Open Access Journals in Psychology

Open Access journals are particularly useful to psychology because of psychology’s subject matter – people. Thus, the research covered in much of psychology is relevant to people and could be used by the general public more than in most fields. This idea is supported by the prevalence of psychology-related books that have entered and succeeded in the popular press, such as Malcolm Gladwell’s best-selling books that synthesize research findings in psychology with stories about the world and Eric Barker’s book Barking Up the Wrong Tree that similarly accumulates psychological findings with a special focus on the science of happiness and success to present tips for the everyday reader. Even psychologists themselves have become famous amongst the general public, like Dan Ariely, who published best sellers Predictably Irrational and The Honest Truth About Dishonesty, and Daniel Kahneman, who wrote the very successful Thinking, Fast and Slow.

In addition to the general public, psychology research is useful to many practitioners. Counselors, therapists, and social workers apply the research done by psychologists in their work to help people. Additionally, consultants and coaches could use psychological research to learn how people are motivated, work best together, and even be manipulated. Companies like Amazon and Apple, as well as agencies like the FBI and CIA, have also realized this potential.

Therefore, by making research literature available to anyone with an internet connection, Open Access journals allow for greater dissemination of research – and hopefully for a broader reach of benefits.

For example, the Open Access journal Frontiers in Psychology is the largest journal within the field of psychology. It covers a wide range of subjects – environmental psychology, clinical psychology, social psychology, animal behavior, perception science, human factors, and much more – which hold relevance to a wide range of people and industries. It is an international journal, publishing research, receiving funding, and recruiting editors from around the world. Its goal is to make the best of psychology research readily available to anyone who wants to access it. By allowing knowledge to have a longer reach, this journal hopes to accelerate innovation and improvement “for the benefit of humankind“.

3 Replies to “Open Access Journals in Psychology”

  1. Thank you for the post! It is important to acknowledge that the audience of a scientific journal are not only scholars and researchers, but also people in industry, practitioners in the case of psychology and maybe even the general public. I really appreciate you mentioning online and international access too!

  2. I think it is great that this journal covers so many different topics within the realm of psychology; as you mentioned it is a good way for them to stay relevant and to reach many different communities. However, it does make me wonder how they compose their editorial board. For all of this expertise it would have to be a large group of individuals. If this is the case it is likely beneficial since the workload might be more evenly distributed.

  3. This is a great post as you mentioned something I didn’t really think to much about; as to how it is useful for practitioners too. So far I have just been thinking about how Open Access should be they way to go since it would help other researchers, scholars and any academics in general but, you make a very good point in saying that practitioners benefit a lot out of this as well. I am from an Environmental Engineering background and if most of the literature and research was made available to all (open access), it would help so many companies perhaps change their operations, be more efficient, be less polluting. At the end of the day, any advances in knowledge should be openly shared so that everyone is benefited from it.

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