Welcome to this 25th Anniversary issue of Applied Cognitive Psychology. ACP began in 1987, the brain-child of Douglas Herrmann and myself. It sprang from an earlier journal, Human Learning, begun by Michael Howe who went on to become a supportive and long-standing member of our founding Editorial Board (Davies, 2002). In our opening issue, Doug and I set out our ambitions for Applied Cognitive Psychology. We highlighted the growth in interest in applicable psychology, driven in part by the search for ecological validity in psychology but also by changes in the policies of the major funding bodies which were increasingly favouring proposals which promised applicable findings rather than contributions to theory alone. We saw this resurgence of interest at the interface between research and practice as mutually beneficial:

‘Theory will benefit from the refinement and generalisation which occurs when theories are tested in contexts other than the laboratory. Practical applied psychology will be strengthened by the new perspectives and concepts which emerge when familiar problems are viewed from the standpoint of contemporary cognitive theory’ (Davies & Herrmann, 1987, p. 1).

The support of Wiley UK and its Psychology Editor, Michael Coombs, saw our vision fulfilled and the new journal gained rapidly in readership and reputation. Douglas Herrmann was the first North American Editor while I looked after manuscripts from other regions: the historic split in submissions has been almost even from the start to the present day. In 1991, Doug completed his term as North American Editor and the late Michael Pressley, an educational psychologist who had always viewed training and instruction from a cognitive perspective, took over. Mike was responsible for a Special Issue of the Journal on the then incendiary topic of the recovery of memories of childhood abuse (Pressley & Grossman, 1994) which attracted widespread attention and citation. Special Issues have been a regular feature of the journal since its inception and have sought to capture contemporary thinking on a topic of the moment: from the limits on suggestibility in witnesses (Ornstein & Davies, 1997) through to the memories and cognitions associated with the events of September 11, 2001 (Pezdek, 2003).

Doug Herrmann meanwhile had gone on to found the Society for Research in Memory and Cognition (SARMAC) in 1994 which brought together scholars and researchers with an interest in this emerging area and the Society adopted ACP as its first official journal. When Mike stepped down as North American Editor in the same year, a new post was created of ‘SARMAC and North American Editor’ of which Kathy Pezdek was the first incumbent. Kathy's interests in true and false memory processes encouraged a range of papers on newly emerging topics, such as strategic and automatic processes (McDaniel & Einstein, 2000); the verbal overshadowing effect (Meissner & Brigham, 2001) and transfer appropriate processing (Schooler, 2002).

In 2000, Don Read took over as SARMAC Editor for the next five years and ensured that questions of memory reliability continued to be a major theme in the journal, alongside more traditional topics in applied cognition such as stress and cognition (Rubin, Feldman & Beckham, 2004), classroom learning (Gathercole, Pickering, Knight & Stegmann, 2004), eyewitness identification (Wright, Boyd & Tredoux, 2003) and driving behaviour (Lundqvist, Gerdle & Ronnberg, 2000). Don's appointment coincided with the creation of a third editorial post devoted exclusively to dealing with the growing number of manuscripts originating in Australasia This post was held in the first year by Mel Pipe, but then Martine Powell filled the position for the following nine years, the longest serving of all ACP Associate Editors to date.

The five-year reign of SARMAC's next editor, Bob Belli, which began in 2005, was marked by a period of rapid change, both for the journal and the wider world of academic publishing. As part of the consolidation of the publishing industry, Wiley acquired Blackwell Publishing and became Wiley-Blackwell in 2007. The days of editors receiving dog-eared paper manuscripts through the post and sending out little cards to remind errant reviewers of their duties had gone well before the end of the Twentieth Century. The advent of electronic mail and attachments greatly speeded up the process of communication between authors and editors. In 2006, the handling of manuscripts by the journal became entirely electronic with the opening of a single dedicated online submission system for the journal which handled all phases of the editorial process, from submission to decision. A new electronic system ‘Early View’ ensured that any delays in publication of accepted papers in hard copy could be circumvented by making them available promptly to readers via electronic media. The journal too became available in electronic form as an alternative to the traditional bound copy—the next step will be issues read on everyone's smart phone!

There had also been a commensurate increase in the number of manuscripts submitted to the journal, particularly as its impact factor began to climb and in 2007 both Bob and I appointed a number of Associate Editors to deal with this increased volume of correspondence more effectively. The challenge of delegating editorial control is to ensure that standards remain consistent and the quality of feedback is maintained, something that Bob and I strained to achieve through a rigorous process of regular monitoring. In 2009, electronic communication enabled us to take the next logical step of moving away from an editorial structure based on geographical regions to a larger grouping of specialist editors who can and do conduct their editorial business from virtually anywhere on the planet! This move away from regional editors saw the demise of the SARMAC Editor position, though many of our existing editors continue to be drawn from members of the Society.

As we reach our 25th Anniversary, further change is in the air. We have a new cover design and a new, larger format, which will enable us to publish more papers in each issue and ensure faster appearance in print of accepted articles. From 2011, book reviews will cease to be a regular feature of the journal, to be replaced by ‘End Notes’ a venue for short articles and reviews edited by Pär Anders Granhag, our Deputy Editor in Chief. It will include ‘How I got started’: tales from famous applied cognitive psychologists on what drew them to the area and the twists and turns their careers have taken subsequently.

As we pass another significant milestone in the journal's development, I would like to thank all of my fellow editors, past and present, for their enthusiasm, hard work and ideas which have helped to build the journal's reputation to where it is today. We would be nowhere without reviewers, many of them members of the Editorial Board, some of whom have served since the journal's first issue. My grateful thanks, too, to the backroom staff: the countless editorial assistants, of whom Emma Sleath is the latest and longest serving, and our Editor at Wiley-Blackwell, Rachel O'Kane, who has been a constant source of support and advice. To celebrate our anniversary, I approached some of those who had served ACP over the years and asked each of them to nominate one favourite article from ACP and to briefly give their reasons. We now republish these articles together with the reasons they were chosen in this virtual issue. Together, they convey something of the essence of ACP which Doug Herrmann and I set out to achieve 25 years ago.


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