Editor in Chief – Legal and Criminological Psychology

The BPS is seeking to appoint a new Editor in Chief for Legal and Criminological Psychology from 2025.

Term: Three years 

Financial support: Annual contribution towards expenses

Closing date: 01 August 2024

Job description

Legal and Criminological Psychology is a leading journal of the British Psychological Society. This JCR-ranked journal provides an international platform for state-of-the-art research and for communication among various disciplines, researchers and practitioners, across forensic psychology. 

The journal addresses the application of psychology to the understanding of offenders' behaviour, the investigative and judiciary processes that bring them to justice, their treatment and the outcomes of their criminal actions. The Journal welcomes empirical and review articles, meta-analyses and target papers, as well as registered reports. 

The Journal's Editor-in-Chief, in conjunction with the Society, is responsible for setting the strategy and direction of the Journal, and overseeing the peer review of manuscripts, working with a team of Associate Editors handling manuscripts based on their area of expertise. 

In addition, the Editor-in-Chief directs the commissioning of high-quality review articles, invited articles and topical special issues, and manages the editorial board, working closely with the journal publishing team at Wiley, the Society's Academic Publications Manager and the Chair of the Society's Editorial Advisory Group. 

The Journal recognises the value of openness in research and so we ask for data availability statements, publish Registered Reports and are keen to be a first adopter of further open practices. 

We publish under a hybrid model: both subscription and open access. When possible, we will help authors to publish open access by informing them at the acceptance stage whether they have access to funds through a Wiley transformational agreement (an arrangement between publisher and institutions that covers authors' open access fees).

Candidate(s) will be recognised internationally for their achievements in legal and criminological psychology with a strong research background and publications record, supported by some journal editorial experience. They will also have an international network of contacts so that the profile of the Journal can continue to be developed.

The Editor in Chief of Legal and Criminological Psychology shall

  • Support the preparation and implementation of strategic editorial plans in terms of content and approach, to build the status and visibility of the Journal.
  • Drive the journal development, including the aims and scope, and implement new sections and/or article types as needed.
  • Identify (and develop) current trends in research and thinking and ensure that these are represented in (or furthered by) the Journal. 
  • Commission articles and an annual pipeline of special issues in consultation with the Associate Editors and the Editorial Board.
  • Take responsibility for handling of the manuscripts by the Associate Editors, delegating responsibility for specific areas to ensure that the workload is handled efficiently. 
  • Maintain frequent communication with the Wiley production team once the papers are approved for publication. 
  • Maintain high standards in the peer-review process and ensure that the Journal adheres to ethical standards. 
  • Ensure the journal adheres to best practice guidance with respect to research integrity and publishing ethics in accordance with COPE (Committee on Publishing Ethics) guidelines. 
  • Lead the Editorial team and advise on the composition and succession plans of the Editorial Board members to achieve a diverse and international representation of the community the journal serves and to mentor new members.
  • Prepare an annual report on the status of the Journal to be delivered to the BPS Editorial Advisory Group. 
  • Attend bi-annual meetings of the BPS Editorial Advisory Group.
  • Where appropriate, represent the Journal at national and international scientific meetings. 
  • Collaborate with Wiley staff to ensure the effective operation of the Journal and support promotional efforts.

Desired attributes

  • Strong leadership and communication skills.
  • An experienced manager with strong organisational ability.
  • An internationally recognised and active researcher with an extensive publication record, and a broad appreciation for the fields of legal and criminological psychology.
  • A wide sphere of influence and range of contacts in the field of legal and criminological psychology
  • Previous journal editorial experience and working knowledge of an online editorial system.  
  • Awareness of relevant technological advances in publishing/dissemination of research, including open science. 
  • Willingness to travel to conferences to promote and commission content for the Journal.
  • High professional and ethical standards.

Application process

Applications should comprise a covering letter, a CV, and a 300-word outline of your vision for the Journal and how you would like to see it develop in the future. Pre-application questions and applications may be emailed to: Rachel Sangster, Academic Publications Manager, British Psychological Society at [email protected]

The application deadline is 01 August 2024.

Applications for co-editorship are welcomed.

The start date for this role will be 01 January 2025, with a handover period from October to December 2024.

BPS and Wiley welcome applications from the following groups of people who are under-represented within psychology: Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people, people with disabilities and people who identify as LGBTQ+.

Further information about the Journal can be found here.