New perspectives for Social Psychological Bulletin (Psychologia Społeczna)
expand article infoMichal Parzuchowski, Marcin Bukowski§
‡ SWPS University of Social Science and Humanities, Sopot, Poland
§ Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland
Open Access

Change is one thing, progress is another. “Change” is scientific, “progress” is ethical; change is indubitable, whereas progress is a matter of controversy – Bertrand Russell (1947)

Right from the start in 2006, Prof. Maria Lewicka, who acted as the founding Editor-in-Chief of Psychologia Społeczna, had a plan to build an outlet which ultimately would be read internationally. She founded a journal that aimed to publish work from international authors covering a broad range of topics on social psychology using various perspectives and methodologies. The plan was that even though it started off as a Polish-language journal, soon enough there would be lots of submissions in English to choose from (as Polish researchers regularly publish in English-language journals), and the proportions between the two languages could be smoothly adjusted later on. Surely enough, throughout the years it has become one of the best psychology journals in Poland, but the plan for its international impact has been put on hold. Simply not that many people have submitted their English manuscripts to Psychologia Społeczna – most preferred to submit their work in Polish. As a result, the journal’s readership and impact became more and more local.

In September 2016 we stepped up to help to realize Maria’s vision. We would like to support local – that is, European – high quality research but make it more accessible to the broad, international audience. Our ultimate goal is to fully transform this journal to be international in scope and also more responsive to the current trends in publishing (see Munafò et al., 2017). We want to make our journal accessible in an open access format (free for authors) and we want to promote a quick turnover of registered research articles with a completely transparent review process.

Below we outline the main changes we deployed to make this strategy possible. But of course we humbly agree with Bertrand Russell (1947), who separated the change itself from its consequences. Indeed, our journal’s progress may stem from these adjustments but it is largely uncertain, yet we (and the entire editorial team) are committed to developing a journal that represents the highest scientific standards.

Good Examples to Follow

First off, we have been nominated as Co-Editors-in-Chief to replace Prof. Maria Lewicka whom we want to thank again for the hard and efficient groundwork she did within the first 12 years. It is truly unimaginable how many thousands of hours she and her team have put into this journal to keep this project going as smoothly as it has. We do not only owe a huge debt of gratitude, but also an enormous sense of responsibility to tinker around with this project once you realize how passionate Maria was about that. We received nothing but constant support from her as we have been proposing more and more changes. For that we are extremely grateful. We are truly blessed with constant help and mentorship that offer both Prof. Maria Lewicka (as the Outgoing Editor-in-Chief) and Prof. Dariusz Dolinski (as the acting President of the Polish Society of Social Psychology, which remains the owner of the SPB (PS) title) and we want to personally thank them for doing that!

Which Changes Might Instigate Progress

Now let us specify the amendments to the journal’s strategy that we have proposed since we took over. Firstly, we decided to enlarge the editorial team. It is our privilege to welcome the updated board of 20 Associate Editors recruited from the most reliable and knowledgeable reviewers that Psychologia Społeczna Editors invited throughout the years: Robert Balas (Polish Academy of Sciences), Julia Barlińska (University of Warsaw), Wiesław Baryła (SWPS University of Social Science and Humanities, Sopot), Róża Bazińska (SWPS University of Social Science and Humanities, Sopot), Tomasz Besta (University of Gdansk), Agata Błachnio (Catholic University of Lublin), Aneta Brzezicka (SWPS University of Social Science and Humanities, Warsaw), Katarzyna Byrka (SWPS University of Social Science and Humanities, Wrocław), Wojciech Cwalina (SWPS University of Social Science and Humanities, Warsaw), Joanna Czarnota-Bojarska (University of Warsaw), Magdalena Formanowicz (Univeristy of Bern), Małgorzata Górnik-Durose (University of Silesia in Katowice), Tomasz Grzyb (SWPS University of Social Science and Humanities, Wrocław), Katarzyna Jaśko (Jagiellonian University), Jarosław Klebaniuk (University of Wroclaw), Anna Kwiatkowska (Polish Academy of Sciences), Jarosław Piotrowski (SWPS University of Social Science and Humanities, Poznań), Aleksandra Szymków (SWPS University of Social Science and Humanities, Sopot), Sławomir Śpiewak (Jagiellonian University), Adrian Wójcik (Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń). We are very grateful that you joined this project.

Next, we decided that we should update the title of our journal to reflect its international scope – the present version of the title Social Psychological Bulletin (Psychologia Społeczna) was selected throughout some heated discussions, lots of brainstorming and democratic voting – it gained the most support as it reflects consistency with the types of articles published in past issues and the previous title.

Later on, we distributed this updated idea behind the current journal’s strategy and its open-access formats and corroborated these ideas when recruiting members of our Editorial Board. We received a great deal of support, sprinkled with some skepticism and valuable feedback from peers and experts in broad fields of social psychology. We are extremely proud to present the list of great researchers who agreed to join our Editorial Board. It is our true honor to welcome all of the 44 members of our updated Editorial Board: Yoav Bar-Anan (Ben Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel), Jennifer Bosson (University of South Florida, USA), Susanne Bruckmüller (Universität Koblenz-Landau, Germany), Aleksandra Cichocka (University of Kent, UK), Jan Cieciuch (The Cardinal Wyszyński University in Warsaw, Poland), Olivier Corneille (Universite Catholique de Louvain, Belgium), Dariusz Doliński (SWPS University of Social Science and Humanities, Wrocław, Poland), Russell H. Fazio (Ohio State University, USA), Immo Fritsche (University of Leipzig, Germany), Leonel Garcia-Marques (University of Lisboa, Portugal), Anne Gast (University of Cologne, Germany), Agata Gąsiorowska (SWPS University of Social Science and Humanities, Wrocław, Poland), Bertram Gawronski (University of Texas at Austin, USA), Robin Goodwin (University of Warwick, UK), Ana Guinote (University College London, UK), Pascal M. Gygax (University of Fribourg, Switzerland), Ulrich von Hecker (Cardiff University, UK), Rob Holland (Radboud University, The Netherlands), Krys Kaniasty (Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA & Polish Academy of Science, Poland), Natasza Kosakowska-Berezecka (University of Gdansk, Poland), Małgorzata Kossowska (Jagiellonian University, Poland), Arie Kruglanski (University of Maryland, USA), Clara Kulich (University of Geneva, Switzerland), Soledad de Lemus (University of Granada, Spain), Maria Lewicka (Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland), Andrew Livingstone (University of Exeter, UK), Mariola Łaguna (Catholic University of Lublin, Poland), Eugenia Mandal (University of Silesia, Poland), Mark Muraven (University at Albany, SUNY, USA), John Nezlek (College of William & Mary, Williamsburg (VA), USA & SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Faculty in Poznań, Poland), Mark Rotteveel (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Peter Schmidt (University of Giessen, Germany), Norbert Schwarz (University of Southern California, USA), Grzegorz Sędek (SWPS University of Social Science and Humanities, Warsaw, Poland), Jeff Sherman (UC Davis, USA), Karl Halvor Teigen (University of Oslo, Norway), Aleksandra Tokarz (Jagiellonian University, Poland), Sascha Topolinski (University of Cologne, Germany), Mikołaj Winiewski (University of Warsaw, Poland), Piotr Winkielman (University of California at San Diego, USA), Bogdan Wojciszke (SWPS University of Social Science and Humanities, Sopot, Poland), Rex Wright (University of North Texas, USA), Joseph Vandello (University of South Florida, USA) and Vadym Vasiutynskyi (Institute of Social and Political Psychology in Kyiv, Ukraine).

How to Make Our Journal More Accessible

One concern authors share, regardless of the journal’s impact factor to which they submit their work to, is the responsiveness of the editor. How long would I have to wait until I get the reviews of my manuscript? How long would I have to wait until my research appears in print (or at least has its own DOI or could be found online)? Our goal is to expedite the review process and keep it transparent and responsive.

One of the major issues we had to deal with from the start was to change the way we publish our articles to decrease the amount of lag between a text’s acceptance and its appearance in print. In the past, Psychologia Społeczna has had major publication lag as it has been copy-edited and printed on paper. We decided to cancel the contract with our publisher Wydawnictwo Naukowe Scholar and terminate our agreement by the end of 2017. We want to take this opportunity to thank Prof. Jacek Raciborski and Hanna Raciborska and the whole Scholar team of language and technical editors for their continuous help and support throughout all these years.

Since March 2017 we have been negotiating the details of a new agreement between Polish Society of Social Psychology (owner of the title) and our new publisher Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information (ZPID, leibniz-psychology.org) which operates the publishing platform PsychOpen GOLD. As we decided to distribute SPB articles online for free, PsychOpen GOLD seemed like the perfect fit to do so. Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information will also provide the updated submission system, which should significantly speed up the review process. So far there has been a promising and efficient cooperation with the PsychOpen team (Prof. Armin Günther, Dr. Judith Tinnes, PD Dr. Erich Weichselgartner) strongly supported by ZPID’s director Prof. Michael Bosnjak. We hope that our future with ZPID will allow us to reach our mutual goals of promoting the best practices of Open Science.

To follow updates and be notified on new articles published in SPB please visit our page at https://spb.psychopen.eu, create a user account and subscribe to our alerting service. You can also visit the FB page at https://www.facebook.com/SocPsychBulletin, follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/SocialPsychBull or subscribe to our “Article alert” mailing list at http://spbulletin.com.

The Future Looks Bright

The updated Social Psychological Bulletin will remain a quarterly journal and will be publishing high-quality papers with the updated FOCI: we want to build an outlet which is Focused on people, Open, Committed, and Integrative:

Focused on People

We care about the people behind the ideas! Feedback from double-blind peer-review is often negative and discouraging. Editors should constructively and critically inspect/review/debate authors’ claims if there is data to support them. We believe that reviewers should be helpful in suggesting ways to improve the logic and/or coherence of the paper. SPB’s editors and reviewers should strive to be fair, critical and encouraging regarding the progress of collecting the best possible data to refute authors’ claims. We promise to keep a rigorous yet transparent (handling editor will be named once the paper is published) and supportive peer-review process in a friendly fashion. Furthermore, we want the review process to be quick – for short research reports (<4k words), we will aim to reach the first decision within 5-7 weeks from submission. We also want to support young authors in the early stages of their careers – researchers within 3 years of receiving their Ph.D., who publish their work in SPB, will be automatically eligible for the annual Solomon Asch Award (500 €).


We should not put a price-tag on ideas and public knowledge! SPB is a fully open-access outlet (no charges for accessing the papers as well as there will be no fees whatsoever for authors publishing their results with SPB). All papers in SPB will be published under a Creative Commons (CC) license, meaning that authors will retain their copyright while allowing others to distribute and credit their work. ZPID will also enable us to use their open repository, PsychArchives, to make materials available which will supplement articles published in SPB (authors are asked/expected to openly share their data, code, or other materials). We will also support open-science practices e.g. pre-registration, sample size analyses which should ultimately lead to full implementation of the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) guidelines (Open Science Collaboration, 2015). We aim to provide a broad perspective on social-psychological research by encouraging submissions of novel pre-registered research ideas as well as replications of previous work. We plan to implement the format of Registered Reports (Nosek & Lakens, 2014) by the end of 2018. In this format peer review is done in two phases – first phase reviews the rationale and the detailed protocol of the study prior to data collection. Then articles can be provisionally accepted pending that the researchers will follow their pre-registered methodology. This way of handling feedback from peer-review will focus on merits from theory and tested hypothesis itself. The results will reduce the publication bias as it will be published regardless of the actual outcome of the registered study.

(Socially) Committed

We believe that social psychological research has the power to change not only people’s beliefs but also social practices! As it integrates an individual and societal level of analysis, social psychology has a huge potential to impact common policies. SPB is not only committed to socially responsible research practices but also to focusing on socially relevant issues, of interest to a broader area of social sciences. SPB encourages submissions of timely, cutting-edge research on social problems of real concern for broader audiences, with special attention to articles suggesting possible amendments and solutions in the current policies. Amongst the many possible topics, examples include: discrimination, social inequalities, social and political conflicts, diversity, reconciliation, social change, etc. SPB is rooted in a certain cultural and geographical context (Poland and Central Europe); therefore, topics that refer to this local context, respecting its specificity but also revealing more universal underpinnings of the observed socio-psychological processes would be of special interest to our readers. Importantly, SPB is committed to supporting cultural and social diversity, in terms of gender equality and the diversity of ethnic backgrounds of our contributors.


Various theoretical perspectives and methodologies are welcome! SPB encourages submissions of theoretical contributions, debates and research that aim to present and possibly integrate various approaches within the field of social psychology. SPB also welcomes submissions from a broad scope of perspectives, not only strictly related to social psychology, but is open to cross-disciplinary approaches, presenting innovative theoretical ideas and research on social psychological phenomena. SPB welcomes high quality research that can be placed on the intersection of social, humanistic and life sciences, and can provide a comprehensive theoretical integration.

What to Expect

We are dedicated to maintain the traditions of Psychologia Społeczna. We will do our best to replicate what has been a trademark for our journal in the past – publishing diverse types of articles (short and long) using various methodologies that cover broad topics of social psychology.

We agreed with ZPID that articles will be published continuously. Every single paper will be released within the active issue separately once it is camera ready – there is no need to wait three months until all of the papers for each issue will be finalized. The regular production time for an article will average 3-4 weeks for the layout and copy-editing and proofing – though more extensive papers might need to wait longer if their production is more time-consuming. Publication might also be delayed if articles exceed the page-limit of the active issue. It is worth noting that SPB’s preprint policy allows authors to distribute their pre-peer-review manuscripts as preprints using, for example, ZPID’s PsychArchives repository. This will enable authors to distribute their papers before publication and even before Editor decision.

The next issue (2nd, published in June 2018) will cover a discussion around the target article by Prof. Dariusz Dolinski “Is psychology still a science of behaviour?” – discussants will involve leading authors representing different sub-disciplines that will describe their take on this timely issue on measuring “real” behaviors in social psychology. The 3rd issue (published in September 2018) will be a Special Issue on “Evaluative Conditioning – Theoretical Accounts”. This issue by Prof. Robert Balas and Prof. Yoav Bar-Anan will discuss various theoretical standpoints from leading researchers within that field of study. The 4th issue (December 2018) is still gathering manuscripts and will also include a Special Section on “Activism – Radicalization – Protest”, edited by Dr Katarzyna Jaśko and Dr Tomasz Besta.

Final Words

We promise to strive to keep the journal’s high scientific standards with double blind reviews by at least two experts in the field. With all the changes going on, we want to keep scientific merit constant – we want all our readers, authors and reviewers to be proud of the updated version of this journal. We hope that all the changes made will increase the journal’s impact and readership and that realizing this plan will elicit scientific progress.


Production costs of SPB’s number 13 (four issues in 2018) were significantly reduced due to a grant no WSO/2017/A/09 awarded by SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Sopot Faculty, Poland.

Competing Interests

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


The authors have no support to report.


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