Feature

Since childhood, incoming Journal of Experimental Psychology (JEP): General Editor Fernanda Ferreira, PhD, has questioned how people produce language. Ferreira grew up in a Portugese-speaking household. Once she began school, she refused to speak anything but English until a family trip to Portugal at age 10. In days, Ferreira was again speaking fluently the language she'd only listened to for five years-a linguistic feat that sparked her curiosity and eventually led her to psycholinguistics.

Though Ferreira's interests today still focus on how adults comprehend and produce language, her plan for JEP: General is broad: maintain the journal's reputation as a prime spot to publish an array of experimental psychology work. Another goal will be to continue to up the number of submissions as well as the journal's influence-a goal shared by editor Stephen Lindsay, PhD.

"Steve Lindsay has really done an amazing job," she says. "The journal's impact factor is high. It's viewed as an important and prestigious publication. [I want to] continue that reputation."

Ferreira, a psychology professor in the University of Edinburgh's School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, comes to JEP: General with a host of editing experience. She is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Memory and Language and JEP: Learning, Memory and Cognition and previously served as associate editor for the journals. She also was or is an ad hoc reviewer for more than 20 journals and has reviewed grants for the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

Though her primary goal is continuity, she also aims to:

  • Increase the representation of articles that use the tools of neuroscience to examine psychological questions.

  • Attract more articles from human perception, vision and attention researchers.

  • Keep the manuscript submission, review and publishing process as efficient as possible.

"I want authors to be satisfied with their experience, whether they're accepted or not accepted," she says.

Ferreira says that her experience as a consumer of journal articles and an author herself drives that third goal. Readers expect journals to publish research while it's current, and authors want feedback that's constructive and prompt. Before moving to Scotland in August, Ferreira served as an associate professor and then professor at Michigan State University, where she directed the Center for the Integrated Study of Vision and Language and was associate chair of the department. While there, she also won the 1996 APA Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology in the areas of cognition and human learning. She earned linguistics master's and psychology doctorate degrees from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Further Reading

Ferreira began accepting manuscripts in January through the journal's online portal at www.apa.org/journals/xge/submission.html.