Guidelines for Authors

Manuscript preparation

Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome publishes the following article types:

  • Hypothesis and Theory Papers
  • Original Articles
  • Methods and Tools
  • Case Studies
  • Reviews
  • Research Protocols
  • Minireviews
  • Perspectives
  • Short communications
  • New Researchers
  • Book Reviews
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Editorials
  • Commentaries 


Manuscript will be carefully scrutinized for evidence of plagiarism, duplication and data manipulation; in particular, images will be carefully examined for any indication of intentional improper modification.

Any suspected misconduct ends up with a quick rejection and is then reported to the US Office of Research Integrity.

Ensure that your work is written in correct English before submission. Professional copyediting can help authors improve the presentation of their work and increase its chances of being taken on by a publisher. In case you feel that your manuscript would benefit from a professional a professional English language copyediting checking language grammar and style, you can find a reliable revision service at:

The Corresponding Author must submit the manuscript online-only through our Manuscript Submission System.

Authors are kindly invited to suggest potential reviewers (names, affilitations and email addresses) for their manuscript, if they wish.

Preparing your manuscript

Ethical considerations

Articles that report on research involving either human or nonhuman animal participants should indicate whether approval was gained by an institutional board. Research involving nonhuman animal participants should also indicate whether guidelines for the care and use of animals were adhered. Articles that report on research in healthcare settings should likewise indicate whether NHS approval or equivalent from an appropriate committee was gained. All research should meet the provisions of the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki.

The first page must contain:

  1. running title (maximum of 5 words, only the first word should be capitalized);
  2. title (title case, centered, and in 16 point bold Times New Roman font at the top of page), it should be without acronyms, concise, omitting terms that are implicit, and, where possible, be a statement of the main result or conclusion presented in the manuscript;
  3. three to five key words;
  4. acknowledgments;
  5. authors’ contributions, e.g., information about the contributions of each person named as having participated in the study - in order to maintain anonymity of authors, required for the double-blind peer review process, only authors' initials or different symbol for each author should be used;
  6. disclosures about potential conflict of interests;
  7. further information (e.g., funding – including grant numbers if applicable, conference presentation ...).

The second page must contain:

  1. Ethical approval and consent to participate;
  2. Consent for publication;
  3. Availability of data and material;

If tables are used, they should be double-spaced on separate pages. They should be numbered and cited in the text of the manuscript.
If figures are used, they must be submitted as .tiff or .jpg files, with the following digital resolution:

  1. color (saved as CMYK): minimum 300 dpi;
  2. black and white/grays: minimum 600 dpi;
  3. one column width (8 cm) or 2 column widths (17 cm).

A different caption for each figure must be provided at the end of the manuscript, not included in the figure file.
If abbreviations are used in the text, authors are required to write full name+abbreviation in brackets [e.g. Multiple Myeloma (MM)] the first time they are used, then only abbreviations can be written (apart from titles; in this case authors have to write always the full name).
If names of equipment or substances are mentioned in the text, brand, company names and locations (city and state) for equipment and substances should be included in parentheses within the text.


The manuscript is organized by headings and subheadings. For all the articles (except for Editorials and Book Rewiews) it is recommended to organize the manuscript in the following sections:


Succinct literature review in respect with the construct(s) analyzed shoud be reported providing recent and complete references (following APA norms for references in the text). Subheadings might be avoided. Aim(s) and specific hypothese(s) might be reported at the very end of this section.


This section should report the specific procedure (even theoretical) the research followed, and it may be divided by subheadings (participants or single case description, measures, data analysis). This section should contain sufficient detail so that when read in conjunction with cited references, all procedures can be repeated. For experiments reporting results on human subject research, an ethics approval statement should be included in this section (Ethical Committee of Institution of Place, Protocol Number, year).


This section may be divided by subheadings. Footnotes should not be used and have to be transferred into the main text.


This section may be divided by subheadings. Discussions should cover the key findings of the study: discuss any prior results underlining the novelty and originality of the research, in the appropriate context; discuss the potential short-comings and limitations on their interpretations; discuss their integration into the current understanding of the problem and how this advances the current views; speculate on the future direction of the research and freely postulate theories that could be tested in the future.


This section must provide conclusive findings on the research.


References should be prepared strictly according to the APA style. To ensure the correct citation format, please check your references here:

Manuscript style and content

Authors are advised that publication in Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome requires references, symbols and abbreviations to be in line with the manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition. To support the preparation of articles for submission in Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, authors are encouraged to review the American Psychological Association Guide for New Authors. Authors should pay particular attention to the readability of articles, in particular the Methods and Results sections of Research Articles and Short Communications.

Article types

Hypothesis and Theory Papers (unstructured abstract 250 words max; text 12,000 words max excluding abstract, references, figures and tables; max 6 tables and/or figures; max 45 references): Articles that analyze or debate established theories in health psychology, or presentations of theoretical innovations.
Original Articles (unstructured abstract 250 words max; text 12,000 words max excluding abstract, references, figures and tables; max 6 tables and/or figures; max 60 references): Articles that report original empirical investigations.
Methods and Tools (unstructured abstract 250 words max; text 12,000 words max excluding abstract, references, figures and tables; max 6 tables and/or figures; max 45 references): Articles that validate instruments used to study the outcome and process in psychotherapy.
Case Studies (unstructured abstract 250 words max; text 10,000 words max excluding abstract, references, figures and tables; max 6 tables and/or figures; max 45 references): Reports describing observations on single psychological cases.
Reviews (unstructured abstract 250 words max; text 10,000 words max excluding abstract, references, figures and tables; max 6 tables and/or figures; max 60 references): Articles that provide systematic overviews, evaluations and interpretations of research in a given field of health psychology.
Research Protocols (unstructured abstract 250 words max; text 8000 words max excluding references, figures and tables; max 6 tables and/or figures; max 40 references). RIPPPO welcomes protocols for any pre-clinical or clinical psychotherapy study design. Study pre-protocols (i.e. discussing provisional study designs) may also be submitted and will be clearly labelled as such in the title when published. Study protocols for pilot and feasibility studies will also be considered. The psychotherapy research protocol should include: introduction with the rationale for the protocol, aim and hypothesis, sample recruitment process with power analysis, measures used, supposed data analysis, different data collection moments, expected results and their implications/application in the psychotherapy field. Note: The fee is 250 euros for non SPR members, and 150 for SPR members.
Minireviews (unstructured abstract 250 words max; text 3500 words max excluding references, figures and tables; max 4 tables and/or figures; max 25 references): Mini Reviews offer a succinct and clear summary of a specific topic, allowing readers to get up-to-date on new developments an/or emerging concept.
Perspectives (unstructured abstract 250 words max; text 3500 words max excluding references, figures and tables; max 4 tables and/or figures; max 20 references): Perspectives propose a viewpoint on a specific field or discipline, and discuss/describe current advances or future directions.
Short communications (unstructured abstract 250 words max; text 3000 words max excluding abstract, references, figures and tables; max 4 tables and/or figures; max 20 references): Articles that fall short of the criteria for full original articles. These may include, but are not limited to studies that have a limited sample size or duration.
New Researchers (unstructured abstract 250 words max; text 2000 words max excluding abstract, references, figures and tables; max 4 tables and/or figures; max 25 references): Articles authored typically by researchers within 3 years of PhD completion or 3 years of full time employment.
Book Reviews (no abstract required; text 2000 words max excluding references, figures and tables; max 1 table and/or figure; max 15 references): Reviews of published books.
Letters to the Editor (no abstract required; text 500 words max excluding references, figures and tables; max 2 tables and/or figures; max 10 references): Letters to the editor will be considered for publication. Typically, letters will contain information critical to health psychology research or in relation to recently published data.
Editorials (no abstract required; text 2500 words max excluding references, figures and tables; max 2 tables and/or figures; max 25 references): Invited by the editor only.
Commentaries (about 2000 words, no abstract required, 20 references max, no figures and/or tables): These contributions provide a rapid forum for readers to comment about articles appeared for less than 1 year in the Journal.

Peer-review policy

All manuscripts submitted to our journal are critically assessed by external and/or in-house experts in accordance with the principles of peer review (, which is fundamental to the scientific publication process and the dissemination of sound science. Each paper is first assigned by the Editors to an appropriate Associate Editor who has knowledge of the field discussed in the manuscript. The first step of manuscript selection takes place entirely in-house and has two major objectives: i) to establish the article appropriateness for our journals readership; ii) to define the manuscript priority ranking relative to other manuscripts under consideration, since the number of papers that the journal receives is much greater than it can publish. If a manuscript does not receive a sufficiently high priority score to warrant publication, the editors will proceed to a quick rejection. The remaining articles are reviewed by at least two different external referees (second step or classical peer review). Manuscripts should be prepared according to the Uniform Requirements established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) (

Authorship and Contributorship
All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship according to the ICMJE criteria. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content. Authorship credit should only be based on substantial contributions to: i) conception and design, or analysis and interpretation of data, and to ii) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and on iii) final approval of the version to be published; and iv) agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding or the collection of data does not justify authorship. General supervision of the research group is not sufficient for authorship. Authors should provide a brief description of their individual contributions. Those who do not meet all four criteria should not be listed as authors, but they should be acknowledged. Those whose contributions do not justify authorship may be acknowledged individually or together as a group under a single heading. Authors can find detailed information on the Publisher's web site.

Obligation to Register Clinical Trials 
The ICMJE believes that it is important to foster a comprehensive, publicly available database of clinical trials. The ICMJE defines a clinical trial as any research project that prospectively assigns human subjects to intervention or concurrent comparison or control groups to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a medical intervention and a health outcome. Medical interventions include drugs, surgical procedures, devices, behavioral treatments, process-of-care changes, etc. Our journals require, as a condition of consideration for publication, registration in a public trials registry. The journal considers a trial for publication only if it has been registered before the enrollment of the first patient. 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 non-profit organization. There must be a mechanism to ensure the validity of the registration data, and the registry should be electronically searchable. An acceptable registry must include a minimum of data elements ( For example, (, sponsored by the United States National Library of Medicine, meets these requirements.

Protection of Human Subjects and Animals in Research
When reporting experiments on human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2013. If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. An Informed Consent statement is always required from patients involved in any experiments. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.  Further guidance on animal research ethics is available from the World Medical Association (2016 revision). When reporting experiments on ecosystems involving non-native species, Authors are bound to ensure compliance with the institutional and national guide for the preservation of native biodiversity.