APA has acquired Military Psychology, the flagship journal of APA Div. 19 (Society for Military Psychology) and the only journal in the world devoted to research on the application of psychology to military problems. The first APA-published issue was printed in January.

The move should help to broaden the publication's impact by reaching a wider constituency of readers and contributors within APA, says the journal's editor in chief, Armando X. Estrada, PhD.

"Every trained psychologist knows about APA," says Estrada, who has edited the journal since 2008. "This change will provide our journal with a natural opportunity to engage in a collaborative, successful partnership with APA that will help give it a larger reach."

Military Psychology was first published in 1989 and was previously owned by the academic publishing company Taylor & Francis.

Over the years, the journal has focused on several "staple" areas related to psychology's contributions to military life, including manpower and personnel issues; testing and measurement; training and human factors; clinical and health psychology; and social and organizational psychology. Estrada — who ushered in electronic submissions for the journal and doubled its size — plans to keep the same general format under APA ownership, but wants to continue expanding its scope by increasing submissions within those five core areas and dedicating an editorial team for each.

Estrada's goals are to:

  • Encourage international submissions and coverage, as well as more submissions by psychologists and social scientists whose work applies to the military context, even if they're not directly involved in military settings.
  • Develop an aggressive marketing plan and greater web presence to boost the journal's impact.
  • Reduce manuscript turnaround time to 90 days or less, so that each article is published within a year of submission.
  • Eventually publish the journal once a month instead of bimonthly.

It's important to cover military psychology as broadly and thoroughly as possible because so many breakthroughs in psychology and society emerge from issues faced or solved by the military first, Estrada says. Development of large-scale personnel assessment procedures; groundbreaking research on mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder; and efforts to build resiliency among military personnel and their families are but a few examples, Estrada says.

Likewise, special issues of the journal have covered a wide array of psychological topics of interest to the military that have strong relevance to modern civilian life, including mental health and substance abuse, suicide prevention and the inclusion of women and ethnic and sexual minorities in the military. "A lot of the lessons that come out of those experiences are readily applicable to society," he says.

Estrada hopes potential contributors will think creatively about how their work might fit with the journal's broad purview.

"We welcome any theoretically, empirically supported publication that has something to contribute to our understanding of psychology within the unique context of the military," he says.

To submit a manuscript, visit the Military Psychology page.

Tori DeAngelis is a writer in Syracuse, N.Y.