Law and Human Behavior

Journal update

Quarterly update on the status of the Law and Human Behavior journal.

By Margaret Bull Kovera

As I reported in my last column, Law and Human Behavior ( LHB ) continues to perform well relative to other psychology and law journals in terms of citations, remaining the top-ranked journal in the area with its 2013 Impact Factor of 2.153. I am happy to report that other metrics suggest that usage of LHB articles is increasing, which will eventually increase the revenue that AP-LS derives from the journal. However, we could use your help in increasing usage further.

We have been doing our part to take actions that will increase readership of the journal's articles. For example, we have been working with APA to increase our presence in appropriate databases. As you may remember, when we switched publishers from Springer to APA, the agreement to include LHB articles in Westlaw was no longer in force and it took repeated appeals to convince APA that it was critically important to the journal's health that its articles be indexed in Westlaw. The entire catalog of LHB articles once again appears in that database as of early 2014. These efforts to have LHB included in Westlaw have likely resulted in increased revenue for the journal. In 2014, there was a 33 percent ($46,632) rise over the previous year in the journal's electronic licensing revenue, which is the result of a substantial increase in people downloading full-text articles from the journal. APA is currently negotiating deals to include the journal in other databases, including Lexis-Nexis and HeinOnline. If the negotiations are successful, the inclusion of LHB articles in these databases should further increase the revenue we derive from online usage.

We have also attempted to package previously published LHB articles in new formats, in an attempt to increase the reach of our science and our revenues. Our first venture combined LHB 's “Scientific Review Paper on Police-Induced Confessions” with previously published commentaries on the paper into a stand-alone PDF package that was sold online, resulting in over $6,300 in sales in 2014. APA is interested in identifying other material that could be similarly packaged for sale. If you have ideas for other special packages of LHB content, please contact me.

Although revenues were up in 2014, expenses were also up. In large part this increase in expenses was the result of the increase in the number of articles we published in each issue from seven to nine. We were able to increase the number of articles that we published in an issue because we had an increase in high-quality submissions, allowing us to publish more content. However, this increase in content in the journal resulted in a 15 percent increase in production expenses for the year. Eventually, increased usage of this additional content will also increase revenue. We could increase content further if we received even more high-quality submissions, as we are not fully utilizing the page allotment we have from APA. So please, consider submitting your best work to LHB.

In addition to sending us your best work and suggesting content for stand-alone packages of LHB content, there is one other way you can help increase the revenue we derive from our journal. Last summer I noticed that when I went on my university's library website and clicked on an LHB article that had been published prior to our transfer to APA, I was directed to a Springer website to download the article. Sure, I was able to download the article that I was seeking, but Springer, rather than APA, derived revenue from my download request. AP-LS only receives revenue from that download of an LHB article when it is downloaded from the APA database. When LHB changed publishers from Springer to APA in 2012, there should have been changes to university databases that caused all LHB articles to now open on the APA platform. However, it appears that links at some universities and libraries may still resolve to Springer. I let APA know of this issue, and many instances have been resolved. However, it is clear that some universities and libraries are still providing LHB content through Springer rather than APA. So the next time you try to download an LHB article, please check whether the site that you are directed to is owned by Springer or APA. If Springer owns the site to which you are directed, please notify APA by emailing PyscINFO with a screen capture of your experience, if possible, so that APA can correct the problem. This action would ensure that all LHB readers always have access to the most current content and will help us protect the revenue AP-LS receives from the journal. As always, thanks so much for your help in ensuring that LHB remains the top psychology and law journal.