the following guidelines for authors submitting work using qualitative methods:

  • Justify the use of qualitative methods for the topic under investigation. Provide a clear and succinct rationale for the methods utilized.
  • Describe the methodology, including (as appropriate) sampling methods, recruitment, data collection procedures, data analysis and analytic strategies.
  • Justify the sampling methods, especially for small, nonprobability samples.
  • Provide information about the context of the research, including the settings in which data were collected.
  • Exhibit sufficient original evidence in the body of the report so that readers may grasp the basis for the argument. Evidence may include quotations, summaries of verbal exchanges, observations, and other forms of data.
  • Consider whether to include in an online supplement additional evidence (detailed quotations, verbal exchanges, observations, field notes, etc.) supporting the project’s findings.
  • Explain in the Discussion and Conclusions sections how the evidence presented contributes to the argument.
  • Explore in the Discussion section whether the context(s) of the research project may have influenced the results.
  • Ensure that discussion and conclusions reached are logical and credible given the findings and context.
  • Describe the extent to which the findings and conclusions may apply to other groups or settings and note any unusual features that limit applicability.

Other Article Types

Literature reviews should focus on recent literature. Reviews may be solicited by the Editor. Length: reviews may be 4,000 to 6,000 words, with a 200- to 250-word abstract and no more than 100 references.

Special Articles are reserved for qualitative research and policy studies that do not lend themselves to the standard research article, review article, or column format. Format: up to 4,000 words, 75 references, and 5 display items. Include an unstructured abstract of up to 200 words and 3 bulleted Highlights. Excess display material may be placed in an online supplement.

Commentary and Opinion
. Psychiatric Services offers several venues for provocative commentaries: Taking Issue, invited by the Editor, briefly comments on an article in the printed issue. Format: 750 words maximum, for 1 printed page, with no references or displays.

Open Forum presents unsolicited scholarly essays or analyses of controversial topics relevant to health care delivery. Format: unstructured 100-word abstract, up to 1,600 words and approximately 15 references, no displays. Authors may be asked for source material to support factual statements in opinion pieces.

Viewpoint is invited commentary on a timely, provocative topic. Format: up to 1,200 words and approximately 5 references, no abstract or displays, and 5 or fewer headings.

Commentary discusses a published article or series of articles. Format: up to 1,200 words and approximately 5 references, no abstract or displays, and 5 or fewer headings.

Letters are limited to 500 words and may have a maximum of 3 authors and 5 references. Letters may either briefly report results of a study or comment on material published in Psychiatric Services no more than 3 months prior. All letters should be uploaded to ScholarOne Manuscripts. Such letters are published at the discretion of the Editor and will be sent to the author for possible reply.

. Psychiatric Services publishes a variety of columns. Material for columns may originate from the author or may be suggested by the Editor or the column editors. Columns are usually within 2,400 total words, including text, approximately 10 references, and an abstract of no more than 100 words. The word count for columns with displayed material (tables, figures, and boxes) is lower. See columns for specific submission requirements.

General Guidelines for Research Reports
  • Remember to state the purpose of the research in the last paragraph of the introduction. (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.
  • Include data on the sex, age, and race-ethnicity of the study participants, preferably in the Results section.
  • Include the dates the original data were collected.
  • Include in the Methods section a brief statement about institutional review board approval. For studies that include human subjects, also indicate whether informed consent was obtained or whether the principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki were followed.
  • Preferably in the Methods section, describe the data analysis procedure concisely and in a manner understandable by nonstatisticians.
  • In the Results section, including tables, report only the findings related directly to the research purpose or research question. Omit other data.
  • Report sample numbers for all percentages, and report SDs or SEs for all means.
  • When reporting statistically significant results, report test statistic values, degrees of freedom, and probability level (not to exceed p<.001; do not use p=.000).

Manuscript Organization and Format

The manuscript must be double-spaced throughout. The manuscript should be arranged in the following order: title page, abstract, text, references, captions for any figures, and tables and/or figures. All pages must be numbered.

The text of research reports and literature reviews should include four major sections after the introductory paragraphs: Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusions. The last paragraph of the introduction should state the purpose of the research. The Methods section should provide a comprehensive description of the sample (including data on sex, age, and race-ethnicity), methods of recruitment, measurement and evaluation techniques (including information about reliability as appropriate), and data analysis (including the name and version of the statistical package used). The Methods section should include a clear statement regarding informed consent and institutional review board (IRB) approval. The issue of IRB approval should be addressed even if need for approval was waived. Strengths and weaknesses of the study should be presented in the Discussion. For additional detail, see General Guidelines for Research Reports.

Title Page

All of the following elements should appear on the title page of the electronic file uploaded to ScholarOne Manuscripts. No author names (or initials) should appear on the title page (blind review).

Title.The title should be informative and should not exceed 115 characters plus spaces. Journal style for titles is not to use declarative sentences.

Disclosures and acknowledgments.In a separate paragraph, all potential conflicts of interest and financial support for all authors must be disclosed, whether or not directly related to the subject of the paper. (Because of blind review, use Dr. X, Dr. Y, and so forth.) Such reporting must include all equity ownership, profit-sharing agreements, royalties, patents, and research or other grants from private industry or closely affiliated nonprofit funds. Support of any kind from pharmaceutical companies must be acknowledged and the purpose must be specified, e.g., speakers’ bureau honoraria or other CME activity, travel funds, advisory panel payments, research grants. It is the author’s responsibility to disclose anything in addition to the above that might be construed as potentially affecting the reporting of the study.

Grant support should be acknowledged in a separate paragraph and should include the full name of the granting agency and grant number.

Word count. The number of words in the text (i.e., not including the abstract and references). Highlights, tables, and figures are not included in the word count.

Highlights. Research reports, reviews, and columns (exceptions: Datapoints, Personal Accounts) should include a few bulleted sentences highlighting the key points of the article.

Previous presentation. If data have been presented at a meeting, give the name of the meeting, the location, and the inclusive dates.

Structured Abstract

All research reports and literature reviews should include a structured abstract after the title page. Abstracts should be clear, concise, and readable and able to stand on their own as a description of the article. The abstract should provide the following information in complete sentences under the headings indicated: Objective: the primary purpose of the article; Methods: data sources, sample, design, measurements, data analysis; Results: key findings; and Conclusions: implications. For regular articles, the abstract is usually within 250 words. For brief reports, the limit is 150 words. Please do not use “we” or “our” in the abstract.

Tables and Figures

For regular articles, include no more than 5 tables, figures, or combination of tables and figures. Include displayed material only when it presents relevant data or concepts more clearly than could be done in text. Data in short tables often can be incorporated more concisely in text. Data in simple graphs may be more appropriately presented in a table or text. Authors will be asked to delete extraneous material or will have the option of moving the material to an online-only file to supplement the article. Checklists and forms generally are not printed; however, such material may be included as a supplemental file, or the text may include a note that such material is available from the author.

(Also see Supplemental Data below.)

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

Tables. Tables should appear at the end of the uploaded file, after References and any figure captions. Do not embed tables within the main narrative text, and do not submit tables in a separate file.

Sample table formats

To fit a typeset page, tables are limited to 120 characters wide (portrait orientation) or 145 characters wide (landscape orientation), counting 3 characters of space between each column. In general, a landscape-oriented table is limited to 14 columns.

Each cell should contain only one item of data. In rows, subcategories should be in separate cells; in columns, Ns and %s or means and SDs should be in separate cells; no numerical data should be presented in parentheses within tables. When percentages are presented, the appropriate sample numbers must also be given. Row headings and column headings should initial cap only the first word (“Sentence style”). All columns, including the leftmost, need a heading. Specify all units of measure clearly. Values expressed in the same unit of measurement should read down as a column, not across in a row.

Figures. Figures should contain essential information that cannot be adequately presented in text or tables. Most figures without data—for example, CONSORT diagrams—are judged nonessential for print publication. (Also see Supplemental Data below.)

Figures accepted for print publication must be clear, uncluttered, two-dimensional, and without color. Line graphs should include units of measure, and labels in all figures should initial cap only the first word (“Sentence style”). Figure titles and footnotes should be provided within the text of the manuscript, after References and before any tables.

To facilitate peer review, upload the figure at the end of the Main Body file if possible. If more than one figure must be uploaded separately, use a single file if possible. If invited to revise the manuscript for further review, submit with the revision a black-and-white (noncolor), editable .tiff (text image file format) or .eps (encapsulated Postscript) file or the original Excel or PowerPoint file for each figure, separate from the file containing the text and tables; if the manuscript is accepted, separate figure files will be essential for production.


Limit references to relevant published material cited in the text, including all but widely known tests and scales. Comprehensive literature reviews are rarely necessary in a typical research article.

Only material that has been published (including online publication), 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, not in the reference list. Citation of unpublished material should be kept to a minimum.)

Arrange and number references in order of citation in text, not alphabetically. (Do not use the name-and-date style of citation in the text.) All references must be cited in sequence within the main text; any citations necessary in tables or figures must first be included in the main text. The reference list must not contain duplicates; once a reference is cited in sequence, it may be cited again in the text using the same reference number.

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.

Journal articles. Include surname and initials of first three authors (followed by et al. if there are more than three), article title, journal name, year, volume number, and first and last pages. For journal names, please abbreviate as indicated in the “NLM Catalog: Journals referenced in the NCBI Databases”; journals not indexed there should not be abbreviated. A digital object identifier (DOI) is not necessary. Articles published online in advance of appearing in a printed issue also may be listed with their date of online publication.


Weissman J, Russell D, Jay M, et al: Disparities in health care utilization and functional limitations among adults with serious psychological distress, 2006–2014. Psychiatr Serv 2017; 68:653–659

Swanson JW, Van Dorn RA, Swartz MS: Alternative pathways to violence in persons with schizophrenia: the role of childhood antisocial behavior problems. Law Hum Behav 2007; 32:228–240

McCance-Katz: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): new directions. Psychiatr Serv (Epub ahead of print, August 13, 2018)

Books and monographs (book or book chapter). Include surname and initials of first three authors (followed by et al. if there are more than three) of book chapter and book title. Also include chapter title (if applicable), book title, volume or edition, city, publisher, and year.

Example (book):

Riba MB, Ravindranath D (eds): Clinical Manual of Emergency Psychiatry. Arlington, VA, American Psychiatric Association Publishing, 2010

Example (chapter):

Kimmel RJ, Roy-Byrne PP: Posttraumatic stress disorder; in Evidence-Based Guide to Antidepressant Medications. Edited by Rothschild AJ. Arlington, VA, American Psychiatric Association Publishing, 2012

Reports and other material. For gray literature—for example, reports, fact sheets, brochures, and census tables—include as many standard elements of a reference as possible, including publisher name and location.


Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America. Pub no SMA-03-3832. Rockville, MD, Department of Health and Human Services, President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, 2003

Some gray literature is available primarily or exclusively online. In those cases, provide a DOI or a URL.


Critical Coverage: Benzodiazepines Under Medicare Part D. New York, Medicare Rights Center, June 2005.

If the material seems mercurial (data or lists that seem to be updated frequently), follow the URL with an “Accessed [date]” statement.


Compressed Mortality File: Mortality for 1999–2006. Atlanta, Centers for Disease Control and Accessed Sept 15, 2010

If you wish to refer readers to a Web site without citing a specific document, include the URL in the text but do not list the source within the reference list:

. . . in the SAMHSA registry (

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

Supplemental Data

Psychiatric Services allows authors to submit supplemental data to be posted online in support of printed articles. To be accepted for posting, supplemental material must be essential to the scientific integrity and excellence of the manuscript. The material is subject to the same editorial standards as the printed journal and will be peer reviewed. The Editor’s decision to accept a manuscript may be contingent on selecting material from the final manuscript for online publication only. The main text refers readers to the supplemental material on the journal’s Web site.

To facilitate review, supplemental material should be clearly labeled Online Supplement and uploaded separately from the Main Body file. Color is permitted in supplemental files.

Types of supplemental data:

  • Detailed tables that contain data of use to other investigators (data should be summarized in the text of the print version)
  • CONSORT flowchart for clinical trials
  • Figures that illustrate data from the study in alternative formats
  • Extended or annotated bibliographies
  • Questionnaires, tests, checklists, etc.

Supplemental material can be in any of the following formats:

  • Plain text (.txt)
  • HTML page (.html)
  • JPEG image (.jpg)
  • GIF image (.gif)
  • Adobe PDF (.pdf)
  • Excel spreadsheet (.xls)
  • Word document (.docx)
  • Tiff image (.tif)
  • PowerPoint (.ppt)
  • Encapsulated Postscript (.eps)
  • Mp3 (.mp3)
  • QuickTime video

Processing of Accepted Manuscript for Publication

Accepted manuscripts will be edited for clarity, elimination of redundancy, and conformity with Psychiatric Services style.

The corresponding author receives an electronic file of the edited paper for approval before publication. He or she will be asked to check the edited version carefully and make any necessary changes, answer editorial queries, and return changes to the editorial office by a specified date. After the paper is typeset, galley proofs will be made available to the corresponding author via an interactive Web site, and this review will be the author’s final opportunity to make corrections before the article is published.

Editor Lisa Dixon discusses the REC checklist.


Becoming a Reviewer

Individuals interested in reviewing for Psychiatric Services should visit ScholarOne Manuscripts and create an account. For more information about the reviewing process, please listen to Psychiatric Services From Pages to Practice podcast episode 56, “Peer Review.”

Abstracts of articles within a reviewer’s given area of expertise are sent via e-mail to the reviewer. Within 3 days, the reviewer is asked to indicate willingness to review and availability to perform the review within a 2-week time frame.

Competing Interests

Most competing interests, financial or otherwise, do not disqualify one from participating in the peer-review process, but the journal requests that you indicate any conflict that you may have in reviewing any particular manuscript. You can also notify the journal if you feel that you cannot review a manuscript because of a competing interest. This will not affect your reviewer status in any way.


Manuscripts must be reviewed with due respect for authors’ confidentiality. In submitting their manuscripts for review, authors entrust the journal with the results of their scientific work and creative effort, on which their reputation and career may depend. Authors’ rights may be violated by disclosure of the confidential details of the review of their manuscript. Reviewers should never copy, share, or discuss a manuscript under review or the data within with anyone without expressed written permission of the journal’s Editor and the authors.

Indexes and Abstracts

Psychiatric Services is covered in PubMed/MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and Social Work Abstracts; Web of Science/Social Sciences Citation Index and Current Contents; EBSCOhost and ProQuest (in various generalist and specialty databases for each); Journal Watch Psychiatry; Excerpta Medica; EMBASE; and other print and electronic sources.

Reprints & Permissions
Contact the Journal Editorial Office

Listen to a special episode of the Psychiatric Services From Pages to Practice podcast featuring a discussion of the peer review process.