Feature

New Clinicians' Research Digest (CRD) editor Elizabeth Altmaier, PhD, says she will follow in the footsteps of previous editors to make the digest more responsive to the needs of readers and to make CRD more reflective of its mission.

"I can sit here in my office and think I know what readers want," says Altmaier, who will take over as CRD editor with the January 2001 issue, "but if what I put in the digest doesn't meet their needs, then that is not what I want to be doing. I've got to join both my hopes for the journal with their needs for the journal."

CRD, a six-page monthly newsletter, highlights the most relevant articles for practitioners out of more than 50 journals. Altmaier has already taken steps to attract more readers, such as:

  • Including digests of published articles from journals outside the province of psychology and psychiatry, but still relevant for psychologists, such as public health and applied sociology.
  • Transforming the "Special Series" column, which highlights special series in particular journals, to "Resources for Clinicians," which will have a broader perspective, continuing to cover special series, but will add more coverage.
  • Adding Web sites to "Resources for Clinicians" that will include useful resource materials for clinicians.
  • Revamping the digest's design with a new typeface that's easier on readers' eyes.

In addition, Altmaier has added more practitioners and faculty members with different backgrounds to the editorial board: two private practitioners, one hospital-based; two clinical psychologists, one a neuropsychologist; and two counseling psychologists, one a school psychologist. She has also designated a team to find multicultural articles for CRD to ensure true representations in psychology.

Altmaier and the board also plan to conduct a reader survey this winter, the first time CRD has had a readers' survey in the last six or seven years.

"We're spending some time thinking about the kinds of questions we want to ask our readers and the kinds of information we want from them, all in an attempt to meet their needs better," she says.

And while Altmaier wants to meet the needs of current readers, she has not forgotten graduate students--the "soon-to-be-subscribers"--who may need the convenience of CRD to wade through new research. Altmaier says she will send a copy of the digest to various training programs to encourage faculty members to share CRD with students.

"If students start using the digest while still in graduate school, it's likely they'll continue to use it after they're finished," she adds.