Statement on PsycEXTRA®, Prior Publication, and APA Journals

Publications & Communications Board Action

In November 2003, the APA Publications & Communications Board agreed that inclusion of materials in PsycEXTRA® will not constitute prior publication for manuscripts submitted to APA journals. Therefore, an author's lab report, conference paper, or other similar publication can appear in PsycEXTRA, and a subsequent journal manuscript that has evolved from the first publication is eligible for publication in APA's peer-reviewed journals.


The expectation is that the original work — research report, conference paper, task force report, and so on — is changed significantly in the process of refining it for submission to a peer reviewed journal. The following are some of the changes that might occur as an author prepares to submit a manuscript:

  • Some of the original content may be deleted.
  • Some areas may be expanded.
  • The structure may be changed to meet journal conventions.
  • Tables or figures may be condensed or deleted.
  • Tables or figures may be added.
  • References may be added.
  • Existing references may be reviewed and refined.
  • The focus may change to fit the scope of the journal to which the manuscript will be submitted.

Other changes may also take place. Then when the manuscript goes through peer review, authors frequently make additional edits in response to the reviewers' recommendations.

If the author has made some of the changes described above for journal publication, the original work may be included in PsycEXTRA without jeopardizing publication in peer reviewed journals, according to APA policy.

It is possible that an author's original work is so refined that it is ready for publication in a peer reviewed journal, or the changes made in the process may be purely cosmetic. In those cases, it should not be placed in PsycEXTRA.

Note: APA can speak only for policies related to APA journals, not to those across the field.



Inclusion in PsycEXTRA and subsequent publication in a peer reviewed journal benefits science because other researchers can more readily track the evolution of the work.

Inclusion in PsycEXTRA — either in advance of journal publication or retrospectively — benefits authors because it gets their earliest work on a subject into wide distribution. In effect, they can "stake their claim" much earlier in the publication process. At the same time, PsycEXTRA serves as an archive for the work.