In This Issue

How do I publish in Psychological Services?

Learn about the journal's focus, publication format, review process, special editions, editorial board and staff.

By Michi Fu, PhD

The editorial board of Psychological Services conducted conference calls during spring 2012 during which several questions were explored. The following list is a compilation of some of the frequently asked questions, with answers offered by members of the journal’s editorial board. If you have a question that is not listed, please feel free to contact any of the associate editors below. We would be pleased to respond to any item about how our journal reviews manuscripts.

1. What is the journal’s focus?

Psychological Services publishes high-quality data-based articles on the broad range of psychological services delivered in organized care settings. Organized care settings include jails, prisons, courts, the Indian Health Service, the military, Department of Veterans Affairs, university clinics, training hospitals and so forth.

Psychological Services encourages the submission of papers that focus on broad issues related to psychotherapy outcomes, evaluations of psychological service programs and systems and public policy analyses. Psychological Services will also publish a limited number of significant literature reviews and case studies of psychological services, service delivery systems or model programs.

Psychological Services is the official publication of the Division of Psychologists in Public Service (Division 18) of the American Psychological Association.

2. What is the journal’s publication format?

The journal follows APA Style. Be sure to use the latest edition of the publication manual in order to follow current writing guidelines. All manuscripts must include on separate pages:

  • a title page with the author’s name and affiliation at the time the research was done; 

  • author footnotes, which include acknowledgments of support, changes of affiliation since the research was done and the name and address of the author to whom correspondence should be sent; and

  • an abstract containing a maximum of 250 words, followed, below it, by up to five keywords or brief phrases to assist in indexing.

Number all pages serially, including these pages, the text, references, acknowledgments, tables and figure captions. Include statements in a cover letter that assures that the manuscript is not under review elsewhere and that the primary data have not been published previously nor accepted for publication.

3. What is the typical review process?

The typical review process is that the manuscript is assigned by the editor to an associate editor. The associate editor then typically assigns two to four reviewers. Reviewers provide feedback, which informs the associate editor ́s decision. A decision letter is sent out to the corresponding author to inform them that the manuscript is to be accepted as is, accepted pending minor revisions, rejected with the option to resubmit, or rejected without an option to resubmit. If the revised manuscript is submitted, it could be subject to the review process again or accepted as is by the associate editor.

Manuscripts will be subject to masked review. Authors’ names and affiliations should appear only on the separate title page and separate author footnotes page (if any); authors should not be identified anywhere else in the manuscript. Authors should make every effort to see that the manuscript itself contains no clues to their identities. It is acceptable for authors to suggest individuals qualified to do the reviewing.

4. How do I access the journal?

The journal can be accessed via hard copy or online. It can be ordered via the APA website or accessed through libraries with psychological databases.

5. How do I interact with the editorial board and staff of the journal?

The staff and editorial board welcome your inquiries. Here are the names of those you may find helpful in answering your questions.

Editor

  • Patrick H. DeLeon, former APA president (2000), Washington, D.C.

Managing Editor

  • Gary R. VandenBos, APA

Associate Editors

  • Michi Fu, Asian Pacific Family Center of Pacific Clinics, Los Angeles County, Calif., and California School of Professional Psychology of Alliant International University

  • Lisa K. Kearney, South Texas Veterans Health Care System

  • Philip R. Magaletta, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Washington, D.C.

  • J. Douglas McDonald, Indians Into Psychology Program, University of North Dakota

  • Morgan T. Sammons, California School of Professional Psychology of Alliant International University

Manuscript Coordinator

  • Yvonne G. Cassells, APA

6. Are there any upcoming special editions?

Yes. You may have seen our special packages related to telehealth. There was recently a call placed for preventing burnout. Be on the lookout for special packages related to community defined practices and reducing disparities among minority populations.

7. How does one combine clinical and research careers?

A journal such as Psychological Services allows those working in clinical settings to consider publishing manuscripts in order to discuss some of their groundbreaking work. We welcome program evaluations, experimental designs, and even case studies. Typical audience members for this journal will be those working in the public sector so those in clinical positions are encouraged to share their works in writing.

8. How does one find a mentor?

Ask to work with someone whose work you admire. Know of a colleague who has a career path that you’d be interested in following? Suggest a time to meet with them and ask how they got started and whether they’d be open to working with you. Writing projects are often developed informally.

9. How does one form writing groups?

It is highly recommended that individuals consider writing in teams with others to increase accountability, receive feedback, and obtain support. It is not necessary to find individuals at the same stage of their careers or working on similar projects. You may want to consider forming writing groups, which could meet to provide one another with feedback regarding manuscripts. Determine the rules of engagement for establishing membership in the group, frequency of communications, and other expectations in order to increase the opportunity for a harmonious writing group.

10. Any tips for blocking time for research and writing?

When developing a manuscript, try one of these simple tips to block off time:

  1. Plan to spend at least five minutes a day on anything that could develop your manuscript. This could be inserting a reference, formatting pages, or actual content development.

  2. Block off time and communicate your schedule to others (e.g., “do not disturb” sign).

  3. Find your optimal writing time. Are you an early bird or night owl? Work with your strengths.