APA launches Archives of Scientific Psychology, its first open methodology, open data, open access journal

This journal is a response to recent changes in how social, behavioral and cognitive scientists communicate with one another and the public as well as a new channel for people to access scientific research reports, according to the co-editors.

Archives of Scientific Psychology coverArticles published in Archives of Scientific Psychology will span the entire discipline of psychology — from neuroscience to political psychology, and all points inbetween. Submissions will also describe research conducted using any of the methods found in the psychologist’s toolbox.

“When I was approached about doing this, it was something I couldn’t pass up,” said Harris Cooper, PhD, professor and chair of the department of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University.” Thirty past or present editors of APA journals and chairs of APA’s Publications and Communications Board joined the new journal as associate editors.

While the structure of Archives may differ slightly from other journals, APA will still only accept those manuscripts that present well-written, high-quality research. Publication requirements for Archives go beyond those of other APA journals in two major ways, reflecting a firm commitment to open methodology, open data and open access.

First, as part of the submission process, authors will complete a questionnaire that describes, in detail, the study’s rationale, method, results and interpretation, helping to accurately assess the fit between inferences and methods. Published alongside accepted manuscripts, this questionnaire will enhance the studies’ contributions to future research synthesis. Second, the authors must provide their supporting data so that other researchers have the opportunity to verify the study’s conclusions. These data will then be available for any future publications.

Most important for nonscientists, Archives articles will include brief, nontechnical versions of each study’s abstract and method section, giving authors greater control over how their work is interpreted. Also, contrary to the traditional “subscription” model for APA journals, Archives will charge submission and publication fees from authors, their institutions or their research grants as part of the editorial and publication process. “We fully acknowledge that publishing in Archives of Scientific Psychology will attract a different kind of author, but we also fully expect that the model of scientific psychology showcased in Archives articles will someday be the norm throughout the discipline,” said VandenBos, APA’s publisher.

While some authors may have concerns about sharing their data, the editors see that as an opportunity for collaboration, perhaps leading to joint publications that the data originators never thought of or could not perform themselves. Shared data may also prompt an increase in citations from the new journal. “And most immediately, contributors to Archives of Scientific Psychology will have signaled that they are at the vanguard of publishing practices in a new era for scientific psychology,” said Cooper. 

Learn more about Archives of Scientific Psychology