The American Psychological Society is unveiling plans to publish a unique new journal, The Psychological Scientist, beginning in early 2006. The search for the journal’s founding editor is under way and the APS Publications Committee has issued a “Call for Nominations” asking APS Members to recommend candidates for this post.
Morton Ann Gernsbacher, chair of the APS Publications Committee, noted that “The Psychological Scientist will join an outstanding league of high impact APS journals.”
“The new journal’s strength will lie in the diversity of forums that it will provide: cross-cutting reviews, reviews of stellar research programs, meta-analytic reviews, book reviews, and standard literature reviews – particularly those that are theoretically incisive,” she said.
APS’s current journals are Psychological Science, the Society’s prestigious flagship journal which is ranked among the top 10 for impact in the field; Current Directions in Psychological Science, also highly ranked for impact and a popular resource for researchers and educators; and Psychological Science in the Public Interest, which addresses issues of national importance and has become a resource for policy makers and the general public as well as psychologists.
As currently envisioned, the overarching mission of the journal will be to publish larger more integrative review articles than any of the current APS journals do now, and than can be found in most non-APS journals. Examples of the kinds of articles that may be published include: broad reviews that address complex topics from a variety of research perspectives; overviews of research programs; standard literature reviews; meta-analytic reviews; theoretical statements; book reviews; and eclectic or non-standard articles that could range from philosophy of science to autobiographical reflections to humor. It is this combination of articles that makes the new journal unique, and it may even alleviate “journal overload” by providing a one-stop venue for a variety of articles.
“The hope is that the journal will be an interesting and intellectually lively mix of theoretical statements, literature reviews, viewpoints or opinions, research and scholarship,” said APS President Henry L. Roediger, III, who was instrumental in developing the concept of the journal. “One aim of this proposed journal will be to get outstanding researchers to place their best integrative articles into a first rate journal with a large circulation.”
Another exceptional feature is that the journal will contain both invited and submitted articles. Among other things, the idea of commissioning invited pieces is to compete with chapters in edited volumes. “Many excellent chapters are written every year and then placed in volumes in which they are unlikely to have the impact they deserve,” Roediger said.
“Because its purview would be all of scientific psychology, the journal should help bring the field together,” Roediger said. “We fully expect The Psychological Scientist to develop into another influential journal.”