The British Psychological Society Journals – Our Legacy, Our Future

President’s column
Richard Mallows
Contact Richard Mallows via the Society’s Leicester office,
or e-mail: [email protected]

A t the start of the year may I wish all members a healthy, happy and productive 2014. I am really sorry to disappoint those dedicated readers who are expecting the announcement of the prize winner from the December President’s column competition, but this has to be delayed until the February issue. Each column has to be written in advance such that no sooner has one month’s column been published than I am writing the next one.

A new year often brings hopes and expectations, some trivial and others life-changing, some personal and others professional. As I write, the last buttons will be being pressed by universities submitting their Research Excellence Frameworks, where there will be hopes and expectations for favourable results. It is salutary to note that the recent Nobel Prize winner Professor Peter Higgs would not be able to be entered in a REF submission.

My vision for the Society, as expressed in the July 2013 editorial, was to ‘securely position the BPS as the learned society for psychology and also to be more outward looking in the world’. It is evident from many comments, discussions and minutes of meetings that internationalism is on the agenda, and I expect to see further initiatives this year. It is vital that all facets of psychology feel included in our development as a learned society and I hope to dispel any notions of exclusivity in order to make progress in this area.

The General Assembly made some valuable contributions to this debate, and these, together with contributions from individual members and networks, were fed into a giant document for Trustees to discuss at their Strategic Plan awayday in York. Whilst the ambience of St Williams College was medieval the discussion was very forward-looking. The distillation from this meeting will be fed back to members and member networks for a further round of consultation in the first quarter of 2014. The results will be discussed at the May meeting of the Trustees and a final Strategic Plan agreed at the June meeting. There is a determination on this occasion to have a plan that can be operated, measured and financed. I would encourage all members who feel strongly to respond to the second consultation. This plan is the future direction of the Society.

Previous Presidents left me in no doubt that I should expect a very busy term of office. Many aspects of the role can be expected such as: chairing and attending numerous meetings, speaking at member network groups, representing the Society at all kinds of events, agreeing and signing off Society responses to consultations, firefighting and dealing with issues raised by members, member networks and national and international groups. I was given high expectations for the annual conference of the Psychological Society of Ireland and it did not disappoint. They do things differently in Ireland. The President’s address comes at the start of their Presidency whereas for us it comes at the end of the presidential term. Over there you can be held to account whilst in post!

The BPS has held, for the first time, a Psychology4Graduates day in London (see report p.10). This offspring of the now well-established series of student days was extremely successful, reflecting the skills of the BPS conferences team. An interesting mix of applied psychologists demonstrated huge enthusiasm for their areas both in their talks and when mingling with the graduates in break-out sessions. I was particularly interested in the presentation from the London College of Fashion and this has resulted in an invitation to visit, an unexpected surprise of the presidential year.

Meanwhile as a York resident I have to be careful not to mention expectations for the other Richard of York when I visit BPS HQ in Leicester. 

Availability, accessibility, quality
I    Now in over 13,000 libraries worldwide
I    Fully digitised backfiles
I    Rethinking ways that people wish to interact with published research
I    Development of new online tools (look out for the Anywhere Article and Readcube)
I    PsychSource (
I    Multimedia initiatives (podcasts and video abstracts)
I    Rigorous peer review system
I    Raising the quality bar
I    Increasing submissions

Society journals go from strength to strength

At the end of the first three full years since its journals publishing partnership with Wiley began the Society has published a review looking back at the legacy of our journals, assessing their current performance and looking ahead to some exciting developments in the pipeline. The document The British Psychological Society Journals – Our Legacy, Our Future has been written by Andy Tolmie, current Chair of the Society’s Editorial Advisory Group and a previous editor of the British Journal of Psychology.

Since the British Journal of Psychology was first published in 1904, the Society’s journals have helped shape the history and development of our discipline by publishing some of the most influential articles and research. The report not only shows how this continues today but also demonstrates significant growth in the reach of our journals since the Wiley partnership began – on track for over a million article downloads a year. Andy Tolmie puts this success down to three main factors – availability, accessibility and quality.

As well as measuring success in terms of article downloads, the report analyses citations and impact factors. Since the partnership with Wiley began, average citation rates per article have grown, with total citations of recent (previous two years) articles growing by nearly 30 per cent from 2010 to 2012.

The report also looks at the wider journals picture and at some data showing that while research output for UK and US authors has grown by similar percentages in the last few years, UK-authored articles have led the way in the average number of times their research has been cited.

The report ends with a call to Society members to consider submitting their own research to BPS journals so that they can benefit from the numerous advantages that recent innovations in our publishing strategies have been bringing and will continue to bring.

The report is free and is available for download from our Society news extra page at 


Equal opportunities award 

Professor Rachel Tribe, who is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of East London, has won the Ethics Committee’s 2013 Award for Promoting Equality of Opportunity.

The award recognises a person whose work as a psychologist – teacher, researcher or practitioner – has made a significant contribution to challenging social inequalities in the UK in relation to gender, race, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, disability or age.

Throughout her career Professor Tribe has shown a strong personal commitment to equality issues and has spoken out and advocated for those who voices are not heard due to discrimination or marginalisation.  Working as a clinician with a wide range of groups, including established and recent migrants as well as refugees and asylum seekers, Professor Tribe campaigned on behalf of service users who are not fluent in English to gain access to psychological services and for the work of their interpreters to be recognised.  Working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office she established innovative practices that were designed to meet the particular needs of the client group, many of whom believed that speaking about their experiences would put them in danger.

Professor Tribe was also instrumental in setting up the first support and supervision group for mental health interpreters in 1990, which is still ongoing. Before this, interpreters received no support or supervision from clinicians and were frequently left with secondary trauma. She also  co-wrote the 2008 BPS guidelines Working with Interpreters in Health Settings and produced a DVD on working with interpreters for the Department of Health and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.In recognition of her academic impact the University of East London awarded Professor Tribe a personal chair at the University of East London in 2008, and in 2010 a BPS Fellowship was awarded.
Due to her experience and commitment Professor Tribe has provided expert input to a number of international and national panels. In 2012 she was asked to comment on the UK’s response to the World Health Organization’s guidelines on mental health and migration and also worked with Malta to improve resources for refugees and asylum seekers.

As a committed volunteer, Professor Tribe has been an active member of a large number of organisations (Refugee Support Centre, Restore Hope, Psychotherapy and Human Rights). In particular her involvement in Sri Lanka over the last 20 years led to the development and running of workshops,  inputting to the post-tsunami response and liaising with the Disaster Emergencies Committee, culminating in the opening of a health resource centre in 2005. Sri Lanka’s first MPhil in clinical psychology was set up with Professor Tribe’s assistance and has tripled the number of qualified psychologists in that country.

During her career Professor Tribe has conducted research and studies with rigour, clinical and policy relevance and empathy to better understand how people are treated by institutional systems. Besides breaking new ground in research for working for interpreters she has worked tirelessly and effectively over the last decade to ensure the implications of her work are translated into improved policies and practice for vulnerable groups of people using health, social and educational services.

Membership renewal reminder
Society memberships are due for renewal by 31 January 2014.
To continue to enjoy the benefits of belonging to our psychology community, please renew before this date. You should have received your renewal pack in the post.

If you prefer to pay your renewal fee by credit or debit card, rather than by direct debit, please use our easy and efficient online payment facility ( You will need to sign in, or sign up if you do not already have a web account.

Remember that HM Revenue & Customs allows tax relief on all membership subscription fees, including Division, Section, Special Group and journal payments.

For enquiries about your subscription, including details of how to claim tax relief on your payments, please contact [email protected] or call +44 (0)1952 214 066

Work–life balance

The Division of Occupational Psychology’s group on work–life balance, in partnership with a consortium of universities and the charity Working Families, is running a seminar series funded by the ESRC. The first seminar is due to scheduled to take place on 17 January 2014 at Middlesex University.

The series of seven seminars will examine the work–life balance challenges for employees, employers and policy makers posed by economic recession and austerity measures. For example, do economic pressures overshadow social and individual concerns and if so, are policies and practices to support work–life balance threatened? Implications for gender equality, health and well-being, care and care-giving, employment relations and innovative workplace and policy initiatives will be considered in both the UK and in other national contexts. The seminars will also explore the impacts of economic recession and austerity on individuals, families, organisations and the wider community.

An underlying theme of the series is the question of how to meet a triple agenda of enhancing employee work-life balance, sustaining or enhancing organisational effectiveness, and contributing to social justice.

For further information contact Professor Suzan Lewis or Dr Nicola Payne at [email protected] or go to


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