Since Psychology and Aging first hit library shelves in 1986, the journal has been known as the place for psychology's best scholarly work on adult development and aging. The journal's incoming editor, Rose T. Zacks, PhD, plans to build on that success by attracting more papers on groundbreaking research and cross-disciplinary work.
Zacks will begin accepting manuscripts this month and will officially begin her six-year term in 2004.
"The journal is already excellent," says Zacks, a cognitive psychologist at Michigan State University, who will succeed current editor Leah L. Light, PhD. "It's regarded as the first journal that people who are interested in psychology and aging want to get their papers in."
But there's room for growth, she says. Her top goal is to attract more manuscripts on such emerging areas as innovations in Alzheimer's treatment, new ways to help caregivers cope and promising work in cognitive neuroscience.
"The major way to get more readers is to publish more exciting work, and I think by seeking out manuscripts in new areas of research, we will be able to do that," says Zacks, whose own research--funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA)--focuses on age-related differences in cognition, particularly in attention and memory.
To accomplish her mission, she's tapped two associate editors with backgrounds that complement hers: Fredda Blachard-Fields, PhD, of the Georgia Institute of Technology, and William E. Haley, PhD, of the University of South Florida (USF).
Blachard-Fields, a professor of psychology, is heading up two studies funded by NIA. One is exploring social cognition in adulthood; the other is investigating everyday problem-solving from adolescence through older adulthood.
Haley, chair and professor of USF's department of gerontology, conducts research on the psychological aspects of aging, chronic illness and family caregiving. One of his projects is an NIA-funded study of stress among African-Americans and whites who care for Alzheimer's patients. Much of his work is interdisciplinary and involves collaboration with physicians and other health professionals.
"Both of these psychologists are well-known for their research, and they are very active in professional matters, serving on various grant panels and committees, and that will help get the message out that we are looking for innovative research," Zacks says.
She's building her editorial advisory board on the same foundation, choosing as many well-respected, diverse scientists as possible so that her outreach is broad.
Zacks comes to Psychology and Aging after having served as associate editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition (1991-95) and on several editorial boards, including that of Psychology and Aging.