A critical look at publishing in psychology with Dr Rachael Fox
Please note: This version of the transcript has not yet been checked and edited.
Speaker 1 (00:00:08):
Hello and welcome to this episode of Psych Attack. I'm Dr. Jasmine b McDonald. Today I take a critical look at publishing and psychology with journal editor and academic Dr. Rachel Fox. I hope you're going well and it's settled in with a warm cup of tea. Hey there Rachel, thanks so much for coming along to have a chat about critical aspects in publishing in psychology.
Speaker 2 (00:00:34):
Yeah, thanks for having me. It's cool.
Speaker 1 (00:00:37):
So our aim today is to really get listeners to start to think about some of those issues and barriers in publishing in psychology. That's pretty useful for people who are looking to publish or are actively publishing themselves, but also for consumers of psychological research, students and practitioners. So that's kind of our, our aim today. But before we get stuck into that, it would be really great to hear from you a little bit about yourself.
Speaker 2 (00:01:02):
Yeah, sure. Um, so I live in Wagga Wagga New South Wales, which occasionally people don't know is five hours in land. And um, and I'm a senior lecturer in the school of psychology at Charleston University. And um, I also, I'm the editor of the Australian Journal, the Australian, uh, community Psychologist. So that's a journal that is with the College of Community Psychology in the Australian Psychological Society, the aps. So I edit that journal and I'm then because of that and I'm also a member of the aps and I'm on the board of that college, mostly on the board for all the journals of the aps. And um, I've lived in Wagga for about 12 years. Before that I worked in Scotland doing research fellow work. And before that I studied my undergrad in psychology and my PhD at the University of Sterling. Before that I was from England, so I'm actually from England originally.
Speaker 1 (00:02:09):
Yeah, nice one. I know we have a lot that we wanna unpack in this topic so we don't need to go too deep on this, but I like to start with people in them giving an idea of what attracted them to psychology in the first place.
Speaker 2 (00:02:24):
Mm. Yeah, it probably well describes what I do as well cause I probably didn't describe then the research work I do anyway. So before I came to do an undergraduate in psychology, which was pretty young, like I took a gap year after school, but otherwise I was pretty young. I was really into social justice and I didn't call it that at the time, but I already was a youth worker but I was probably still a youth myself. And um, I also had this notion that I wanted to help people, which I would problematize these days, but had all these ID ambitions and ideas and uh, I didn't fully know what psychology was or what I wanted to do at university, but I read a little bit about it and I thought, yeah, that's actually really what I wanna do. So I did an undergraduate and it wasn't so much for me once I got there.
Speaker 2 (00:03:17):
So like lots of people say about an undergraduate degree, you know, there was lots of stats and lots of cognition and things I hadn't got into psychology for. So I kind of went through my undergraduate thinking, well I'm probably not gonna do psychology at the end of my degree. I was actually starting to think about teaching and things like that. And then in my third year of my undergraduate degree in Sterling, I did this elective subject called community psychology. And so that completely turned around my ambitions because that was much more about social justice and it was much more about being politically minded in psychology. And that was for me, that's, you know, that's a passion for me. So that clicked for me very much. And so I did that subject. Then I did my honors dissertation where I did work with young people who'd been expelled from school and then I did a PhD on the sort of powers and discourses in education and how young people become marginalized.
Speaker 2 (00:04:21):
So I definitely don't do mainstream psychology. I mean some of the teaching I do is quite mainstream, but I have stuck with psychology and stayed in academia because I feel comfortable and or not comfortable probably discomfort. But I'm happy being in an institution like psychology but also speaking quite a lot about how it can change and how it can transform and what it could do differently. And critical psychology and community psychology and work with people who experience marginalization or exclusion for whom systems and culture and stuff don't dominant kind of ways of doing things don't work well. Mm-hmm . So that's my passion. It's often been with young people, teenagers or children. Um, but it's not always some, some of my teaching is also a bit like that. So I am like a, yeah, I'm uncomfortable in psychology but I think that's how I choose. Yeah. I choose to be, do lots of conventional things as well, obviously. Yeah. cause I'm employed , I'm not doing the best job at being a critical psychologist. If I was doing the best job, I'd have been fired by now. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (00:05:34):
You have to have some level of discomfort. Right. To be able to be, to actually be critical of something. Yeah. It's not, it's not gonna work to be completely comfortable or fit within a a context and then and try to be critical of it because it works. Yeah. Too well for you.
Speaker 2 (00:05:49):
That's right, that's right. Yeah. Yeah. So lots of the research work I do feels really uncomfortable cause I'm trying to not be a regular researcher and I'm trying to get to a position where I'm not in control and that feels very uncomfortable. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (00:06:01):
Mm-hmm. . Yeah, I think that's really interesting. It's, uh, it could almost be a whole other topic and episode of H how do you conduct research that's approved by an institution, fits into a body of research is, you know, goes through ethics and then is led more by participants or less structured.
Speaker 2 (00:06:20):
Yes. It's it's a tricky thing. Yeah. And, and I certainly wouldn't be arguing that I get that Right. Lots of flaws exist along the way
Speaker 1 (00:06:28):
For sure. So could you talk a little bit about your role at Australian Community Psychologist and what basically what is the journal and what does it aim to do and what's the role of the editor?
Speaker 2 (00:06:41):
Yeah, sure. So there's a handful of journals that the Australian Psychological Society run kind of um, they're housed with them and there's a main one, is it called the Australian Psychologist I think?
Speaker 1 (00:06:55):
Speaker 2 (00:06:56):
I think so. Changed changed in the last couple of years but I think they still call it that. And um, then there's some that sit with colleges in terms of the topics and so there's clinical psychologists and they're all housed with big publishing companies. Um, so we'll talk probably a bit about that later. But there's five huge publishing houses who make a lot of money. Taylor and Francis is one of them. And, and those journals sit with that publishing house. And then the Australian Community Psychologist is a journal that is again, uh, part of a college of the aps. So the College of Community Psychology. So there are about five, six colleges, I forget exactly how many, but there's um, clinical obviously. So there's kind of slightly different ways of practicing in those different uh, colleges.
Speaker 1 (00:07:47):
Mm-hmm This is like those areas of endorsement, right? Like forensic cycle
Speaker 2 (00:07:52):
Kinda stuff. Say there's pathways of endorsement for each college currently. Yeah. So the community psychology college is a bit smaller and it's a little bit peripheral and, but we often talk about how we aim to punch with our weight . Um, and yeah, so it operates like a normal college, uh, which has members and the journal is part of that college now. The journal has run since it recently had its 30 year birthday. Yay. I'm trying to do the best now . So the nineties it started. Yes, that's right. And it originally was typed out and posted around and it was called Network
Speaker 1 (00:08:33):
Speaker 2 (00:08:34):
Yeah, it's amazing. Yeah, so it still was independent. It's always been independent of those big publishing houses. So of course food publishing houses have had journals much longer and they would've had print presses that printed out journals and you used to go, I used to go to a library to read them , they were not really online. So it's kind of crazy what's changed in my lifetime. Um, but it started this journal as a thing called Network and it was quite less formal and it was type printed and probably photocopied. I'm sure people have photocopy. Um, , I'm probably like hugely uh, exaggerating the kind of level of technology in the nineties but or the lack of. And uh, so it started out as network and then in, I think it was 2007 it changed to the Australian community psychologist and it went fully online and it's never been a journal that is produced in print in a booklet as you get with still with a lot of journals.
Speaker 2 (00:09:34):
It's always just been online. So it's housed through on the APS webpages. I'm sure we'll give listeners a link to it for sure. It's is on the web pages of the APS and it's independent from a publishing house. We'll probably mention a couple of ways in which that creates some differences. One of the ways is that it's very publicly accessible so it's free to access, it's free to publish in um, publish. We aim to publish a couple times a year. It runs exactly like other journals. We'll talk a bit probably about what those things are, but it lined, peer reviewed rigorously. Yeah. And it has research papers in it. So yeah, what publishing looks like. The editor then is the person in charge of that journal. So I have to speak to the college and the APS about what's happening at the journal. I'm responsible for the journal a lot because I don't have a publishing house either and I have a team of editorial assistants and a board and I manage the processes and the journals, the articles that are gonna get published and who should review those articles and things like that with that team.
Speaker 2 (00:10:43):
Very supportive people.
Speaker 1 (00:10:44):
Yeah. But I guess it's probably quite useful to note here for listeners that this is, it's not typically the editor of a journals not typically a paid role. This is something that people do on top of their academic roles,
Speaker 2 (00:10:56):
. That's correct, yes. I take that for granted. Yeah. None of those people who help out and neither am I paid. And it's probably also to note for me in particular, I don't get any hours in my job for that role. Yeah. Hmm. Um, that maybe differs for some larger journals and some institutions spending on who you're employed by. But yeah, I do that completely in my free time. Mm-hmm. Yes. That's one of the interesting things about journals.
Speaker 1 (00:11:27):
One of the things I wanted to ask you ahead of time was if it's your experience in working in this journal I'm publishing that has led to the kind of interest in issues and barriers in publishing. But I think actually I've known you for long enough to know you're a a critical person who thinks at a systems level much earlier than you. You got to this academic point of your life. So yeah, I've rented a little bit, but thoughts on that?
Speaker 2 (00:11:53):
. So I probably had some of these ideas which leads me to want to be an editor of the acp I should say. I've been an editor of that journal about nearly five years now. So I haven't always been the editor of that journal. It's been lots of very excellent editors before me. But I knew of this journal in Scotland when I was a PhD student and I published a little reflection in it so I knew of it and was a fan of it. And yes, I think you're right. I probably already have that kind of idea of just systems et cetera that got me into wanting to be an editor of the journal. But having been an extra of the journal, I have learned masses and masses and lots more about, and in recent times, publishing has got sort of more difficult for a few reasons. And so it's brought into stark relief kind of more thoughts about what, how that system works. Yeah, definitely. Mm-hmm.
Speaker 1 (00:12:53):
, let's zoom out a little bit and think about or provide a bit of information for the listener around what specifically we're talking about when we say publishing. Just to set some context for people who haven't published themselves or they might read a bit of research, but what's the scope of what we're gonna talk about tonight?
Speaker 2 (00:13:11):
Yeah, so the term publishing really means to publicly produce a piece of writing I guess. And that can be in a lot of different spaces and I actually love a lot of the different spaces in which people publish. It doesn't have to just be written either. I guess your podcast is a form of publishing, you know, it's communicating something, I guess that term public as well. There's some caveats to that for some, for most of the journals that we're gonna be talking about. So yeah, there's a lot of spaces where information can be put and we tend to think in academia or science about some distinctions between more formal and less formal. And certainly this term peer reviewed gets used a lot and I guess evidence and know, you know, facts and things like that. So yes, although things can get published in a lot of places, the publishing worlds that academia and science largely talks about are in what are called journals.
Speaker 2 (00:14:17):
And journals have been around for a very, very, very long time. And some of the journals that exist today, including things like Nature, which people might be quite familiar with as a, as a title are, you know, 200, 300 years old. So producing, writing on research or philosophy or theory or thinking, you know, has this long history, but it's also a big history of sort of a quite privileged space and powerful space. Mm-hmm . So publishing in journals, there are thousands and thousands and tens of thousands of journals and some of them are independent of sort of publishers and some of publishers are small as well. And some publishing houses are huge. So when people think about reading fiction and they read from, you know, a, a publication that's been produced by something like Penguin House, um, there are these sets of publishers who produce academic or scientific or you know, science kind of publications and those could include books.
Speaker 2 (00:15:20):
But the journals there are sort of five big publishing houses. So Sage, Wiley, Taylor and Francis, I'm gonna forget, two of them are the big publishing houses and they produce these, the vast majority of journals. They also produce the vast, vast majority of journals that are considered to be the best journals. But we'll probably talk more about that and classification of of best. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And they range in all disciplines and authors. Any author can submit to those journals. But again, we'll talk about some of the caveats to that. And when you submit a paper, usually the journal will describe what kind of things they, they call it scope, so what they expect, articles that are submitted. So kind of a topic area and sometimes what type of piece of writing, whether it's a report on a piece of research or a discussion kind of paper reflection.
Speaker 2 (00:16:23):
The vast majority of it is expected to be a report on a piece of research, a distinct piece of research. And one or many authors, you know, it can doesn't, doesn't just have to be one. We'll submit this piece of work which gets called a manuscript. And then what's expected is that some people who are peers who are considered kind of in that field peers but or know cause that's the blind aspect of blind peer review. You shouldn't know who these people are, will sort of mark that paper and um, consider that manuscript and whether it is a good manuscript for the journal, whether it needs to have some changes to it, whether it should be rejected so they have a look. And then if all that process that we'll talk about later is successful, that article then gets published. Most of the general public can't access a lot of those.
Speaker 2 (00:17:14):
I don't know what the proportion is exactly, but a vast ma, you know, majority of journals you would have to pay to access them. But lots of reporting that you see and some good quality reporting. Not all, but in media, uh, will be based on a lot of that stuff. And universities subscribe quite costly amounts, subscribe to those journals and those large publishing houses so that academics can always access. I think in psychology, if you're a practicing psychologist you probably access a lot of knowledge through the aps. If you're a member of, of the aps, I dunno about a p i, they will report on those things, but I don't think you can access the journals if you're a practitioner. I'm not sure actually through the aps. But yeah, academics certainly who work at universities or researchers probably like yourself probably have ways to access those journals through libraries that subscribe to them. Mm-hmm. , we missed anything out there about journals?
Speaker 1 (00:18:11):
No, I think that leads us, I mean I guess there's some terms that we could, we could either preface them now or we can see as they come up. Like I could see us talking about rankings of journals and I could see us talking about impact factors.
Speaker 2 (00:18:24):
Yeah. There's lots of measurements aren't there? And I should say in psychology, I had a figure that said 1,314, oh that's a Q Q1 journals. So in psychology, so we're talking about thousands of journals for psychology and practitioners will submit in psychology, but it's probably more commonly academic or researchers that submit articles. I think it's harder for practitioners, which we'll talk about. Yeah, we could talk about the way the ranking of journals works, but there's also things like talking about what processes I suppose within a journal.
Speaker 1 (00:19:03):
I think the, the ranking stuff is particularly interesting. I'm sure we'll touch on related things as we go through. But I guess the thing that I have in mind is the why do academics publish ? Um,
Speaker 2 (00:19:15):
Why do people publish? Yes. Kinda. Yeah. It's very, very related to that ranking system. That's right. Yeah. So yeah, when an article does get published and let's say it's in what's considered to be a good quality journal, but we need to talk about what quality means. But let's say it's high ranking, which we'll say what ranking means in a minute in a, you know, a fairly prominent journal, people will read it and people will find it useful for their research and their research paper and they will what's called site that research paper. So they will say McDonald and Fox said this in their paper and that's the citation. And if that was also in a journal that was considered ranked, then that would be a peer review citation. So if you are cited lots and lots of times that is considered a good thing. now a system operates a lot around I guess assuming that those citations prove or uh, you know are a measure of quality of an article.
Speaker 2 (00:20:21):
Mm-hmm So that is what an impact factor is. So an impact factor is sort of the first thing of a particular article, but also a journal, what we'll go to in a minute, how many times that article has been cited. So a journal as a whole will then have an impact factor based on how many times its articles overall have been cited on average. So some articles could get no citations, nobody has cared enough or nobody's seen it to be important enough. And some could get loads because they're a really important move or development in a field for example. Or they're a paper that describes a new method. And every time somebody uses that new method or a psychometric measure, like a new psychometric measure that now everybody's using and um, every time they talk about their research, the way they use that psychometric measure, they've got to cite that person. And so not all articles in the journal will get cited, but they take an average. And um, the one that's used most extensively is called a two year impact factor. So that is over the last two years, how many times have articles on average been cited? So journals will display that impact factor. It varies lots between different disciplines and even within psychology, because psychology has so many different subfields that are quite varied.
Speaker 1 (00:21:51):
Speaker 2 (00:21:51):
You know, where my field will vary between four and below. One a very, you know, statistical journal or cognition or neuro psych will be really high. I'm not sure like up into the twenties I would imagine you'd have to tell me actually you probably have more experience of those.
Speaker 1 (00:22:13):
Yeah, that's right. Somewhere up around there. Yep.
Speaker 2 (00:22:16):
Yeah, I don't know how high like nature and the Landit journal go, like they're really high.
Speaker 1 (00:22:21):
Those ones that uh, anything also that publishes like systematic literature reviews or meta-analysis that anytime someone's writing their own paper Yeah. Right. And wants to cite, you know, a comprehensive review of what Yeah.
Speaker 2 (00:22:36):
Which those didn't really exist un until the last few years.
Speaker 1 (00:22:40):
Speaker 2 (00:22:41):
Yeah. That kind of meta-analysis or meta review of Yeah, that's a newish thing. I'd say.
Speaker 1 (00:22:48):
I think one of the ones in psych is psychological bulletin.
Speaker 2 (00:22:52):
Speaker 1 (00:22:53):
I think that's a review one. I haven't published that before but I know that that's come up a lot. Convers. Yeah. That rings conversation. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (00:22:59):
I'm sure it's always existed a little bit but it's exploded
Speaker 1 (00:23:01):
A lot. Absolutely. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (00:23:03):
Cause this citation thing is so valuable I suppose. I mean it's sort of financially valuable. So the ranking then occurs of how much these are cited. So you then have a ranking of journals and journals have to, in most of the rankings that governments or universities or various institutions and systems care about. And there's only a few sh Margo is and World of Science are the main ones. Um, you have to be in their database first of all. So they have to decide that you are have a high enough impact factor that you even make it to that database. So if you make it to that database, you're then ranked and you can go and have a a look at these rankings. Actually shago, you have to have a subscription too, ironically. So you have to be a university academic again. But you can Google, it'll come up just through Google if you want to know a particular journal.
Speaker 2 (00:23:56):
Yeah. You can Google them individually. But yeah, to actually run a a search on them all, you've probably got to have a subscription again. So anyway, what everybody is aiming for publishing in are called Q1 journals. And the reason why they're called Q1 journals are that they are the top quartile and there are four quartiles. So they're the top 25%. So the quartiles that you people can find for individual journals very much relate to that citation impact factor. How much have people cited it. And the Q1 journals are the most highly cited. And what's really I find very interesting about the world of publishing and the world of academia because academics, well I'll mention cause that's what you asked about why would academics publish, is that that is often spoken of as a objective measure of quality. Mm-hmm The impact factor and the ranking. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (00:25:01):
Let's unpack that. Yeah. It's spoken about like it's an of measure quality. You can find lots of, even the Wikipedia entry for impact factor has the section on criticisms and you can read what the criticisms and limitations are, which we are here to discuss. But people still speak about it. I mean, when I'm in university committee meetings people are saying well you know, we want to make sure we're encouraging the best quality articles. And you feel like you need to remind 'em and say, well we're not talking about quality here, we're talking about citations. It's not necessary. Same thing. Yes. There are divisions then. So you're not ranked, if you are in psychology, you're not then expected to get a Q1 article in nature unless you know you, you actually do and that's fantastic. But the psychology discipline then is a sub ranking. So there are then sub rankings.
Speaker 2 (00:25:54):
Now the reason why academics have to publish if they're lecturers or teachers in or you know, often researchers as well is because each university gets scored by the E R A. So the E R A which is stands for the excellence in research in Australia is a government system to figure out how much funding they're gonna give a university. In terms of research, there's another thing for teaching but for research, um, you are scored and you are scored. If you get a higher score you can get more money from the government because what they're saying is that they want to give money to people who are doing better quality research, this word quality coming in again, more effective, more impactful research, all sorts of terms we can use that get bandage around like they actually are objective measures. So the government gives more money. So you are scored based on your staff who are research active.
Speaker 2 (00:26:51):
This is accrued in simple terms you're scored based on how your staff, how much money they've got from research grants, but also how much the staff have published in higher ranked journals. Mm-hmm . So basically a university has to see its staff publishing to get that research money. And so it's then usually a part of your job. So I am expected to publish, I don't have to publish in particular rankings but I, I mean, I mean at the moment now as an academic you're kind of scored so you don't necessarily get fired immediately if you don't score highly. But yeah, so publish or perish is that very common phrase. So if you are in the university system, you really have to publish. If you publish in something that's unranked your discipline in your university, you know there'll be a little negative added to that score. So you actually, you are worse off if as a school, if your staff are publishing in unranked journals.
Speaker 1 (00:27:58):
Yeah. A couple of things that are interesting to note here for the avid listener is that while the university will get funding from the government for the publication outcomes, the author doesn't, we could talk about
Speaker 2 (00:28:12):
Oh yeah, no that's right. Yeah. You don't get paid. You have to keep reminding me that no one's getting paid.
Speaker 1 (00:28:18):
. And I think that's interesting because like you've mentioned here, but it's kind of nice to unpack further is performance review for academics is depending on institution, based on a range of metrics around funding and publications and getting a certain number of publications and sometimes it within a certain ranking. So I've had academic jobs where it's any publications is good. It also depends on your level I suppose, you know, what level you should be performing at. Um, but I've also worked at places where it might be on average over two years you'll have four Q1 general publications. Wow. Yeah. So that's useful to note. The publishing houses are making money and the university's making money. The indirect aspect is more publications, potentially a promotion. So in the end, maybe a promise of greater income for the academic but not payment based on production of an output.
Speaker 2 (00:29:14):
Yeah, that's right. And you know, to go back to those five publishing houses, they make billions and billions of dollars in profit. So that's a very shocking aspect of the system that really doesn't get Yeah. That idea that these are measures of quality is interesting to me. Cuz when I teach students and I interact with students, the kind of way that they speak about journal articles is very reverent and and doesn't have that kind of critical aspect to it. Uh, that makes me think, oh wow, we must be promoting the idea that there's a innate an objective way to measure quality. Mm. Which I can say more about, but I don't think there is and or not one way. And yeah, that idea of profit and who gets where the, where the money is, is never ever, ever talked about. And I, that I find fascinating and astonishing cuz in lots of systems we do talk about that. You know, like the pharmaceutical industry, we are all fairly mindful of the, the vested interests there and these big publishing houses have an awful lot of control over knowledge. Yeah. And what we think is the best way to know something. So they're billion dollar, I mean billions. So I was reading something, I was trying to find where it was, and I can't find where I put it now, but I think I read that they were in between the film industry and the music industry in terms of how much money they make. Wow.
Speaker 1 (00:30:43):
When you put it like that, it's pretty alarming.
Speaker 2 (00:30:46):
Huge. And they make 40% net profit
Speaker 3 (00:30:51):
40%, which is in not a bad margin.
Speaker 2 (00:30:52):
There's a huge margin because they are, I mean, and those profits have increased. So there's a lot of open discussion increasingly about open access for journal articles. Oh it was that money in publishing actually by har, I, I can't pronounce his name I'm afraid. Harva from Norway. Uh, that would be great to link to about the amount of profits they make. Uh, worldwide sales. More than 19 billion Yeah. A year. Wow. So they have increased their profit margins and there's lots of discussion now about open access, which means that things should be available to the public, but they are managing to still create, keep that profit. They're very profit making, they're profit making on things that are supposed to be, you know, if we think about the coronavirus and how all that's happened in the pandemic and we need to know these things for the benefit of humans in lots of ways.
Speaker 2 (00:31:52):
And psychology is just one aspect of, of that space. But they, they increasingly don't print journals. So it's all online. They don't pay any of the editorial editors or team. The reviewers are not paid. Writers are not paid. The people I know who do editorial work at other journals still do loads of work even though they're at the publishing house. The publishing house probably does the final checking of spelling and grammar and that sort of thing. And certainly producers the look of it, you know, you just put in a Word document and they bring out uh, something that looks nice, that looks like a journal article. But what they do, I think I also read something that suggested it may be cost. There was, there's been lots of discussion about how much it costs to produce because as things have become open access, what's been happening a lot is that there is a charge for the person who's written the piece to publish the author. So authors are increasingly being charged for open access. That's actually exploded again in recent years and sometimes it can be as much as 5,000 US dollars. It varies between one and 6,000 US dollars. I think I read
Speaker 1 (00:33:10):
No, you all may not be covered by the institution that you work at. Well
Speaker 2 (00:33:14):
That's another thing. Yeah. So universities are starting to fund. Yeah, that's right.
Speaker 1 (00:33:19):
You know, I'm reflecting on my experience when working at universities. There's that, you know, that pressure of wanting to have higher citations and to, and to get that to publish an open access. So more people are are reading it and citing it, but the university may or may not cover that cost. And so then you have to decide what are your priorities in life? Is it to actually spend your own money to get your work published? That's an interesting thing that I kind of flopped between of going, well you know, I would probably wanna work on this regardless of where I work. It's something I find really important and interesting and I wanna get it out to have more people, um, read it. But at the same time it's yeah. Something that's not quite right about it.
Speaker 2 (00:34:00):
Yeah. I read something that was like maybe at most it could cost 1500 to produce. So why is a 4,000 being charged or 5,000 being charged? It's questionable. Very questionable. And it's grown a lot and yeah, exactly as you said. Cuz I think what's interesting is that all of this system assumes only academics should publish or want to publish or would publish. And it all of this system certainly is made easier for academics. So we can access the journals, we can access funding from universities that will support us to publish in those journals. And people who are not university researchers or academics can't access that. So I think that's very unfair.
Speaker 1 (00:34:41):
I wanna jump back to a point you were making before about those rankings and how funding is based on the, you know, Q1 and maybe Q2 level funding and that it actually perhaps in an institution's best interest if they encourage their staff away from publishing and lower ranked or unranked journals. And I think there's a bunch of like really interesting ethical things to consider here because uh, one experience I had was co-supervising a psychology honor student and we'd done a piece of work that was really cool but pretty niche and was gonna end up not in a psychology q1, it wasn't a meta-analysis and it wasn't experimental or a randomized control trial. It was survey-based research with you and with a really niche population. And this colleague of mine had to make the decision to take their name off the paper because it wasn't gonna be published in a Q1 or a q2.
Speaker 1 (00:35:40):
That's something interesting to note because we might make the assumption that everyone who should be listed as an author is listed, but that's not always the case. I've also had a colleague, uh, need to remove their name from a paper because their institution said we can't have you publishing on a topic that isn't your area of specialization, so we need you just publishing in this area and in q1. Um, so even though it was going to be a high ranked journal publication, they weren't allowed to have their name on it, it would impact their employment.
Speaker 2 (00:36:10):
Speaker 1 (00:36:10):
remember reading that email on the train and just, I think I flipped back to them and said, if you don't like the paper, you know, you can tell me we we'll change it if you if you, if you're worried about having your name on it. Yeah. And they came back without, you know, including the students said, you know, I actually can't, I'm being influenced away from this by my employer.
Speaker 2 (00:36:30):
Yeah. Yeah. I I think I'm lucky cuz I, I don't find that pressure currently it's growing though where I work but say interesting aspect of this system that sort of becomes a game and gaming this system. Especially because what it's meant to be is a dissemination of important knowledge. And it's not just me. There's lots of criticisms, there's lots of criticisms in pure science as well about the scientific world and publishing is not the only problem. Uh, how funding is given to research grants and all the how um, research is conducted and lots of other spaces are also problems. But publishing is certainly part of it because the way it's structured and the way it's rewarded benefits some ways of doing research. Some disciplines and some topics more than others. Mm-hmm And some individuals as well. If you want to get huge promotions, you have a direction to take and it's not necessarily finding out incredible knowledge that the public needs to know or needs to be implemented.
Speaker 2 (00:37:41):
It's getting the most citations that you can, there's ways that you could, you know, formulaically do that and you find yourself having to do that a little even. I, you know, I try to do as much critical work as I can, but I still have to do some of the consideration of getting journal articles in even though cuz my, the, the journal I edit for is not ranked and is independent and doesn't have an impact factor, shock, horror. I have to, in my job also figure out ways to publish in places. So I'll get away with being employed and also do what want to do. Yeah. It's difficult balancing act and that pressure's really heavy in some places. Definitely. Yeah. And that's happened over the last 10 years I would say that pressure with the citations and the high ranked journals, I don't think it was anywhere near as strong 10 years ago.
Speaker 2 (00:38:38):
So it's grown significantly and it's concerning. And I guess it's that to me it's the desire of some systems like universities and governments to have some really simple measures of quality Mm. Or measures that they can use, that they can fund. And even in articles I've read that are questioning the impact factor system and the ranking system and they're still saying, well what we need some other objective measure of quality. And I, to me that's an oxymoron. There isn't an objective measure of quality and it concerns me that we are in this knowledge space of academia and we're not understanding better. That is an oxymoron that's not mm-hmm , that's a contradiction in terms, you know, you, you cannot have a single measure of quality. It's not as simple as that. You know? So just directing funding in that way is really problematic and it has problematic consequences.
Speaker 1 (00:39:38):
Mm-hmm. , I think that striving for an objective measure of quality is something that is admirable but as you say is actually not achievable and raises a bunch of sometimes invisible issues and barriers for people in publishing. So we've spent a fair bit of time talking about what this kind of mainstream and higher ranked publishing in psychology looks like. What's the flip side of this for specific groups? When I've looked at your work previously or we've had previous discussions, one of the things that's come up is the bias towards English language.
Speaker 2 (00:40:17):
Yeah. And a particular way of using the English language that's quite excluding and it's excluding of everybody who hasn't got to the point that they can produce. Uh, highly, actually the word formal is misleading cuz again it sounds like it's some kind of objective description. It's particular, it's not necessarily better or worse, it's just very particular and it's very particular is the best way I can use to describe it. Really you're expected to speak in a very particular way when I am supervising research students honor students or PhD students. I am, you know, saying, oh well you know, the way you've said that there though that's a bit too informal. You can't say it that way. You need to be a bit more distant. When we talk about whether people would like to actually publish and what they should do, we would probably talk about things like that.
Speaker 2 (00:41:06):
You know, you need to write with a little bit of distance and, and these terms can be quite confusing as well for people that it's a very, very particular way of using English. English dominates, publishing and that particular way. So if you're English speaking, if English is your first language, publishing is difficult because it's so particular. If you're a practitioner and you want to present some fantastic work that you are doing and it's not written in a certain way, there's methods as well that we'll talk about. But if it's not written in a certain way, it's subtly excluded or overtly excluded , but it's excluded through a variety of things. Like a reviewer just not liking it because of the way it's written or people or it being rejected because of the grammar. If English is not your first language, then it's very difficult to publish in English and in that very particular way that is very opaque and not transparent to an English speaker, let alone a non-native English speaker.
Speaker 2 (00:42:06):
And then, so English is not the only sort of language that publishing occurs in Spanish is also quite a large second sort of body of work. And then there are some, I'd say probably German, bit of French, Italian, some of the more major or more powerful European countries you'll see in those languages. Spanish is large because of South America. A couple of things about that, if you're French for example, you're still really hoping to get an English publication because you'll get more citations and you'll get more benefit at your workplace. In France, it's not as heavily expected to do this level of publishing thank goodness. But mainly because it's just not possible cuz you're disadvantaged in these ways. So that's one aspect. It's really difficult to publish an English if you're not native English speaker. But also the dominant academic world is missing out on all this body of knowledge that happens to be in other languages. Mm-hmm So we're missing out, there's a wealth of stuff in Spanish that we don't know about, we're not learning about.
Speaker 1 (00:43:10):
You mentioned methods. What did you have in mind there?
Speaker 2 (00:43:14):
This is not just publishing worlds. I'm sort of heaping blame on the publishing world, but it's also kind of traditions in science and psychology has this interest. I, I find that psychology, I dunno about you, but I find psychology has this interesting sort of tightrope situation where it treads somewhat into the world of science and then it also treads away. And is
Speaker 1 (00:43:38):
You're, you're very balanced in the description because I've always referred to it as a science complex.
Speaker 2 (00:43:43):
, it has a complex, it has a chip on its shoulder about whether or not it's a science. Yes. And I don't want it a science, so I'm okay this is not the only problem in research to do with methods. But because of the citation thing of how many citations you get over two years, you'll get far more citations if you do a pure science or medical experimental piece or a clinical trial that's going to be relevant to a lot of people in the two years. And then it will stop being. So, and that's why that two year was set because it benefits the dominant model. So you know, things in society work that way. The, the thing that gets designed is designed by the people at the top top and the people at the top obviously think, yep, that'll be a good idea. We'll do that.
Speaker 2 (00:44:35):
So two years is, you know, after two years a lot of medical things or scientific or physics or you know, all sorts of areas of pure science are not relevant after two years. Whereas, you know, racism, lasts, . So that two year impact factor means that people who are doing that sort of research get heavily cited. And also if you're doing anything that's rapid to present, I suppose, I don't know how you would characterize kind of method stuff in terms of fast and slow. Cause I certainly don't want to suggest that experimental work or I mean clinical trials take an enormous amount of work to do. But I mean they're certainly faster to write because they're presenting statistical information and the paper should be about 4,000 words. Mm-hmm
Speaker 1 (00:45:23):
, it can be quite formulaic as well in terms of analysis than what's expected in terms of the write up.
Speaker 2 (00:45:28):
Yeah. I suppose that is an aspect that I'm not considering positivist, statistical experimental work is standardized. Mm. That's the whole point of positivism. It's to show that you're doing the same thing. So a standard has been set. So you're doing the thing that lots and lots of people have done before. Again, I don't want to put down what people do cuz people do valuable things, but you're able to do many of them and publish many papers if you're doing a piece of work or research or whatever it is with a group who has not been well researched before and you need to actually find out a lot with that group. You need to go on a journey that's longer, it's slower and you need to spend lots of time explaining to a reader what happened. Cuz it's not the normal it's or not normal, but it's not the dominant way of doing things.
Speaker 2 (00:46:16):
It's quite different. You've got to explain what those differences are. So I work in slow research so I'm very familiar with how long it takes to create uh, publication or do some research. So I mean the other thing in psychology that I think is really interesting is the gold standard ideas for what is evidence and clinical trials. Mm-hmm mm-hmm And without wanting to say loads about those, cuz I'm certainly no expert in them, but I, I do supervise some areas for research around that and the expectations of a gold standard clinical trial, which will get you noticed and will also provide a lot of government funding for psychological care like C B T, you're more likely to enact that gold standard of a clinical trial which requires large numbers of participants. Big round of pre-trial survey measures a perfect, you know, six sessions of whatever it is or you know, a perfect number of sessions and then a post three months later, large number of measures.
Speaker 2 (00:47:28):
Again enormous amounts of things that the participants themselves have to do that is very excluding. I mean that's kind of getting off track from publishing a little bit cuz that's not really just the publishing world's problem. Some of the work I've done been privileged to work with First Nations communities, you are going to get that done really successfully in highly funded expensive projects where you are working with participants who you have who are very accessible, that's more likely to be dominant groups in society. So it's more likely to be around certain lines of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity. You are more likely to get weird participants in that. So you're more likely to be forming your knowledge I think of whether this thing works or not. Weird participants, it's an acronym, let me just make sure I get it right. Western educated, industrialized rich and democratic societies that the vast majority of psychology data and evidence comes from.
Speaker 2 (00:48:29):
Mm-hmm So that sort of pattern that we talked about in publishing where, I mean the other thing about it being English speaking, that was what I forgot. The other thing about it being English speaking is which countries it dominantly comes from. So there is a huge US bias to publishing. So I do have figures on that. Well I have tentative figures on that cuz this comes from me looking at Sha Margo which is the big database and putting in some search terms. So 72% of all Q1 journals. So that's the top 25% across all disciplines. 72% are US based and then if you add Western Europe and US it's 92%. And in psychology it's a little bit better in psychology, 40% is US based for q1. But if you add Western Europe it's 86%. And then if you think about Australia and how Australians fair, it's really relevant even though we're, you know, very educated academic space, we're highly privileged cuz English is our first language of all publishing. Only 0.6% of stuff is Australian. And for psychology it's a bit better. It's 1%. Now not all of the Australian journals state that they are based in Australia. Which I find fascinating. I don't know why the, they are based in the us that could be just a, a problem with like the publishing houses, you know, but that's a bit tentative about the Australian stuff. But yeah, if you're trying to publish in the US and it's not US research, it's harder. Have you managed to publish in the US much?
Speaker 1 (00:50:06):
Mostly from US journals.
Speaker 2 (00:50:08):
Yeah. Okay. Do you find it's easier or you find you've got a big hurdle?
Speaker 1 (00:50:13):
Uh, I have noticed there's been like the key things that come up in my work interestingly around language is you know that difference in spelling that American reviewers will pick that up pretty quickly even though you might expect that to go through to an editor
Speaker 2 (00:50:28):
Speaker 1 (00:50:29):
. Yes. Really interesting. As the author that's reading reviews, I kind of see it almost as like elitist. Like well this hasn't come from the us you know, cause it is not US English. Which I find kind of fascinating. I actually had to have a little back and forth in response to a reviewer to say actually the journal's requirements are English, not US English. So if the editor wants it adjusted nice stand my ground and be annoying about it.
Speaker 2 (00:50:56):
That's so sort of subtle areas of discrimination that are much, much stronger for other people than us. But yeah, that's subtle kind of stuff. Like it not being spelled in American English that niggles the reviewer, you know, that that can then could have been read differently and they'd be more negative about something.
Speaker 1 (00:51:13):
Yes. Yeah, absolutely. And I, I think the key thing, my research tends to focus on specific occupational groups and trauma. So if I did trauma reactions in a general population or a a broader clinical population in Australia, that would be a lot easier to publish. But as soon as you zoom in and focus on journalists or aged care workers or you know, a specific group, yeah you can go to a Q1 journal and say, if we take methods aside, cuz that's a whole other issue, you could go to a a highly ranked journal and say, Hey this is my research and here's why it's really important, impactful and uncovers things we didn't know before in an important group. And you'll get back a really nice email that might say, this is a little too niche for us, maybe try these journals. It actually doesn't really work in a nursing journal or a, a journalism journal either because it's psychological research so they don't want it. Yeah. And I remember contacting someone who's been in this area of research internationally for a lot longer and saying to them, Hey, I'm asking for help, what do you do to address this? And they wrote back to me and said, Jasmine, when you work it out, let me know
Speaker 2 (00:52:22):
Speaker 1 (00:52:23):
I just, I just had a little chuckle to myself and thought, yeah, not all populations are created equal in terms of publishing or an interest as a population. No,
Speaker 2 (00:52:33):
Not all. No. Not created equal. And I guess it mirrors society in lots of ways, but that's just dissatisfying to me, which is why I will happily bang on about it. . Yeah, yeah. You know, it works along gender lines, especially during Covid there was a big gender gap in journal submissions during Covid. There were way more men finding they had plenty of time to submit articles. Sorry guys. The men, the flip side of that was that there were way more women reviewing. So they felt like they were kind of being responsible and felt like they should help people or whatever. That kind of stereotype I could describe. But yeah, there were more women reviewing, but more men submitting .
Speaker 1 (00:53:12):
Whoa, that's fascinating.
Speaker 2 (00:53:13):
Yeah, and certainly then around, you know, for me, groups who experience marginalization from society for all sorts of reasons along lines of race, gender, sexuality, disability, just as you said, are not the whole population. They're part of the population who I that find to be, you know, left out. And, and that's not fair. And so that sort of work is more often left out of those big journals. And so I know and I'm comfortable in my work with publishing in lower ranked journals because I would not get into, so I would not with the work I do, which is, you know, the worst of the worst. It's the, it's the methods that aren't super common. It's, uh, theories that aren't super common and dominant. It's uh, groups who are not, uh, part of dominant, you know, mainstream society. It's people who are experiencing exclusion, marginalized. That's where I wanna work.
Speaker 1 (00:54:15):
Politically unpopular topics.
Speaker 2 (00:54:17):
Oh, for sure. I mean, I'm still employed, like I said, so I, I'm not doing the best I could do in being politically unpopular.
Speaker 1 (00:54:25):
Distract the balance . Yeah, it's
Speaker 2 (00:54:28):
Good. The system has me tired enough that I'm not, I'm not acting. Yeah. You know, where I could, I'm sure as I get older I'll get grum, I look forward to it
Speaker 1 (00:54:37):
Speaker 2 (00:54:38):
But um, I also think you can, you can criticize a, an institution like Psychology Loads. Now if you criticize management of your employers, that's where you're really stuck. . Yeah. So we'll have to do another one on higher education and get me really fired
Speaker 1 (00:54:53):
Speaker 2 (00:54:54):
Yeah. So I just, you know, wouldn't even submit to a high. I I think this work is very important and you do see it get through particularly with well known names in those spaces. So you do see the really most well-known names in those spaces get through cause they have a much higher readership. You know, a journal wants to get those citations. It, it needs to get the journal itself as well. I mean the journal is getting lots of pressure from its publishing house in that sort of capitalist way of constant increasing that kind of, you've gotta have a, a higher impact factor next year. Keep going. That kind of illogic of going up all the time. So journals are also under pressure. Yeah. So they want those people. But yeah, so I always publish in lower ranks journals and uh, I love them , but I'm okay with that.
Speaker 2 (00:55:44):
Yeah. And I was gonna say like the American Journal of Community Psychology is probably the highest ranked in my subfield in community psychology and that's an a p a journal in a division of the a p a. Um, now when I was first starting out, there's actually been a wonderful transformation at that journal. It's really been influenced by kind of political movements in the US So it actually has some fascinating stuff in it now and, and different and innovative. But when I first started my PhD, you could not get published in that journal unless you were doing quantitative work. And if you know me and know like what I tell you about community psychology and how, how many different things we do, that seems, that blows my mind that you, you had to do quantitative research cuz there's most community psychology. I mean in the US it's more dominated by quantitative stuff but loads, you know, there's loads of different methods. So it's the point. Hmm. So some spaces are getting better, but definitely a pressure everywhere .
Speaker 1 (00:56:41):
Yeah, I guess it's probably useful to just note that it's not as though it's just a selection of well I do these kinds of methods that take longer and take you on a journey because, you know, because I like to do it and I'm slow with doing research. , it's like actually they're, those standardized positive approaches are based on big numbers. So if you're looking at a really niche group, like I think of say, you know, Kathy Sharma's qualitative work with really specific, uh, health conditions. Mm-hmm.
Speaker 2 (00:57:11):
Speaker 1 (00:57:13):
Or Exactly. Yeah. So there's really pragmatic reasons to adopt these methods to answer really interesting questions. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (00:57:20):
And in that sense, like quality is about how you have answered a question. You shouldn't just answer it one way. Yeah. There's all sorts of different ways you need to answer a question. Chronic pain, you know, that Kathy Shama does a stuff on and uh, I think Jonathan Pause has done some work on that as well and illness and stuff like that, you know, it's, uh, quantifiable in all sorts of ways, measurable, but there's lots of ways in which it's not measurable. Mm-hmm. are quantifiable, but very important ways to understand how individuals cope or don't you know what it does to somebody to be in chronic pain that's not understood by quantifying it and that needs time. You're absolutely right. The choices that a researcher should be making should be choices that they make that are tailored to the problem. And definitely I find myself doing the slower research because the other methods, they either don't kind of work.
Speaker 2 (00:58:18):
What does that mean though when I say they don't work? They, um, the people I want to work with would not agree to do that or would not want to do that. The people I want to work with would also be sometimes with some methods would be disempowered by doing research like that. And some of that research would not only be disempowering but also damaging. Hmm. Because if you are using that way, that's been standardized for dominant groups, a lot of what you end up measuring makes that group look negative. Yeah. Yeah. I mean that's a much bigger debate we can go into . Yeah. So that idea that higher ranked journals automatically have qu they do have lots of quality I don't wanna argue that the, like everything is terrible. They do have very good quality work in them, but that's automatic assumption. I think it's really problematic. It's really damaging for practitioners in psychology as well who have to go by evidence based practice and evidence is a tricky slippery. Hmm. Yeah. How it, how how that evidence was come by is is difficult. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (00:59:24):
Yeah. In the work that I'm currently doing, in doing synthesis of evidence for practitioners, the thing that we are supposed to emphasize is what is the strength of the research? And I think this is something as well that is similarly, how is strength quantified or operationally defined . Mm-hmm. So I, I always try to approach it in terms of, well what kinds of questions can it answer and what implications can that have for practice? Instead of saying, what I think traditionally it meant was how standardized and how positive is it basically.
Speaker 2 (01:00:01):
Speaker 1 (01:00:03):
How generalizable is the finding.
Speaker 2 (01:00:05):
Yeah. Without questioning some of the core of it before you decide whether it's generalizable . Cause it's difficult to read research and Yeah. I'm interested lately in why people publish. I don't only publish cuz it's a have to for my job. I do want, there's lots of, I think there's lots of reasons why people want to publish either research or commentary discussion. I often want to change the minds of the people who are reading and I'm aware that that's not the general public, but that might be a lot of people in power who I want to change their minds, who are then going to have an effect on a community or you know, be it psychologists or academics teaching students or, I find it very valuable to be speaking to in that work a bunch of people. Um, if I'm trying to show some ways in which research should look different when you are working with young people, for example, I know the people reading it are probably working with young people.
Speaker 2 (01:01:14):
They're probably not youth workers on the ground, but they're people maybe shaping policy and stuff like that as well. So I want to communicate to them. I do increasingly in my older age run out of patience and I want to communicate to community more broadly in a journal for which you need a subscription to and you can't, it isn't open access that is probably quite highly ranked. I mean there, there's probably a correlation between can you access it and is it , is it ranked? Although some of the really big ones, I think nature, you probably might, I don't know if you need a subscription to everything in nature, it's just so big that it might generates its own sort of wealth. But lots of newspapers now you need a subscription to. So you know that sort of, that sort of gatekeeping is increasing and where do I wanna have impact?
Speaker 2 (01:02:03):
And so a lot of the time I'm thinking more and more about where I communicate and who I communicate to because that stuff that isn't accessible by the public is often research that's been done on the public and they don't get to read it, they don't get to look at it and it's jargony anyway. It's not very readable. It's hard to read. I would be really interested on your perspective working outside of higher education, what value there is for NGOs, organizations, charities, maybe also just practitioners. I don't know about private practice practitioners, but is there value in those people publishing their work, you know, maybe at programs that they're doing?
Speaker 1 (01:02:51):
Oh yeah, absolutely. And they're incorporated at almost every step of what I'm doing now, coming up with what's the topic that we're gonna focus on engagement with stakeholders to find that out as the work is developing, who's sampled, what the programs are. And the resources that we put together tend to emphasize review and inclusion and authorship or in webinars by practitioners, by groups that are doing things on the ground or doing them differently.
Speaker 2 (01:03:23):
Hmm. So you are actually providing that almost like a journal would if it was accessible to the public, you're providing that space for people to read. That's very interesting and actually that's something that our journal that we're about to do, our journal's fully publicly accessible and although it's not ranked, so academics are increasingly finding it difficult to publish in an unranked journal. I still think it's super high quality to me and to my team. But the other thing I think that kind of space for expansion is it is rigorously peer reviewed, but it's also accessible to the public. And so we're thinking at the moment about relaunching the practice section of the the journal, which has always been kind of, you know, there's a space that's a bit more, I'm always trying to avoid the use of the word formal these days, but a bit more about research reports and the academics are more likely to submit to.
Speaker 2 (01:04:18):
And the practice section was always about kind of practitioners writing their reflections on their work. But we actually wanna expand that, maybe call it something like impact. And so it doesn't have to have some of the very overly particular elements that other section has. I don't wanna call it the main section, but I just envisage maybe it's a space for organizations to be able to submit work that they're doing community work, that they're doing intervention or various projects that they're doing. Could be research but doesn't have to be research. It can be innovative ways that they're engaging in community. Because I suspect that it's valuable for an organization to tell government, for example, in all these raft of funding applications that people have to co put in that they have peer reviewed publication on this work. You know, that it's been peer reviewed, that it's valued very difficult to get into that subscription journal ranking space for those practitioners.
Speaker 2 (01:05:17):
But also the other value of that is that the public can access that work. So the organization can use that piece of writing to speak up, but it can also use it to speak out and say, hey, when we did this intervention with you, this is the result or this is a result. It could be something that community take part in as well because again, it doesn't have to be as rigid and limited. So I think that's really exciting space for our journal to go for. I think along all of this sort of talk, there's passionate reasons to publish work to get it read to um, show people something that's really important. And there's also slightly cynical reasons to do so. And that was a little bit almost one of them, you know, to get kind of government funding more easily and things like that.
Speaker 2 (01:06:04):
But there's all other sorts of reasons and so a lot of us do operate in that difficult balance of going well, okay, I will go and do that kind of impact factor stuff. So our journalists thinking, okay, well we probably need to pursue that a little bit as well. Mm-hmm , which we don't need to go into this kind of strategy. But yeah, the, the world is constantly throwing in curve balls and that kind of focus on citation that we talk about is quite problematic, but it, it's not going away. So ways to do that as authentically as possible. Um, yeah, I think that kind of space for public dissemination, public publishing and your version in your organization sounds also, you know, really great. I think that plain English communication as well is really important that journal articles are not accessible financially, but they're also not accessible when you read them either. like,
Speaker 1 (01:06:59):
Speaker 2 (01:06:59):
Figuring out what it says is a whole other issue that my discipline has just as big a problem with that. Cause we use a lot of words ,
Speaker 1 (01:07:07):
We kind of, you know, in psychology publishing write in a way that is insular. Other people trained like us get it, but people on the outside who read research and they're not necessarily in the APA club of what goes where they don't get it. That's been kind of a key shift for me. And just recently in this role, because we do this in-depth writing training and the trainers saying to us, why would you hide your results and conclusions and recommendations for practitioners and policymakers behind the method of what you did? You know, you need to explain what you did, but you have to right up front say, here's the conclusion that we've come to, here's the reason. And then back that up with evidence. But in psychological report writing we tend to go a funnel that's based on theory and concepts instead of conclusions and recommendations. And that felt really uncomfortable. Yeah. I just cringed when
Speaker 2 (01:08:00):
You said it,
Speaker 1 (01:08:01):
I had like a
Speaker 2 (01:08:02):
Physical visceral reaction to the idea, but people need to know what the context is.
Speaker 1 (01:08:08):
Writing chronologically of you know, here's the background, here's what I did and then the findings. We like to think like that. Yeah. You know, this is the, the point of this training. We think like that. But people do not enjoy reading that. No. They wanna know, okay, what's the point? And if I am interested in going along further, then how did you get to this point? What's the evidence behind it? That's, that's pretty nice actually. I spent most of today flipping around a report that I'd written like a psych report into something to that format. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. It felt wrong, but it felt like bad good
Speaker 2 (01:08:40):
Speaker 1 (01:08:44):
Speaker 2 (01:08:44):
A kind of senior mentor of mine who's really into really heavy jargon would argue or has argued cuz we've had this kind of argument in the past that the reason people use is sort of difficult to understand terms or, or things that are a bit excluding is because they can be single terms that mean a lot. And if there's a shared understanding among a certain group of people, you kind of have that way of speaking and it's quicker, or it says more clearly what you want to mean. And his argument would be that plain words often have a lot of different meanings and if you use them, it could be misunderstood in the way it's communicated. And I can see that perspective, but I still choose to sort of reject it because that group of people are excluding everybody else and it's elitist or it might not be meaning to be elitist, but the outcome is elitist. Only people that understand all that stuff can join in.
Speaker 1 (01:09:43):
We have gotten through like maybe half the content we wanted to get through . Oh. Which is, it's actually as it is, is a really nice episode. The stuff that we haven't covered, um, how's actually publish
Speaker 2 (01:09:57):
Speaker 1 (01:09:58):
So we've got a lot of problematizing and raising issues. Mm-hmm. That could be a first episode and the second could be, uh, how to publish that, finding a journal, um, post submission tips, more focused on ACP and what the scope is. I've
Speaker 2 (01:10:15):
Spent the whole time slagging off publishing and then I'll be like, so this is how you do it, . It'll be really funny.
Speaker 1 (01:10:23):
I feel like that will be the cliffhanger of this episode as I'm, I'm gonna use clip then
Speaker 2 (01:10:34):
Be really mean about publishing.
Speaker 4 (01:10:37):
For those of you at home, that's all for today. Show notes for the episode can be firstname.lastname@example.org. If you've enjoyed listening to Psych Attack, please rate it on your favorite podcast platform and share this episode to help other people find the show. If you have questions or feedback, you can reach out on Twitter at Psych Attack Cast. Thanks for listening and we'll catch up with you again next time.