Write for Us!

How can I contribute?What are the 2023 themes?What makes a good piece?Query first How do I query?What happens next?

Contributor guidelines

The Observer is the digital membership magazine of the Association for Psychological Science. New content is posted weekly, and a complete digital edition is published every other month. Psychological scientists at all stages of their career rely on the Observer for news and analyses of timely and relevant research; professional best practices, including career insights, personal profiles, and practical “how-to” guidance; and thought leadership from some of the field’s most influential and impactful researchers.   

The Observer’s primary audience is APS members, but its influence reaches a much wider global audience through its digital presence. More than 4.6 million people, including students and teachers, policymakers, and the media, visit the APS website every year.  

Please note: The Observer is not peer-reviewed in the sense of an academic journal, but we do edit—sometimes heavily—and several professional editors and psychological scientists review each piece. You will be able to review your edited article before it is published.  

How can I contribute?

Writing for the Observer is a great way for APS members to share timely and relevant research, insights about how the science is changing the world (and the world is changing the science), profiles of leaders and change agents within the psychological science community, and viewpoint essays on what might need to change. We publish a wide range of feature articles (2,000–2,500 words), news articles (500–800 words), interviews with psychological scientists doing interesting work, and audio and video content featuring scientists and their work.   

Learn more about specific content types by visiting the About the Observer page.

What are the 2023 themes?

Every issue of the Observer covers a wide range of topics, but several articles in each issue also explore a broad theme of relevance to the psychological science community in 2023.    

Issue  Theme  Query before  Draft due  
January/February  Artificial Intelligence November 18 December 1  
March/April  Entrepreneurship  January 2  February 1  
May/June  Public Health  February 28  April 1  
July/August  Genetics  April 24  June 1  
September/October  Behavior and Climate  June 26  August 1  
November/December  Criminal Justice  September 4  October 1  

What makes a good piece?

Our readers want engaging, behind-the-scenes descriptions of how research gets done, insights into the scientific questions and why they matter, and perspectives on how scientific culture should progress to more effectively address the challenges of a changing world.   

Our style is straightforward and nontechnical, and accuracy is vital. Longer, academic articles based on original research might be a better fit for any one of APS’s six peer-reviewed journals. Learn more about the APS journals here.   

Query first

If you have an idea for a story, don’t send a completed manuscript. Instead, send us an email describing what you have in mind, why the topic is important, and how it is relevant to our audience.   

Pitching to write about a topic isn’t enough: What is the story you’re going to tell us? What kind of takeaway should readers have? Ultimately, readers should enjoy reading your piece. Your pitch should not only explain what the story is and why it is important but show how you’ll tell it in a compelling way. In addition, when you pitch a story to the Observer, we will take it to imply that the story has not already been published or submitted elsewhere.  

We’ll do our best to review and respond to your query within a week.  

How do I query?

Send no more than 400 words outlining the key points the proposed article will explore, why this article is important for APS members, and what scientific research and other sources will support it. Include authors’ name(s) and affiliation(s).   

Email this information to apsobserver@psychologicalscience.org. Please include “ARTICLE QUERY” in the subject line of your email.  

What happens next?

The APS Communications Team will review and respond to your query as expeditiously as possible, ideally within one week, if we decide to move forward with your idea. After you submit your draft, per the dates above, we will review internally, edit, and send it back to you for final review. Please note that we reserve the right to reject an article even after it has been accepted if it becomes apparent that there are problems with its scientific content or other issues germane to its credibility or appropriateness.