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Tips for Getting Published: Information From Editors About Their Journals


by Lynda Zugec The Workforce Consultants

Interested in getting published in the top journals in industrial and organizational psychology? If you were able to attend the “Meet the Editors” Alliance for Organizational Psychology Special Session at the International Congress of Applied Psychology (ICAP) in June 26-30 (2018) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, you would have heard from several!




Julie McCarthy (University of Toronto) – Chair, with (L to R) Gary Latham (University of Toronto), Ute Stephan (King’s College London), Maria Kraimer (University of Oregon), Scott Tonidandel (University of North Carolina – Charlotte) and Gilad Chen (University of Maryland).

The aim of the session was for conference participants to meet the editors of several top-tier journals in the field of work and organizational psychology and learn more about the journal submission and review process. Editors began by presenting a 5-minute summary of their respective journals to maximize time for audience participation. Panelists were then asked to comment on the following areas: journal fit, characteristics of an ideal paper, the review process, what reviewers can do, and ethical considerations. This session included editors and associate editors from some of the top international journals in work and organizational psychology. Here we share some of what we learned from the session.

Lesson 1. Understand Your Audience
Gary Latham
Editor, Organizational Dynamics

Gary Latham began by highlighting the need to think about who the journal is geared towards and indicated that Organizational Dynamics is primarily meant for practitioners, managers, and MBA students. Organizational Dynamics is an evidence-based practice journal. Articles published in scholarly journals can be rewritten for influencing policy makers and organizational decision makers so that we can ensure that what we do as scientists has an impact. Gary went on to mention that the rejection rate is over 90%, mostly because there is a need to write Organizational Dynamics articles in a style easily understood by the public.

Lesson 2. Plagiarism Is Unwelcome and Many Papers Now Have 2 Studies
Maria Kraimer
Editor, Personnel Psychology

Maria Kraimer mentioned that meta-analyses are quite popular within Personnel Psychology and that there are two reviewers on every paper with decisions being made in 60–80 days. The acceptance rate is 8–10% and, like Gary, Maria indicated that the desk rejection is at 25% because, in addition to ensuring that your study is not founded on a weak methodology, submitters need to read existing articles and write in a manner that fits with journal goals. Maria added that it is important to note that Personnel Psychology has plagiarism software to spot those who are doing what they should not be (even if it is your previous work!), and that many papers now have two studies, which demonstrate the ability to replicate findings.

Lesson 3. Go Global
Ute Stephan
Editor: Applied Psychology: An International Review

Ute mentioned that Applied Psychology: An International Review has a 2.5 impact factor and there are 4 issues per year, which translates into approximately 28 articles yearly. The acceptance rate is approximate 10% and decisions are typically made within 60-100 days. Ute would like to encourage submissions that focus on international research issues and ones that are conducted in more areas across the globe. She noted that international replication studies can help to develop theories in new ways. If you have ever thought of partnering with researchers in other countries, this is another great reason to get started!

Lesson 4. Editors Are Open!
Scott Tonidandel
Associate Editor, Journal of Business and Psychology

The Journal of Business and Psychology receives 600 submissions per year with a 45% desk rejection rate. Reviews are typically completed in under 80 days with the goal of being the “very best second journal”. Scott mentioned that the journal is open to null findings and that a special issue on null findings is available. The journal also has a hybrid registered reports submission path that is results blind. Additionally, the journal is open to qualitative research and the editorial team is willing to mentor new reviewers by reviewing additional feedback with them.

Lesson 5. Be Thoughtful
Gilad Chen
Editor, Journal of Applied Psychology

The Journal of Applied Psychology is the oldest journal and celebrated 100 years with a special issue last year. The large journal is diverse in terms of the articles published and receives 1,000 submissions yearly. The journal publishes monthly with a large team of editors and 250 board members. There is a stereotype of being North American, so, like Ute mentioned, efforts are targeted toward making it more applicable globally while remaining on the cutting edge of scientific rigor. As Gilad stated, “Our data are not always as clear-cut as the life sciences…we need to take the time to understand what the reviewers say and engage in a thoughtful manner.”