Standing on the Shoulders of a Giant: A Reflection on the Past and Future of Stress and Health
Article first published online: 4 FEB 2014
Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Stress and Health
Volume 30, Issue 1, pages 1–2, February 2014
How to Cite
Probst, T. M. and Hagger, M. S. (2014), Standing on the Shoulders of a Giant: A Reflection on the Past and Future of Stress and Health. Stress and Health, 30: 1–2. doi: 10.1002/smi.2561
- Issue published online: 4 FEB 2014
- Article first published online: 4 FEB 2014
At this turning point in the history of Stress and Health, and in our inaugural joint editorial, we thought we would take this opportunity not only to convey to our readers our plans and aspirations for Stress and Health but also acknowledge the legacy left by Cary Cooper's stewardship of the journal for the past 6 years. Whatever we might accomplish in the upcoming years will in part be due to Cary's dedication to the journal and to the field.
As noted by Newton and before him, Bernard of Chartres, ‘If [we] have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants’… ‘not by virtue of any sharpness of sight on our part, or any physical distinction, but because we are carried high and raised up by their giant size.’ Cary is truly a ‘giant’ in the field of stress and health and significantly raised the profile of this journal during his tenure as Editor-in-Chief.
In 2008, when Cary began his term, the journal (like many at the time) was still managed using offline processes and hard copies of manuscripts. One of his immediate priorities was to transition to an online submission process, which remarkably he was able to accomplish within 3 months! An equally high priority was to assemble an editorial team of individuals who would help achieve the vision of making Stress and Health one of the leading journals in the field. Again, in short order (and with very little cajoling!), the following group of Associate Editors was on board: Andrew Baum of the University of Texas, Arlington, USA; Martin Hagger of Curtin University, Australia; Trevor Norman at Melbourne University, Australia; and Tahira Probst at Washington State University, USA.
With the sad passing of Andrew Baum, and as manuscript submissions steadily increased, new faces were added to the team, including Michael O'Driscoll of the University of Waikato, New Zealand in 2009; Mina Westman of Tel Aviv University, Israel in 2011; and most recently, Doug Delahanty of Kent State University, USA this past year. We are fortunate to have these individuals continuing in their leadership roles for the journal; their presence is a testament to their dedication to the future success of this journal.
Since 2008, submissions to Stress and Health have also steadily risen. In 2009, the journal was averaging approximately 17 submissions per month. That rate has now nearly doubled, a clear indication that Stress and Health is increasingly a preferred outlet for researchers in the field. At the same time, our acceptance rate has necessarily become more competitive, currently below 15%. Only those submissions of the highest quality with the greatest potential to significantly impact the field are accepted for publication. Not surprisingly, as a result, the journal's Impact Factor has also steadily risen from 0.76 in 2008 to 1.04 in 2012.
Perhaps most importantly, Stress and Health continues to be multidisciplinary in nature and global in reach with submissions from 44 countries spanning topics ranging from clinical/medical effects of stress and treatment, health psychology, occupational and organizational health psychology, and the psychophysiology of stress. Submitting authors come from psychology departments, medical schools, colleges of business, public health agencies and many more. Due to this diversity, the journal remains committed to the advancement of the health and well-being of people and well-poised to achieve that goal.
The journal has seen fit in recent years to focus more exclusively on human health meaning that we have tended to support research with focus on human participants or studies that have a clear application to human health and well-being. As an editorial team, we are strongly committed to advancing knowledge in our multidisciplinary field, and as such, only work of the highest quality will be published in the journal. Our editorial board and team of Associate Editors are committed to the ideals of rigorous and fair peer review and quick and efficient turnaround of manuscripts. In addition, we are also keen to ensure the integrity of the research we publish, and we encourage authors to submit their data, analyses and protocols for scrutiny during the peer review process for maximum transparency, issues we plan on making policy in future. We call all researchers in the areas of stress and health to send their best work to the journal and join us in progressing scientific inquiry in this important field forward.
In the coming years, we envision even more improvements to the journal. Over the past year, we have embarked on some exciting initiatives. In our next issue, we will begin hosting a series of Guest Editorials and Conceptual Reviews from leading stress and health researchers (e.g. Stevan Hobfoll, Jim Quick, Steve Jex and Stale Einarsen). This year will also bring two special issues of particular interest to the stress and health community: one on respite and recovery and the other focused on resilience. Stress and Health will soon begin publishing a series of ‘virtual issues’ centred around focal topics. These virtual issues are meant to highlight previously published articles on ‘hot topic’ areas (e.g. work–family conflict/balance, incivility and intervention research) that have received considerable attention in the recent stress and health literature. One of our first virtual issues will bring together leading research and commentary on topics related to sleep and health.
In closing, we are truly standing on the shoulders of giants, and we can clearly see that the future of Stress and Health is bright.