Feature

When D. Stephen Lindsay, PhD, takes the helm of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General (JEP:G) in 2002, his goal will be to enhance the journal's impact by publishing new research more rapidly and encouraging interdisciplinary work.

"The journal already has a superb reputation and quite high impact ratings," says Lindsay, a professor in the department of psychology at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. "Nora Newcombe and other prior editors have done a great job. But my ambition is to make it even better."

Lindsay wants to decrease publication lag while maintaining article quality, so that JEP:G is publishing hot new findings. He will encourage submissions via e-mail and use electronic file exchange during the review process. This is particularly important, Lindsay says, because he's based in Canada, which automatically increases postal delivery times. A faster turnaround also will allow the journal to publish special issues that include more recent research.

JEP:G has traditionally published longer articles, he says. "And of course that's one of the nice things about it. If you have a long, multiexperiment work that has implications across subareas within experimental, then JEP:G is a good outlet."

However, Lindsay stresses that submissions do not have to be long or involve several experiments to be of general interest. Instead, he says, "What they have to be is interesting, innovative and cut across specialties within experimental psychology."

Lindsay's own work has focused on memory and cognition. He has studied eyewitness testimony and false memories in children and adults as well as basic mechanisms of memory. His most recent research concentrates on memory in young adults.

As editor, Lindsay wants to encourage work that not only spans experimental psychology, but incorporates other disciplines as well. "It would be interesting to explore the idea of JEP:G publishing work arising from collaborations between experimental psychologists and, for example, biologists, anthropologists or people in linguistics."

In particular, he would like to see JEP:G have a bit more neuroscience research that has general interest for experimental psychologists.

"The brain is the most complicated thing we know of in the universe. Maybe we can get better traction on our questions if we take an interdisciplinary kind of approach to its study," he posits.

Adding such interdisciplinary work to the cross-cutting experimental psychology already in JEP:G could broaden the impact of the quarterly journal. "Wouldn't it be exciting if JEP:G became a journal that people who self-identify as neuroscientists often want to read?" Lindsay asks.

And further down the line in his six-year term?

"I'm keen to add an associate editor to the masthead," he says. In addition to easing the editor's workload, Lindsay feels associate editors have symbolic value. "Inevitably, if you only have the editor and no associate editors, then the journal is identified with the one orientation and specialty of the editor."

If APA granted an associate editor to JEP:G, he would look for candidates who work outside his area of expertise, perhaps in neuroscience or social psychology.

Lindsay says he is "just flattered half to death" to serve as the journal's editor. "Editing a major journal such as JEP:G is a way a person can really have substantial influence on the field and make a contribution to experimental psychology," he says.

 

Further Reading

After Jan. 1, manuscripts should be sent to Lindsay at the Department of Psychology, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 3050, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8W 3P5; e-mail: slindsay@uvic.ca.