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Posted 08.26.04

Education Professor To Edit Leading Research Journal

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- On the Greek island of Naxos, Brent Mallinckrodt anticipated a phone call that would change his life for the next six years. The University of Missouri-Columbia College of Education professor and his wife were traveling through Europe prior to a psychotherapy research conference in Rome. No matter where he was, May 26 was the day Mallinckrodt had to contact the American Psychology Association's (APA) headquarters in Washington D.C. to learn if he was the new editor of The Journal of Counseling Psychology.

"We had one of our most strenuous hikes scheduled for that day," Mallinckrodt said. "At 3,000 feet above sea level, I had a long time to think about what it would be like if I was selected; and then I also was prepared to not be selected. By the time I picked up the phone that evening, I was ready for either one of the possibilities. The APA officer in charge of the journal immediately said, 'We selected you.' Even though I was prepared for both possibilities, it was a stunning feeling and quite an honor. It is the editor's duty to decide what constitutes acceptable science. That's a heavy responsibility."

The Journal of Counseling Psychology (JCP) ranks among the top three of the APA's 45 research journals. JCP has a 70 to 80 percent rejection rate, publishing only one out of every six manuscripts submitted. Mallinckrodt has published 26 articles and served for 10 years on the journal's editorial board. He also was an associate editor for Psychotherapy Research for eight years. Mallinckrodt will begin his six-year term as incoming editor in January 2005 and official editor in January 2006. He will review 120 out of 240 manuscripts the journal receives per year through an electronic portal that allows him to work from his home or MU office. His other editorial duties include selecting three associate editors and a 50-member editorial board.

Although he does not plan major changes in the journal, as editor, Mallinckrodt hopes to publish brief articles used for preliminary studies. The brief article format has not been used in the journal for years. He intends to increase the diversity of the editorial board by focusing more on leading researchers from smaller schools and private practice. He plans to increase the number of ethnic minority scholars on the board, since an ever increasing number of JCP articles involve research on cultural diversity.

"My goal is to have each of the authors we reject feel as though we're giving them good feedback with detailed reasons as to why we could not accept their article and encourage them to submit an improved manuscript in the future," Mallinckrodt said. "I'm looking at the associate editors and board members as 'research coaches'. I think we'll get better manuscripts year after year this way."


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