View all articles in this issue
Embracing the Past and Looking Toward the Future
Download this article for $0.00 (FREE for Members)
by Christopher Koch - George Fox University
Category: Editor's Column
The Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research was first published in 1996 as a national, fully reviewed, quarterly journal dedicated to the publication of undergraduate student research. Consistent with Psi Chi’s purpose to “encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship of the individual members”, the journal was conceived for the purpose of fostering and rewarding the scholarly efforts of undergraduate psychology students. Articles published in the journal primarily represent the work of undergraduate students although faculty supervisors deserving recognition can be co-authors. However, the Psi Chi Journal was also intended to provide members with a valuable learning experience in the publication process with the hope of further developing the skills required for the next generation of psychologists to lead the discipline through their scientific contributions to the field. Although this was an ambitious goal, Stephen F. Davis, the first editor of the Psi Chi Journal for Undergraduate Research, observed that the journal “has succeeded in achieving its goal” and that through it “student professional development is enhanced” (Psi Chi, n.d.).
If the Psi Chi Journal has achieved its goal, then it is largely due to the foundational work of Stephen F. Davis and the continued efforts of Warren Jones, the second editor of the Psi Chi Journal. Both editors embraced the purpose of the Psi Chi Journal and developed an impressive list of consulting editors who have provided positive and constructive feedback to student authors, encouraging their research endeavors while maintaining a high standard for scholarly work. Members of Psi Chi are indebted to the dedicated service of Dr. Davis and Dr. Jones.
Due to the purpose and quality of the Psi Chi Journal, the journal itself can be used in a variety of ways. First, the Psi Chi Journal is obviously used as an outlet for undergraduate research. However, the research articles from the journal can also be used in research methods classes, for example, as a source of ideas. The articles can also serve as models of undergraduate research projects. In this issue, a new feature has been added to the Psi Chi Journal that is both informative about research and a unique source of material for the classroom. The new feature is an interview with a key figure in psychological research, Elizabeth Loftus in this case. The goal of the interview is to let readers know more about a key figure in the discipline, that individual’s development as student, and his or her opinions about the future of psychological research. The hope is that these interviews will not only be interesting and inspiring to our readers but eventually become useful for teachers of the history of psychology. Furthermore, the goal is to have the interviews conducted and contributed by student members. Read the interview for ideas on how you might conduct an interview and read the corresponding article in the Spring issue of Eye on Psi Chi for sample interview questions. In addition to this new feature, Psi Chi is continuing to pursue the inclusion of the Psi Chi Journal in a number of online databases to make the articles more accessible to interested readers.
The past has brought us two excellent editors that have helped develop an excellent undergraduate research journal for psychology. The future of the Psi Chi Journal, in part, depends on your continued contributions as research authors, interview authors, and as faculty reviewers. I look forward to working with you as the new editor of the Psi Chi Journal in expanding the utility of the journal, increasing its impact on student research, and maintaining an excellent publication of undergraduate research.
Psi Chi (n.d). Journal commendations. Retrieved January 12, 2008, from http://www.psichi.org/pubs/journal/journal_prof.asp#davis
Copyright 2008 by Psi Chi, The National Honor Society in Psychology (Vol. 13, No. 1, 3 / ISSN 1089-4136).