Perspectives on Psychological Science Call for Editorial Proposals

When Perspectives on Psychological Science was founded in 2006, the goal of the journal was to “publish an eclectic mix of articles that are enjoyable to read and thought-provoking, and at the same time present the latest important advances in psychology” and for “cutting-edge science to be communicated in a lively and interesting way that is understandable by all psychologists” (Diener, 2006). In the ensuing 17 years, Perspectives has emerged as a unique and dynamic outlet for conversations around hot topics of study and methodological issues in the field, as well as considerations of new and ongoing metascientific matters touching on every area of psychological research scholarship.

Today, the journal’s aims and scope remain true to the original vision laid out in Ed Diener’s opening editorial, but it is clear that a journal as singular as Perspectives is not fully served by traditional operational processes. Perspectives has historically published articles that are at least somewhat different than typical theoretical or empirical articles that most other journals publish–articles on metascientific topics, theoretical statements, opinion pieces about major issues in the field, and even occasional humorous essays and sketches. 

These articles have varied widely in subject and format, but many are essentially formalized versions of consequential conversations happening in the field. Often, these exchanges take place not in journals but in sequestered spaces, such as private listservs and invite-only forums, that inherently limit participation—particularly from scholars from marginalized groups—and reify existing power structures. APS is committed to continuing to provide a scholarly outlet for these vital conversations, ensuring that they occur in an open and transparent way accessible to scholars of all backgrounds and identities. Yet, APS has come to believe that the article types that are uniquely suited to the journal may require a different approach to editorial structure and process, including increased ways of ensuring that the review of such work includes multiple perspectives. 

It is in this spirit that APS is undertaking an unconventional approach to conceptualizing the future of Perspectives: Rather than the traditional call for editor nominations, we are inviting scholars to submit their vision for a new editorial approach. This requires not only the editorial philosophy that any editor candidate might submit, but also a vision for the design of the editorial structure and peer review process by which the journal will operate. Perspectives is a unique journal and the opportunity to relaunch it provides an opening for a unique set of editorial practices.  Rather than envision this approach in a top-down way, APS is seeking proposals that support innovation. We are open to creative visions for the journal, including how a new approach ensures the highest quality editorial process for all submissions, including the kinds of conceptual, opinion-based, and otherwise nontraditional article types that are unique to Perspectives.  We hope for visions that help support the key role of Perspectives in shaping the future of psychological science, such as publishing work that provides novel perspectives and approaches. We welcome proposals grounded in cultural approaches that have rarely been implemented to shape the top journals in Western psychology, including but not limited to: antiracist approaches, indigenous approaches, approaches drawn from cultures in the Global South, and other approaches that might reshape the systems and structures of this high-profile journal. Indeed, APS is open to and encouraging of innovative proposals and is committed to working towards developing a creative and viable innovative approach for the journal’s operation. Our hope is that this call for proposals will be received in the spirit in which it was crafted: as an invitation for psychological scientists to envision a new approach to journal operation and the opportunity to pilot this new approach at an outlet that has the potential to influence the field widely.

The selection process will take place in two stages. For the first stage, proposers will supply the following materials:

  • CV
  • Brief (2-3 paragraphs maximum) description of relevant editorial experience
  • Brief (<2 pages) description of journal vision, outlining the proposed editorial structures and processes, as well as any relevant theoretical scholarship or relevant examples from other fields that support this proposed vision.

The search committee will select a maximum of five of these proposals and invite proposers to submit additional materials. These materials will provide more detail about how the proposed editorial approach will align the journal’s unique content with an equally unique approach to staffing and running the journal.

Candidates must have a PhD in psychology or a related field and, although there are no requirements regarding editorial experience, preference will be given to candidates who have an established record of good editorial judgment in challenging circumstances and/or have demonstrated the ability to lead organizational change, at a journal or in another context.

Please send proposal materials and/or any questions to [email protected]. The deadline for proposal submissions is June 1, 2024. APS expects that the journal will open to new submissions under the selected editorial team in late 2024. 

Perspectives on Psychological Science Search Committee

Jonathan Adler, Olin College of Engineering

Deanna Barch, Washington University in St. Louis

Rogier Kievit, Donders Institute, Radboud University Medical Centre

Jennifer Tackett, Northwestern University

Ayanna Thomas, Tufts University