Contribute to The Psychologist
You can shape the content in all parts of The Psychologist – we rely on your submissions.
Tell us a story – what is it about your research or practice in psychology that is going to truly engage and inform our large and diverse audience of professional psychologists? Can you, with our support, write in a way that is personal, practical, and persuasive? Will the average Psychologist reader be left thinking, feeling or doing something differently?
We want to hear from psychologists from all corners and levels of the discipline, from the most eminent to first-time contributors (see below).
In return we help you to get your message across to a large and diverse audience. The Psychologist is all about diversity. Write for The Psychologist and you will be reaching a massive audience in comparison with most academic and professional outlets: more than 50,000 in print and many more online, with our web traffic growing significantly year on year.
The readers will be from all corners of the discipline, as well as members of the public, media, policy makers and more. Many of our authors have reported that writing for us was an important step on the path to impact, opening all sorts of doors to public engagement opportunities and professional collaborations.
Contributing to The Psychologist is also about diversity of format: the chances are there will be something to suit what you have to say, how you want to say it and how much time you have available!
What are we looking for?
Topics which will inform our wide audience, written in a style which will engage them.
We aim to publish quality, accessible overviews of published research and developments in practice, along with a wide range of more personal formats and all our regular sections ('News', 'Letters', 'Reviews', 'Careers', 'Books', 'Culture', 'Looking back' etc).
A good first step is simply to get in touch with us about your idea. Give us a synopsis of your story… and here are some points to consider:
Many good stories are built around 'something changed / something needed to change'. Is there that element of change, however small, which you might bring to the fore?
A 'magazine' style can often mean a personal element, whether that's your own voice or that of key others. A lot of writing for us is simply based around a person's working life: the highs and lows, concrete scenarios, current challenges, where it all fits on a personal journey in Psychology.
What is it about your idea that's going to grab the reader's attention and then propel them through the piece? What do you expect the reader to think / feel / do differently by the end of the piece?
Let's take a closer look at what we do.
Are you looking to raise awareness / prompt discussion and debate? If what you're attempting is a genuine 'letter to our readers', submit to [email protected], marked clearly 'Letter for publication in The Psychologist'. Include a postal address. Letters over 500 words are less likely to be published. The Editor reserves the right to edit, shorten or publish extracts from letters. Space does not permit the publication of every letter received. Letters to the Editor are not normally acknowledged.
Get in touch via [email protected] if you would like to write an 'Opinion' piece or take part in a 'Head to head' debate - our stated aim is to provide a forum 'for communication, discussion and controversy', so we would very much like to hear from you.
From time to time we also publish opinion specials: suggestions welcome.
In 2017 we also introduced a new feature 'Underrated / Overrated'.
Articles: We are looking for engaging and informative overviews of published research and developments in practice, suitable for our large and diverse audience of professional psychologists. We are not a 'first port of call' outlet for the publishing of original research: think more journalism than journal, but still clearly evidence-based. Again it's about telling that story – pulling the average reader in, and holding their attention throughout the piece. You can find some advice on writing for impact on our website.
Articles tend to be around 2,000 words (they can be longer on arrangement with the editor).
Increasingly we prefer our authors to write in a journalistic style where references do not serve to interrupt the flow of the piece, and where they are included as genuine sources for further reading rather than as a comprehensive list. Our online version can be fully hyperlinked.
Submission of an article to The Psychologist implies that it has not been published elsewhere and that it is not currently being considered for publication elsewhere. Because of heavy pressure on space, publication of accepted articles may not be possible for several months. Increasingly, though, we do have the option of 'online only' or 'online first' publication.
Viewpoints: We are very interested to hear more about the person in psychological research or practice. If a participant in your research or practice would be willing to share their experience, you could then add your perspective and perhaps that of a third party making use of your work. See this example.
Big picture: From around 2009-2016 we had a 'Big Picture' centrespread. Since moving to 'perfect bound' at the start of 2018 that isn't really an option, and in any case we have more illustrative material throughout now. But if you think your work or that of a colleague could be represented in an interesting and striking visual manner, we still want to hear from you.
Special issues: For special issues, we are ideally looking for broad, overarching topics which can engage and inform our audience on a personal and professional level. Previous examples have included driving, the senses, and time. Special issues should attempt to make links across the discipline, showcasing a diversity of perspective and format. The first step is to contact the editor to discuss the theme and potential contributors.
Budding authors: If you have never published in The Psychologist before, or perhaps anywhere else, and are in the early stages of your journey in psychology but looking to announce yourself as a genuine 'new voice', then we are here to help. One of the things we're most proud of on The Psychologist is that we've made a real effort in recent years to identify and nurture new talent, both in psychology and in science communication. We're discussing how we can formalise this, but at the moment the message is simple: get in touch. If you have an idea which could truly engage and inform our large and diverse audience, then we can help you find your voice: to grab the reader’s attention and hold it throughout, to step up to the mark and announce yourself on a large stage.
It helps if you can give an indication of your own personal involvement in an area of research or practice, to show why you are 'one to watch' – this is an excellent example.
In 20 years’ time, when you are an eminent psychologist changing the way we think about ourselves and our discipline, we want to be able to look back at your first work in The Psychologist, and for you to think 'they were with me from the start'.
Also see The Psychologist VIP Programme, which looks to identify and then nurture new writing talent in Psychology.
Careers: Sometimes a 'full' article doesn't seem appropriate and you simply want to tell us about your work. What's your typical day like? What are the highs and lows? How did you get into that line of work, and where might it lead? What are the current professional challenges? We consider pieces of up to 2000 words, or if appropriate we can arrange for an interview with our freelance writer. Here's our 'Working lives' collection.
Interviews and 'One on one': If you or somebody you know would prefer to feature in an interview, giving a mix of professional and personal insight, get in touch to discuss options. See our 'Meets' collection.
Our 'Books' section has been expanded, to include not just reviews but also brief Q+As, 'shelfies', 'what to read if…', 'a book that shaped me', and more. If you would like to contribute to any of these formats, email the Associate Editor: Books with your ideas and suggestions.
Most book reviews we publish are commissioned, and we will only rarely publish unsolicited reviews. However, if you are keen to write a review of a particular book, or you would like us to consider commissioning you to write occasional reviews, please do get in touch – we are keen to hear interesting new voices. Email the book reviews editor telling us what you have to offer.
We do not consider self-published books.
We also run exclusive 'long read' extracts on our website. If you would like to contribute, or if you are a publisher who hasn't been included in this new approach, do get in touch.
We also consider reviews of psychology in any form of media, for our 'Culture' section: films, TV, radio, newspapers, websites and blogs, apps, plays, music, exhibitions, etc etc. Reviews can be anything from 100 words to 1000 words, but generally tend to be 300-500. If you have seen or heard something suitable recently and you are interested in contributing, please contact the editor.
This section covers the history of psychology and the psychology of history. Articles tend to be around 2000 words long, and – like all writing in The Psychologist – should attempt to engage as well as inform. See examples here and contact the editor to discuss your ideas.
How do I go about writing my piece?
Contact the editor to discuss all of the above options, by email via [email protected].
When you are happy with your work, send it as an attachment to [email protected]. To allow anonymous review, authors’ names and full contact details should not appear on the typescript, but should be presented on a separate page.
What happens next?
After an initial assessment of suitability by the editor, our feature articles are blind peer-reviewed to ensure scientific quality. The editor reserves the right to edit all copy accepted for publication. However, this is a collaborative process with the author, aiming for the best possible end product in terms of layout and accessibility.
An author or the editor may feel that an article is suitable for web-only presentation due to considerations of time, length, breadth of interest, or simply how much material is in the pipeline.
Still not convinced?
The Psychologist team are there to advise and guide you through the process. It can be a very positive and valuable experience for you. Don't just take our word for it: here's what some past authors have had to say about writing for us:
Reach the largest, most diverse audience of psychologists in the UK (as well as many others around the world); work with a wonderfully supportive editorial team; submit thought pieces, reviews, interviews, analytic work, and a whole lot more. Start writing for The Psychologist now before you think of something else infinitely less important to do!
Robert Sternberg, Oklahoma State University
I've read this before, but only when I'd experienced it myself did I really believe it…writing for The Psychologist helped me to reach people my usual publications don't reach. Several of them supplied me, spontaneously, with useful sources, information and examples of real-world applications.
Professor Miles Hewstone, University of Oxford
Articles in The Psychologist reach a larger and more general UK Psychology audience than most scientific journals. Reading articles by others in The Psychologist broadens my perspective.
Professor Jon Driver, University College London
It's important for psychologists to develop ways of writing that really communicate: not just journal intricacy and not just glossy-magazine chat. The Psychologist offers a fine opportunity for this development. The editors are excellent, in their work with authors and in their production of this wonderful publication.
Keith Oatley, University of Toronto
Couldn't be happier with the editorial process which was highly professional, very efficient and extremely supportive and responsive.
Professor Martyn Barrett, University of Surrey
Writing for The Psychologist was a challenge - it made me think beyond the usual student essay style and gain experience in writing for a wide audience.
Alexa Ipsas, University of Edinburgh
Writers can fear that they have to work alone. In my experience writing for The Psychologist, the process was characterised by clear, supportive, friendly and very helpful editing, which made the whole task manageable and pleasant. The readership meant that ideas were disseminated to a very wide audience.
Professor Irvine Gersch, University of East London
The motto "be the change you want to see" has driven me through my career and has been the rationale for many of the challenges I have made to the status quo. If you want to see the face of The Psychologist change, why not share your ideas and become a part of it yourself?
Jeune Guishard-Pine, Consultant Psychologist in the NHS and in private practice
There is an abundance of contemporary topics within psychology that are likely to be of interest to many people. Identify one, share your informed opinion on it by sending it to The Psychologist, get published, and enjoy the reward of receiving feedback and input from many others.