Universitas Psychologica: Pan American Journal of Psychology

A proposal for scientific communication: Challenges of visibility and social appropriation of knowledge

By Wilson López López, PhD, and Luis Manuel Silva

Panamerican Journal of PsychologyA persistent issue for psychology is bridging the gap between academic and lay understanding of the discipline and its literature and concerns. Modern information and communication technologies are increasingly being used to bridge this gap.

Universitas Psychologica: Pan American Journal of Psychology, an academically based psychology journal, is moving in this direction by exploring how electronic communications strategies can reach broad and diverse audiences. In this direction, the journal has developed a website that integrates several communication channels and that attempts to appeal to diverse audiences of researchers, writers, editors, reviewers and the lay public. The journal is committed to open-access in its offerings.

Researchers may find high-quality articles, and can submit their articles through the Open Journal Systems platform. This system lets researchers track the status of the peer-review and editing processes. The editorial staff is able to assign reviewers, to follow the reviewing process and to notify authors of their decisions online, and reviewers can write their evaluations online. Readers can watch the journal’s visibility in real time through the web’s visible statistics and Psicoredalyc’s [the Psychology section of the Redalyc Mexican open-access database] download statistics. These statistics currently show the places in the world where visitors have logged on, and soon will be able to provide access to readers to citations generated by articles published in our journal. There is also a RSS-feed system that provides news about the journal.

In just nine years, the journal has been selected for a coverage by more than 40 databases all around the world, including the Social Science Citation Index (ISI-SSCI), Journal of Citation Reports (ISI- JCR), Scopus, Index Copernicus, American Psychological Association PsycINFO, SCieLO, Redalyc, and Pepsic references databases.

The journal also reaches out to non-academic youth and student communities with modern communications tools. These include a YouTube news channel that allows the journal to post interviews with authors, to provide short videos detailing research, and to link to open-access videos on topics related to Psychology. The journal also has a Facebook profile, with close to a thousand members to date, and a Twitter account for those who want to follow a permanent news feed generated by the Journal.

The web has also a blog, which enables a user-friendly and informal presentation of the published articles. These tools are oriented toward addressing the challenges of bridging the gap and increasing visibility among researchers and non-academic communities.

Universitas PsychologicaUniversitas Psychologica: Panamerican Journal of Psychology has a bilingual (English-Spanish) website. Articles can be submitted and published in either language, with an increasing proportion of English language articles.

The journal staff ’s goal is to gain a wider coverage that transcends regional borders, and to maintain the journal with one of the highest quality ratings. We understand the difficulty in the goal of increased visibility. Coverage by ISI-JCR and Scopus began only a couple of years ago, and we still have to earn the recognition of researchers all around the world. We want this recognition to be based on quality, not only of the content of the published articles, but of a thorough peer-review process. Our goal is not just to achieve visits, but also citations. This is a complex and long-term process involving qualification and recognition learning processes on the part of researchers and editors in the region and beyond. As part of the journal’s outreach, the editor’s office leads numerous national and international editor’s meetings.

To move toward the goal of visibility in the region, and internationally, the journal invites researchers from all over the world to visit its web pages and to use the journal’s articles as a source. Some examples of topics and articles from recent issues include:

SCIMago journal Ranking information for Universitas Psychologica  Unique visitors to the journal website


Wilson López Lopez. e-mail. Editor Universitas Psychologica: Pan American Journal of Psychology. Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Carrera 5 # 39-00 Edificio Manuel Briceño piso 2. Bogota-Colombia