This is my first editorial as the incoming Editor-in-Chief of Psychologica Belgica. I start handling new manuscripts on January 1st, 2014. First of all, I want to thank the former editorial team and especially Etienne Quertemont, the former Editor-in-Chief. Because of their efforts, Psychologica Belgica is in very good shape. The rate of manuscript submission has been multiplied by almost five during the last four years. The impact factor of the journal has also sharply increased to 1.17 in 2012, which is the highest level ever. I am very much indebted to the former editorial team members and it is a privilege to continue their work.
Belgian science is doing great. In a study that has been given much attention in popular media, Gevers (2012) has shown that the work of Belgian scholars is cited very frequently. In terms of citations Belgium scores as high as the 9th place of 17 OECD countries for the period 1996–2010 (these countries included Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, and USA). If one divides the number of citations by the national budget for research and development, Belgium even scores as the second best country. In psychology, also, there is a trend for Belgian scholarship to excel in terms of citations (Brysbaert, 2009). One of the ambitions of Psychologica Belgica – as the only Belgian psychology journal indexed by Thomson Reuters - is to further sustain this excellent position of (psychological) science in Belgium and to provide an outlet for important scholarly contributions by authors from both inside and outside Belgium.
The new editorial team consists of 20 internationally renowned scholars. Most of them work at Belgian universities, and each university with a major in Psychology is represented by at least one scholar. As a reminder of the international character of Psychologica Belgica, eight scholars, with professional links to Belgium, work abroad, mostly in the United Kingdom. I hope that their engagement in the journal feels like ‘coming home’ and that it stimulates other Belgian and international scholars working abroad to publish their work in Psychologica Belgica.
The start of the new editorial team coincides with a change in the publisher, the journal being now published by Ubiquity Press. This change decided by the Executive Committee of the Belgian Association of Psychological Science (BAPS, http://www.baps.be/) – the parent organization behind Psychologica Belgica - was informed by a number of factors. Most notably, Ubiquity Press offers advanced professional editorial and publishing services and gives the journal the modern outlook it deserves. We now have an electronic submission platform, which will allow us to manage in an efficient and professional manner the increasing number of manuscripts sent to the journal. There is now also a proper journal website (www.psychologicabelgica.com) where past and current issues of Psychologica Belgica can be consulted and downloaded, and through which new contributions can be submitted.
This change also clarifies the position of Psychologica Belgica concerning Open Access and Open Science. Journals published by Ubiquity Press provide immediate open access to its content on the basis of the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. Authors of published articles remain the copyright holders and grant third parties the right to use, reproduce, and share the article according to the Creative Commons license agreement (see the journal’s website). Open Access requires that the articles’ publication costs are covered by the author, the author’s institution, or a funding body. The Executive Committee of BAPS and Ubiquity Press have explicitly chosen to have relatively low publication fees, which essentially cover the maintenance of the website and publishing costs. Specifically, costs amount to £300 per article for articles submitted by a first and a last author who are non-BAPS members. These costs have to be paid only when the article is accepted for publication. Moreover, as a service to its members, the society will fully cover this amount for BAPS members who submit articles as a first or last author. I want to stress that BAPS has no intent whatsoever to make financial profit from the journal, and that the publication fee only covers the publication and distribution costs. In accordance with recent guidelines for ethical research practices, the journal now also offers the (non-obligatory) opportunity to submit raw data, making the data behind published articles available to the wider research community.
The editorial team encourages contributions from all fields of psychology, but some articles are especially welcome. I elaborate on three specific types of articles that we are eager to publish. Firstly, for a journal that aims at disseminating psychological knowledge in a tri-lingual research environment, it is utterly important that translations and adaptations of new or widely used scales and instruments become available to Dutch-, French- and German-speaking scholars. Also studies that demonstrate the internal structure and the validity of instruments in Dutch-, French- and/or German-speaking samples are warmly welcomed. There is a growing number of such articles that have appeared in the journal (e.g., Bouvard, Roulin, & Denis, 2013; Delhaye, Beyers, Klimstra, Linkowski, & Goossens, 2013), and it is our target to continue to attract such articles. Obviously scholars of our neighbouring Dutch-, French- and German-speaking countries are highly encouraged to send such articles to Psychologica Belgica.
Secondly, methodological and statistical articles are another type of contributions we are particularly interested in. The former editor (Quertemont, 2011-a) has launched an initiative to attract such articles, and I am eager to reiterate this call. Specifically, the articles we are aiming at give a short and clear answer to advanced questions and methods in statistical data-analysis (e.g., Huo & Onghena, 2012; Quertemont, 2011-b). It is our hope that such articles will interest a large readership involved in psychological research.
Finally, Psychologica Belgica has regularly published special issues (i.e., Roskam & Stievenart, 2013; Van Damme, Reynvoet, & Schaecken, 2012). These issues are typically edited by a Guest Editor. Special issues integrate findings that cover theorizing and empirical research in a particular domain, synthesizing the state of the art and discussing what directions future research might go from there. It is an aim of the journal to continue to be an outlet for such special issues.
For further information on the Journal’s aims and scope, article types and the editorial board, please consult the Journal’s new website: http://www.psychologicabelgica.com/
Alain Van Hiel
Editor-in-Chief, Psychologica Belgica