Research in clinical psychology is coming of age, and one of the clearest markers of its arrival is that a new Annual Review, to be launched in 2005, will be devoted entirely to clinical research.
APS Charter Member Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, University of Michigan, is inaugural editor of the Annual Review of Clinical Psychology. Its time has come, she said, because “clinical psychology is a huge field, one of the fastest expanding fields within psychology.” The board of directors of Annual Reviews, Inc. had been talking about a separate volume on clinical psychology for years, she said, in response to the expansion of both its literature and its market.
Typically, the first Annual Review in a scientific field encompasses the entire discipline. Only as sub-disciplines mature and expand does each get its own review. Clinical psychology is the first such offspring of the Annual Review of Psychology, which usually carries one or two articles on clinical research in each volume. These, however, necessarily cover large areas of the field and don’t focus so specifically on narrower areas of scientific inquiry.
The Annual Review of Clinical Psychology will provide that kind of focus. It will prove valuable in several ways, according to APS immediate past President Susan T. Fiske, Princeton University, editor of the parent volume, the Annual Review of Psychology. “Like all Annual Reviews, [the new clinical review] will serve as an aid to students and colleagues alike. In this case, it also has the unique mission to convey accurate, timely overviews of research to people in clinical practice,” said Fiske.
The Review Fiske edits will continue to publish clinically-relevant articles, she said, to complement the clinical psychology review. Because Reviews all cross-reference each other, and the Web site (arjournals.annualreviews.org) can be searched without regard to boundaries between volumes, adding a clinical psychology review to the list can only increase the synergy, she said. “It’s like a street with a lot of good bookstores or cafes. More opportunities attract more traffic for everyone.”
Nolen-Hoeksema said her editorship is “a great opportunity to play a role in shaping what this is going to look like in the future.” A member the editorial board of the Annual Review of Psychology, she said she has been “a great fan for years” of that Review and now wants to develop the same kind of resource for clinical psychology. Such a volume, she said, is “something I’ve wanted on my shelf.”
The major readership will clearly be clinical psychology researchers, but it will also seek a broader audience, she said. “To the extent that clinicians are interested in what the research says, this will be a tremendous resource for them as well, to help them understand what research says about specific disorders or specific therapies.”
For that to happen, however, the writing must be accessible. “My intention is to have these chapters written clearly enough that you don’t have to be an expert on the topic in order to understand and appreciate what the chapter is trying to get across,” Nolen-Hoeksema said. “We want the scientists themselves to summarize major bodies of research in ways that are accessible both to other scientists and to clinicians.”
After being tapped as editor of the review’s first five volumes, Nolen-Hoeksema recruited a number of well-known researchers to serve on an editorial board.
“We have [on the editorial board] a relatively broad range of expertise – on addiction, personality disorders, depression, and so on,” Nolen-Hoeksema said. “We purposely chose people who had been in editorial positions with major journals. They know the field fairly broadly, and they have a good deal of respect for each other. [Such an experience] is very rewarding, because it involves interactions with the best researchers in the field.”
Not the least of Nolen-Hoeksema’s rewards will be freedom to cherry-pick, inviting only the best. “All of the chapters are invited,” she said, “and you’re inviting the best people in the field. The focus is on getting authors who are very senior and very well respected, soliciting reviews from them, so you can really have reviews that are authoritative.”
From the beginning, she had Fiske’s own editorial experiences to draw upon. “I told [Nolen-Hoeksema] that I enjoy doing the Annual Review in Psychology because I learn from the editorial committee, and I learn from the authors,” Fiske said. “Most invited authors say yes, and most accepted authors turn in incredibly high quality chapters, so it’s a more enjoyable enterprise than most journal editing.”
Annual Review of Clinical Psychology Editorial Board
Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, (editor)
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Depression, gender and mental health
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Tyrone D. Cannon
University of California, Los Angeles
Child health, substance abuse
Anxiety, mood disorders
University of California, San Francisco
Prevention, under-served populations
University of California, San Diego
Cognitive disorders, neuroscience methods
Thomas A. Widiger
University of Kentucky