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How to propose a new journal

To properly evaluate the potential for success of a new journal, it is essential for the Society to examine and discuss numerous topics. This brief outline shows some of the important information that is required for the evaluation, planning and review process:

  • the likely contribution to science, particularly, the scientific mission and rigour of the proposed journal;
  • the likely market for subscriptions;
  • the likely rate of submissions of papers meeting international levels of excellence;
  • the fit with other BPS journals;
  • the enthusiasm of a suitably experienced and qualified editorial team.

The proposal should contain the following sections:

1. Introduction

This should provide a general overview of the proposal including the history behind its development, and a summary of the reasons why it would be feasible to launch a new journal.

2. Aims and scope of the journal

This should state briefly what the suggested aims of the journal will be, what types of papers it hopes to publish (e.g. empirical research, theoretical contributions, reviews, commentaries) and the various areas that it would include within its scope. Please include the following:

  • Title (note if tentative)
  • Expected contents by type (e.g. research papers, reviews, etc.)
  • Brief description for promotional purposes (150-200 words)
  • List of 10-15 previously-published papers, with bibliographic information, that would be appropriate to a new journal

3. Editorial Board

The proposing Committee should have in mind (and provide names where possible) likely nominees for the prospective post of Editor of the journal, as well as an Editorial Board, bearing in mind that the composition of the board should take into account the international nature of likely subscribers and readership, as well as providing coverage of any sub-disciplines of the subject. They should also be confident of being able to attract a pool of suitable reviewers.

4. Competing journals

This should list any competitor journals (split into UK and overseas publications), providing brief information on their scope, any particular strengths or weaknesses, any affiliations to/endorsements by relevant organisations, etc.

It would be helpful to identify the main competitor(s) as well as any titles recently launched in the area. Details of their circulation and price are helpful. The proposal should show how the new journal would fit in the market, and highlight any particular strengths that could distinguish the new journal from its competitors.

5. Market

Establishing a new journal carries a substantial risk for the Society with a period of up to 10 years to establish financial viability. During this period the Society must underwrite the operation. Events in the current publishing environment, such as the call for open access journals and institutional repositories, require the Society to exercise great care. The Editorial Advisory Group (EAG) therefore requests evidence that a new journal will be viable. As a result, the EAG needs preliminary data on the potential market for any new journal:

  • How many national and international contributions of a high scientific standard might we expect in the first/subsequent year(s)?
  • Will individuals and libraries (again both national and international) purchase the journal?

To summarise, the EAG asks the proposers of a new journal to provide some market survey data with respect to:

  • professional academic and practitioners in the UK and internationally;
  • academic institutions in the UK that offer relevant programmes that might be reasonably expected to subscribe (relevant information about recent developments in the subject - academic or professional - that might have an effect on the number and popularity of these programmes;
  • categories of specialist libraries that would potentially be interested in the journal;
  • international academic and professional institutions; and
  • other areas of potential interest.

Any proposal should therefore contain opinions from at least 100 or so leading researchers in the field (both national and international) as to the need for the journal. Proposers should also consider information about whether libraries would consider purchasing this either as a single journal or 'bundled' with other British Psychological Society journals.

6. Promotion - potential subscribers

Includes any information on who would be targeted in initial promotion for the new journal (include members of the relevant British Psychological Society Division/Section).

Suggestions for reciprocal promotion (i.e. with other Societies /Organsiations) are very useful.

7. Expert opinion

Provide the names of at least two people who may be approached for an expert opinion on this proposal (they should not be directly involved in the writing of the proposal themselves).

8. Conclusion

Sum up the main points of your argument supporting the case for launching a new journal.