Author: Shaw, Steven R
Date published: November 1, 2010
School Psychology Forum: Research in Practice (SPF), NASP's online scholarly journal, will be under the editorship of Steven Shaw beginning January 2011. SPF is designed to link high quality research to the practice of school psychology. Steve and the editorial team are now considering proposals for special issues and individual manuscripts for publication.
What are the criteria used to select articles for SPF?
The criteria are: (a) originality and importance of the contribution to the field of school psychology, (b) scholarship/effective review of literature and/or theory, (c) organization and quality of presentation, (d) the scientific merit of the study, and (e) the clarity and quality of application of research to practice. The criteria for publication are much like most scientific journals, except for the final item. All manuscripts appearing in SPF will need to have explicit information about how this study or review will directly influence the practice of school psychology.
How are reviews chosen?
SPF now has three associate editors (Dan Florell, Paul McCabe, and Chris RileyTillman). The editor will assign each submitted paper to an associate editor or may handle the paper himself. These editors select two members of the editorial advisory board based on relevant experience and expertise in the subject and/or methodology used. If no editorial advisory board member has the required experience or expertise, then at least one ad hoc reviewer will be identified.
To what extent do the personal views of reviewers affect the selection process?
Although reviewers evaluate the suitability of the manuscript for publication based on the criteria listed above and professionalism is assumed, there is always the possibility of biases and personal views influencing decisions. This is why eachmanuscript will be read and evaluated by at least four different people (editor, associate editor, and two reviewers) with a diversity of backgrounds and theoretical orientations. Editors are required to reconcile differences among reviewers and will seek additional reviewers, if needed.
To what extent do the leadership and/ or staff of NASP influence the selection process?
NASP leadership and/or staff have no direct input into decisions concerning the selection of manuscripts submitted to SPF. However, NASP leadership may suggest topics. For example, NASP may develop a position paper or policy statement and wish to have a scholarly study or evaluation ofthat position or policy. Moreover, topics can be suggested by any reader. SPF is designed to be a publication that is responsive and relevant to readers and to school psychology.
To what extent does NASP as an association have a perspective that guides the selection process?
NASP provides a variety of publications that help to describe and highlight the profession of school psychology. For example, Blueprint for Training and Practice III (Ysseldyke et al., 2006) helps to establish priorities for our profession that are useful in determining the importance of each manuscript.
What steps are taken to ensure that articles selected represent the diversity of thought and practice within school psychology?
SPF has three ways to represent the diversity of thought and practice. First, SPF may have the most diverse editorial advisory board in psychology. The board is designed to have a mix of scholars, administrators, practitioners, graduate students, and international scholars. There are also a variety of research and practice interests including assessment, response to intervention, neuropsychology, LGBTLAissues, multicultural issues, and much more. The charge of this editorial team is to evaluate manuscripts and to solicit the best manuscripts from colleagues for submission to SPF. In addition to diversity, the editorial team of SPF also is committed to mentoring students, practitioners, and others with diverse interests and abilities to contribute to professional scholarly publications as authors andreviewers. Second, SPF welcomes and encourages new voices in the field. Some, and probably most, of the best and most creative ideas in school psychology are never published and shared. The editorial team considers it a responsibility to work with new authors with excellent ideas to develop outstanding and scholarly manuscripts. Third, as an online journal, we have the luxury of posting commentaries about each manuscript. We will invite at least one commentary for each manuscript. Readers are encouraged to participate in the discussion by submitting commentaries, making SPF an interactive scholarly journal that reflects diverse voices.
What do you view as important trends for the future of periodical publication?
The SPF editorial team immodestly believes that SPFwill set future trends. An online journal has potential to provide rapid turnaround time, respond quickly to new trends in the field, include multimedia related to manuscripts, and allow for interactive discussion. Moreover, a variety of formats andimprovedaccessibility will be available. Podcasts and audio versions of manuscripts with additional information, smart phone access to manuscripts, the use of social networking sites, development of online reader surveys, and other methods of improving access to information will be implemented. However, one thing remains constant - SPF will continue to publish high quality research and scholarship to advance the practice of school psychology.
STEVEN R. SHAW, PhD, NCSP, is Editor of School Psychology Forum. He is the director of the Resilience, Pediatric Psychology, and Neurogenetic Connections Lab in the school psychology program at McGill University in Montreal, QC Canada. Please send comments, ideas, special issues proposals, and manuscripts to Steven Shaw (SchoolPsychForum@gmail.com).