As incoming editor of the APA quarterly journal Neuropsychology, James T. Becker, PhD, intends to ensure the journal continues to reflect the breadth and dynamism that, he believes, are the field of neuropsychology's greatest strengths.
"The journal has a well-deserved international reputation for excellence," Becker observes. The journal's past editors, he says, have been "extremely hard-nosed in terms of accepting good, solid science. That means that when something goes into Neuropsychology, it's very well-done and very thoughtful."
At the same time, Becker notes, the discipline is broad in theory and application, including a wide range of experimental and applied work. "I would like to broaden the journal's appeal slightly so that neuropsychologists, broadly defined, feel that this is a home for their work," he says.
Becker, a neuropsychologist at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine who conducts research on Alzheimer's disease and cognitive aging, has served as acting associate editor for the past year and has been a consulting editor for Neuropsychology since 1993.
He began his work as incoming editor on Jan. 1, taking the reins from Patricia B. Sutker, PhD, who had served as acting editor since the death of editor Laird S. Cermak in late 1999. During his tenure as editor, Becker hopes to substantially expand Neuropsychology's page count, publishing either thicker issues or more of them each year. He is also eager to make the process for international contributions simpler and less expensive. He would like to develop electronic submissions from international contributors and invites researchers who seek language assistance to take advantage of APA's mentoring program through the International Affairs Office.
"Neuropsychology's conferences are held around the world and our colleagues are from around the world, and even more so than is the case already, we need to have the best and the brightest publishing in Neuropsychology," Becker says. "Whatever we can do to facilitate that, I want to do it."
Another early priority, Becker says, will be to inaugurate an annual special issue of Neuropsychology.
"Each special issue would cover the field literally from every aspect, from development to normal adult cognition, to brain damage, to functional neuroanatomy, to rehabilitation," he says. The special issues would also feature "an elegant review article, so that we have a self-contained state-of-the-art piece, with good, solid research from a variety of disciplines showing the breadth of neuropsychology."
Manuscripts may be sent to James T. Becker, PhD, Neuropsychology Research Program, 3501 Forbes Ave., Suite 830, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.