Guidelines for Authors

Ricerca Psicoanalitica publishes:

  • Theoretical or clinical discussions
  • Interviews
  • Comments
  • Research papers
  • Literature reviews
  • Presentation and discussion of case histories
  • Comments on books, movies, congresses, seminars, etc.
  • Reports on transformational experiences
  • Letters to the editor


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 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.

Preparing your manuscript

The complete references concerning the publication of manuscripts are included in the APA (American Psychological Association) norms.

Ethical considerations

Authors guarantee the truthfulness and confidentiality of data deriving from clinical practice and research included in their material. Authors are responsible for altering personal data concerning patients in order to protect their privacy.

Manuscript formatting

The first page must contain:

  1. 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;
  2. three to five key words;
  3. acknowledgments;
  4. 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;
  5. disclosures about potential conflict of interests;
  6. further information (e.g., funding – including grant numbers if applicable, conference presentation ...).

The second page should contain:

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

The text wil start on page 3. For formatting of each type of articles, refer to the below specifications under "Article Types".

Tables and Figures
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 (8.5 cm) or 2 column widths (17.5 cm).

A different caption for each figure must be provided at the end of the manuscript, not included in the figure file.

Authors must obtain written permission for the reproduction and adaptation of material which has already been published. A copy of the written permission has to be provided before publication (otherwise the paper cannot be published) and appropriately cited in the figure caption. The procedure for requesting the permission is the responsibility of the Authors; PAGEPress will not refund any costs incurred in obtaining permission. Alternatively, it is advisable to use materials from other (free) sources.

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.

In-text references will include the last name of the author and the year of first publication in the original language in parentheses – “Freud (1899) states that…”. Or the author’s name followed by a comma, space and year – (Freud, 1899). If you want to indicate the page this is written in parentheses preceded by p. and this information is not required in the list of references at the end of the article. If the page number refers to the original edition and not to a translation as included in the bibliography at the end of the article, you have to add “orig. ed.” (Loewald, 1980, p. 56 ed. orig.). If the bibliography at the end of the article contains more than one translation, specify the year of reference (Loewald, 1960, p. 97 trad. it. 1994). If there are a number of publications by one author in the same year, the year is followed by a lower case letter in alphabetical order. If the parenthesis contains more than one reference with page number, commas will divide such numbers. Semicolons will be used to separate different authors in the same parenthesis. If the authors are two they will be connected by and, if they are three commas will separate their names with and between second and third. When authors are more than three the first author’s last name is followed by et al. in italics (from Latin et alii). Follow some examples:

  • Freud (1899) stated...
  • According to the dream theory (Freud, 1899)...
  • The principles of cognitive therapy (Beck et al., 1979) state that...
  • Kernberg (1981, p. 35) writes that...
  • Eissler (1953) writes that «the introduction of a parameter entails the risk of temporarily eliminating a resistance without having analyzed it adequately» (p. 65).

A list of references must be added at the end of the text and contain all references in alphabetical order by last name, for each author in chronological order of publication, for publications in one year a lower case letter is added (a, b, c).

In case of two authors with the same last name (e.g. Melanie Klein and George S. Klein) the initial of the first name decides the order. If they happen to be the same they need to be written in full (possibly not leaving out any middle initial), and this is necessary also for in-text references in case of homonymy (e.g. Daniel N. Stern e Donnel B. Stern). The year in parentheses follows the initial of the first name with a full stop (e.g. Freud S. (1910). In case of a double first name, the initial letters should be followed by a full stop without space (e.g.,: Bianchi G.A., Rossi P.F., Kernberg O.F., etc.). In case of multiple authors, their last names must be all included. In case of books published under the name of one (or more) editors, their name will be inserted with the addition of ed. or eds. Both for original and translated editions.

This list should contain only the works quoted in the text.

If the year of publication is not the same of the original text, it must be added after the name of the publisher preceded by a comma, otherwise the original year in parentheses before the author’s name in the reference is deemed sufficient.

Follow some examples:

Beck A.T., Rush A.J., Shaw B.F. and Emery G. (1979). Cognitive Therapy of Depression. New York: Guilford Press (trad. it.: Terapia cognitiva della depressione. Torino: Boringhieri, 1987).

One editor
Merini A., a cura di (1977). Psichiatria nel territorio. Milano: Feltrinelli.

More editors
Boltanski L., Claverie E., Offenstadt N. and Van Damme S., a cura di (2007). Affaires, scandales et grandes causes. De Socrate à Pinochet. Paris: Stock.

One essay in a collective book
Liotti G. (1985). Un modello cognitivo-comportamentale dell’agorafobia. In: Guidano V.F. e Reda M.A., a cura di, Cognitivismo e psicoterapia. Milano: FrancoAngeli.

Beebe B. (1983). Mother-infant mutual influence and precursors of self and object representation. In: Masling J., editor, Empirical Studies of Psychoanalytic Theories. Vol. 2. Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press.

One essay from a journal
Ferrandes G., Mandich P. (2012). Riflessioni sulla medicina predittiva e sulla necessità di integrazione delle discipline: proposta di un modello di consulenza genetica integrata. Psicologia della salute, 3: 11-28. DOI: 10.3280/PDS2012-003002.

Authors must indicate the DOI code for all articles included in the list of references. DOI codes are found at the following link  or with a Google search.

Unpublished texts
Benedetti G. (1988). “Intervento nel dibattito sulla relazione di John Gunderson al Convegno Internazionale New Trends in Schizophrenia”, Bologna, 14-17 aprile (recording on tape).

Books or articles from an internet source
Follow the rules for other books and articles with the addition of: available from http://www...  and date of consultation.

Article Types

a) Theoretical or clinical discussions: can be grouped with other articles on a specific topic or published autonomously. Articles should be between 35,000 and 45,000 characters long (spacing included) (excluding an abstract in English but including references, abstract in Italian, footnotes, etc.). Longer articles need to be discussed with the editors. The abstract (in Italian) should be between 1,000 and 1,500 characters long and include 4 to 6 keywords.

b) Interviews: they should be agreed and prepared with the editors also on a candidate’s proposal. Abstract and keywords will be care of the editors in agreement with the person interviewed.

c) Comments: these are articles that consider, update and discuss material already present in the literature also in this journal. They should be between 25,000 and 35,000 characters long (including spacing). Longer articles need to be discussed with the editors. The abstract (in Italian) should be between 1,000 and 1,500 characters long and include 4 to 6 keywords.

d) Research papers: should be no more than 50,000 characters long (spacing included) (including title, abstract in Italian, keywords, footnotes, tables, charts and list of references). They should be structured as follows: 1. Introduction (theoretical background, argument, constructs and their relevance, literature review): 2. Aims and assumptions. 3. Method (context, participants, tools, procedures and design, conditions for repeating the study, any statistical analysis performed). 4. Results. 5. Discussion (clinical and theoretical implications of the results within the framework of referenced literature, possible future developments, possible limitations and defects). The abstract (in Italian) should be between 1,000 and 1,500 characters long and include 4 to 6 keywords. Tables and charts should be submitted as separate files with the same title of the article.

e) Literature reviews: must concern relevant topics. They should set out the criteria for selecting the materials reviewed and present the arguments the author presents as a result of their review. They should be between 25,000 and 35,000 characters long (spacing included). The abstract (in Italian) should be between 1,000 and 1,500 characters long and include 4 to 6 keywords.

f) Presentation and discussion of case histories: should be no longer than 30,000 characters and should contain at least: case presentation, reasons for its presentation, assumptions/positions taken throughout the case, examples from the case that support the assumptions/position, perspectives opened or debatable. They can refer to material from consultations, individual, couple, family or group treatments and also educational, social, legal or community situations where expertise in clinical psychology and psychoanalysis play a relevant role. Discussions of the material presented are welcome or can be requested by the editors to which the author can respond and comment. No abstract is required for this kind of article.

g) Comments on books, movies, meetings, seminars, etc. are short articles presenting a psychological reading of artistic and cultural materials or of cultural or scientific events. They should be between 8,000 and 10,000 characters long (spacing included) including titles, footnotes and references to a maximum of 10. No abstract is required for this kind of article.

h) Reports on transformational experiences happened in the past or still ongoing with the specific aim of transforming social, health or assistance situations. They should be between 8,000 and 10,000 characters long, No abstract is required for this kind of article.

i) Letters to the editor are sent to invite thoughts on a specific issue, starting by presenting an original point of view on the topic. They should not be longer than 3,000 characters.

Peer-review policy

All manuscripts submitted to our journal are critically assessed by in-house and/or external experts in accordance with the principles of peer review, which is fundamental to the scientific publication process and the dissemination of sound science. The first step of manuscript selection takes place entirely in-house and has two major objectives: i) to verify the manuscript consistency with the aims, and the formal and content standards of the journal and to establish the article appropriateness for the journal 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 (double blind peer review). Manuscripts should be prepared according to the Uniform Requirements established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

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. These three conditions must all be met. 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. Any part of an article critical to its main conclusions must be the responsibility of at least one author. Authors should provide a brief description of their individual contributions.  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.

Changes in Authorship
If authors request removal or addition of an author after manuscript submission or during the peer-review process or at article acceptance, the journal editors should receive a letter clearly explaining the reason for the change.  Authors are also requested to sign and send to the Editors a statement of agreement for the requested change from all listed authors and from the author to be removed or added. No changes to the Authors or Corresponding Author can be made after publication of the article, either as an “Advance Online Article” or in the regular issue. Instead, a corrigendum may be considered by the journal editor.

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.