skip to main content

Journal Article Reporting Standards (JARS)

graphic of Venn diagram with solid red on the left side, solid blue on the right side, and purple and black stripes in the center

What is APA Style JARS?

APA Style Jars is a collection of journal article reporting standards for quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research developed by APA.

Originally published as articles in American Psychologist and now included as a chapter in the seventh edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, APA Style Jars helps authors communicate important and relevant aspects of their research.

As shorthand, we refer to the quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods standards as Jars–Quant, Jars–Qual, and Jars–Mixed, respectively.

Can I share the JARS articles with my students or colleagues?

Will adherence to JARS affect the length of a paper?

Following APA Style Jars should not significantly affect the length of a paper; information to be reported is routinely collected by many authors when they conduct research.

Also, not everything in APA Style Jars needs to go into a published article.

Although there is clearly a balance to be struck between transparency in research reporting and space limitations in a published article, authors may use supplemental materials for items that are too detailed or complex for inclusion in the main article.

APA Style Jars recommend supplemental materials be open to all those who read the journal article. Jars–Qual also acknowledges the additional content sometimes needed to report the methods and findings of qualitative studies and provides guidance for authors and reviewers.

Will adherence to JARS add to the workload of authors, reviewers, and editors?

APA Style Jars should lighten the load for authors, reviewers, and editors as it provides a clear guide for identifying relevant information.

Authors, reviewers, and editors can use APA Style Jars as a tool when writing and reviewing manuscripts and quickly point to important content within the research manuscript.

How do I know which JARS tables to use for reporting my research?

We have adapted the tables from the APA Style Jars articles into checklists to help with this. The checklists are clearly labeled with the type of research design presented and are ADA-compliant and free to use.

Because of the complexity of the Jars–Quant article, we have also included the JARS-Quant Decision Flowchart (PDF, 133KB) to help you determine which tables best suit your research.

The JARS articles refer to other sets of standards. Why? Does APA endorse the other standards?

APA, the APA Publications and Communications Board, and the Jars Working Groups do not endorse any particular standards referred to in the APA Style Jars articles.

Standards cited within the articles are examples of related and influential work.

Other standards were not mentioned in the APA Style Jars articles. APA does not oppose these other standards, so they may also be used.

Who should use JARS?

APA Style Jars benefits anyone interacting with published research in psychology or behavioral science journals.

Students can use APA Style Jars to learn about how to conduct research and to determine which information is important to report.

Educators can use APA Style Jars as a teaching tool to communicate the importance of conducting high quality research and the need for transparency. As a part of APA Style, the standards should be included when teaching research methods.

Can JARS be used to write a thesis or dissertation?

As this Division Dialogue article notes, “Students conducting research may find that the [Jars] structure helps them better organize and later present their work.”

Although Jars are designed to guide the writing of journal article manuscripts, students can use them to learn about how to conduct research and to determine which information is important to report.

Can JARS be used by instructors to teach research methods classes?

Because of their applicability to behavioral sciences, APA Style Jars can be useful for various audiences, regardless of their career stage.

Educators can use APA Style Jars as a teaching tool to communicate the importance of conducting high quality research and the need for transparency and may find Jars a beneficial guide for teaching research methods.

As this Division Dialogue article notes, “Students conducting research may find that the structure helps them better organize and later present their work.”

When do I apply JARS in my research and report writing?

APA Style Jars can be used at all stages of research.

Use APA Style Jars in the planning process to help you identify important information to consider capturing for specific designs.

Use APA Style Jars in the writing process to organize your thoughts and make your paper clear to all readers.

For reviewers, editors, and readers, APA Style Jars help ensure the information communicated in a manuscript is clear and understandable.

Is JARS relevant for research in other fields?

APA Style Jars was developed specifically to focus on psychology and the behavioral and social sciences.

Authors reporting research that is outside the scope of APA Style Jars should refer to the Equator Network and work with the editorial team of your journal.

I’ve published without using JARS. How will it affect my work going forward?

If you didn’t follow APA Style Jars with your previous submission, that’s okay. The standards only apply to manuscripts released after publication of the APA Style Jars articles in January 2018.

Check with your journal’s editorial team about their policies regarding using APA Style Jars .

Should I use JARS in the future? Is it required?

Each journal’s editorial team will determine how APA Style Jars will be applied to manuscripts going forward, so when considering publication, check the journal’s submission guidelines for policies on adherence to APA Style Jars .

Even if a journal does not require APA Style Jars, following the standards will help improve the quality of your published work and make it more transparent. It will also be easier for editors, reviewers, and readers to evaluate your work.

Who updated the standards, and what was that process like?

In 2016, the APA Publications and Communications Board tasked two working groups with revising and expanding the Jars quantitative research reporting standards and creating a new set of qualitative and mixed methods research reporting standards.

Members of the working groups represent experts in the field of psychology (research and clinical), epidemiology, family and brain health, and education.

How can I participate in the process in the future?

If you are interested in participating in a future iteration of APA Style Jars, please email the APA Publications and Communications Board staff liaison, Shontay Kincaid.

How can I suggest something for inclusion in the next APA Style JARS?

Please send any suggestions or recommendations for topics to cover in future APA Style Jars articles to APA Style Expert.

Last updated: January 2022Date created: May 2018