PsycARTICLES® Welcomes Psychological Monographs

PsycARTICLES® now includes the full content of Psychological Monographs, an independent journal published from 1896 through 1966 in order to provide more in-depth coverage of topics than could be provided in journal articles.

Researchers interested in taking an in-depth look at a broad swath of psychological history have a new resource available: Psychological Monographs: General and Applied are now available in searchable full text.

We had a bit of a challenge in deciding on the best home for the content. As a monograph is a treatment of a single topic that provides a detailed exposition of that topic in a nonserial publication, we had to determine whether it would fit better in a books or an article database. After a good deal of thought and debate, we made our decision and added it to PsycARTICLES®.

If you're not familiar with this terrific resource, let us introduce you.

History of Psychological Monographs

In the late 1880's, there was only one US journal (American Journal of Psychology) devoted to the young field of psychology. However, the effort to define psychology as a profession began in earnest, and by the turn of the century, psychological journals had proliferated.

In those early years, even as the field struggled with documenting the scientific character of the young discipline, none of the emergent journals was equipped to provide a forum for a specific set of research: in-depth explorations. Individuals who preferred to wait until they had completed a series of studies, or some particularly significant study of considerable scope, and to present it more fully had no place to publish.

Psychological Monographs was created to fill the gap for those researchers. It was the one publication outlet within APA's family of journals in which an author could "express himself [or herself] at length, to write an introduction, to spell out procedures in detail, to pursue important incidental findings, and even to indulge in speculation" (from Publication Policies of Psychological Monographs in the American Psychologist; Johnson, 2000). Psychological Monographs was the outlet appropriate for "(a) the description of a series of related studies leading to some kind of closure and (b) the description of a single extensive study (sometimes in a new area), which requires considerable development of theoretical and historical background, detailed interpretive analysis, or both."

Psychological Monographs was seen as a solution to the problem and was published as a stand-alone journal from 1896 through 1966. However, by the mid-1960s, researchers and APA staff had begun to question whether an independent publication was still the best way to handle this kind of material. As the number of journals published and the areas of psychology continued to grow and diversify, it was suggested that monographs should be grouped by the topic rather than by the format.

Thus, in 1965 the Council of Editors commissioned a report to review the issue and assess how to both best meet the research need and ensure the highest quality submissions. It was decided that adding monographs as supplements to other journals would encourage greater variety of topics and higher quality submissions and the format would make the monographs available to a more targeted audience.

Publication and Indexing

Psychological Monographs was published as an independent journal from 1896 through 1966. Developed in response to the need for greater coverage of some topics than the page limits of a journal article could provide, the earliest volumes typically covered two years each, with six issues — each monograph is one issue — to the volume.

In the early years of the 20th century, publication grew, and a four- or five-issue volume was published in most years. Some years yielded an outpouring of content. In 1962, for example, 44 issues were published, and 10 to 15 were not uncommon in the busier years.

We're pleased to announce that each monograph has been scanned and the full text is available in PsycARTICLES. In addition, content has been reviewed and indexed by PsycINFO® staff and has gone through a quality assurance process to ensure relevant and accurate results.

Thus, monographs are now fully searchable with PsycINFO fields and limits. You can search the content by title, author, abstract, index term or keyword, classification code, or any other field. In addition, we have assigned DOIs to all of the content back to the beginning of our content coverage.

The one search that will not yield usable results is a search for first posting. And though you can set up an issue feed for the content, for obvious reasons, a "new issue" alert is not relevant for historical content.

We hope you enjoy this fascinating resource. If you'd like to provide feedback, please contact PsycINFO.