Journal of Cognitive Psychology

First and foremost is the Journal of Cognitive Psychology (JCP), ESCoP's official peer-reviewed journal, published worldwide by Psychology Press.

JCP is currently edited by Robert J. Hartsuiker.

The journal publishes reports of empirical work (including brief reports), theoretical contributions, and reviews of the literature in all areas of cognitive psychology, including applied cognitive psychology.

Note that the journal's web page contains complete information, including the composition of the editorial board, subscription information, submission information, and a list of forthcoming papers. In addition, JCP material is also available on internet (for a fee) through the Informaworld service.

JCP is available free of charge to current ESCoP members.

 Journal website:


Since its first appearance in 1989, the Journal of Cognitive Psychology (formerly European Journal of Cognitive Psychology) has become one of the leading journals in cognitive psychology. Journal of Cognitive Psychology (JCP) publishes empirical and theoretical papers on all areas of cognitive psychology.

From January 2009 onwards, a new editorial team has handled all incoming manuscripts. I am very pleased that an enthusiastic group of outstanding researchers have agreed to serve as associate editors and to invest their time and expertise to the continuing success of JCP. This team of associate editors includes: Teresa Bajo (University of Granada, Spain), Valérie Camos (Université de Bourgogne, France), Andrew Conway (Princeton University, USA), Addie Johnson (University of Groningen, Netherlands), Mei-Ching Lien (Oregon State University, USA), Timo Mäntylä (Umeå University, Sweden), Manuel Perea (Universitat de València, Spain), Maxwell Roberts (University of Essex, UK), Klaus Rothermund (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany), and Gabriele Wulf (University of Nevada, USA). Our complementary areas of expertise allow us to cover essentially all of the major topics within cognitive psychology. In selecting the best manuscripts for publication, we are assisted by a top-notch Editorial Board. Both the team of Associate Editors and the Editorial Board are diverse with respect to expertise, gender, and geography, and reflect the diversity of the authors who publish in JCP.

The number of papers submitted to the Journal of Cognitive Psychology has increased substantially in the past few years, from 100 submissions in 2007 to 143 in 2008. As of October 2009, the number of manuscripts submitted to JCP in 2009 was 178 (144 new submissions and 34 revised manuscripts), already exceeding the total number of submissions in 2008. This stellar number of submissions suggests that JCP can be highly selective, publishing only papers of the very highest quality.

Another recent development is that since January 2009 all manuscripts are processed electronically, via the ScholarOne Manuscripts website. The introduction of an all-electronic system substantially reduces the time from submission to editorial decision. Moreover, Psychology Press, the publisher of JCP, recently moved to a new and highly efficient copyediting and publication process for accepted papers. Authors can expect to receive page proofs about four weeks after final acceptance of their paper. To further expedite publication, JCP publishes the DOI-version of accepted papers online about four weeks after the authors have returned their page proofs. This new policy means that the time from acceptance to publication is short, allowing authors to disseminate their work in a timely manner.

During my editorial term I aim to reduce the action duration of manuscripts submitted to JCP. The present team of editors is committed to a short turnaround time while maintaining a high quality review process. Reviewers are requested to submit their review within three weeks, and the editors seek to reach a decision within one week after the reviews are returned. The all-electronic system will enhance efficient communication (including automatic reminders in case of overdue reviews …) and will further assist editors to reach their editorial decision within a short time-window. Indeed, the mean processing time of manuscripts handled by the new editorial team is notably shorter than earlier years. During the new team’s first ten months on the job, 81% of the first submissions received an editorial decision within 40 days on average. This is particularly impressive given that the number of submissions has increased substantially, the editorial team had just started, and the electronic handling of manuscripts had just been implemented.

JCP has a history of publishing high quality papers on a broad range of areas within cognitive psychology, including (but not limited to) attention, perception, memory, language processing, mental arithmetic and number processing, task switching, spatial cognition, action and motor control, learning, reasoning and problem solving, and decision making.

One change I would like to bring to the journal is to broaden coverage by publishing more papers related to the neural bases of human behavior. An increasing number of researchers within cognitive psychology extend more traditional experimental behavioral studies with neuroimaging techniques. Both electrophysiological and hemodynamic imaging techniques provide new perspectives on the neural bases of human functioning, and these insights potentially extend and constrain cognitive theories. To highlight the interest in the neural bases of human functioning and the growing influence of cognitive neuroscience techniques, I would like to encourage the submission of papers that adopt a neuroscience approach to examine human functioning. One step I have undertaken to attract papers with a cognitive neuroscience approach is to include in the team of associate editors and on the editorial board leading scholars whose work integrates both experimental behavioral and neuroscience techniques.

JCP continues to publish brief articles and full articles. Brief articles were introduced to enable fast dissemination of novel and theoretically important research findings. Brief articles do not exceed 4000 words and typically report on one or two experiments. The editorial decision concerning brief articles is either reject or accept with minor revision. Importantly, brief articles are not meant to encourage piecemeal publications of research findings. On the contrary, brief articles report methodologically sound research that has clear theoretical implications that warrant rapid communication to the scientific community. In addition to brief articles, JCP continues to publish full articles in the form of empirical papers that report substantive empirical work or theoretical papers that review the literature and advance cognitive psychological theory. I would like to emphasize that all manuscripts submitted to JCP should be as concise as possible. Although the journal has increased the number of issues from 6 to 8 in 2009 (going from 1088 to 1280 journal pages in 2009), focusing on the most crucial information will improve the report of the research findings and the theoretical background and implications.

The increasing number of submissions implies increasing demands on the editors’ and reviewers’ precious time. To ensure maintenance of a high quality review procedure, and to prevent depletion of editors’ and reviewers’ resources, the review process will include a triage to determine whether or not a manuscript is suitable for JCP. Once a manuscript has been submitted to JCP, I will read the paper and allocate it to one of the associate editors. If it is clear that the manuscript is not appropriate for the journal (e.g., because the manuscript is still far from meeting the quality standards of JCP or because the topic of the manuscript will not appeal to JCP’s readership), the manuscript will be returned without review. This decision will always be motivated in an editorial letter. This triage procedure is intended to protect precious resources and to increase attention to the papers that are most appropriate for the journal.

Peer review is crucial for science to progress. We as editors do our best to ensure a high quality review process and to minimize the time between submission and the editorial decision. In achieving these goals, we depend heavily on your willingness to serve as a reviewer. We realize that potential reviewers are overcommitted, but we would nevertheless appreciate your willingness to contribute to peer review. It is a cornerstone of our science.

JCP occasionally publishes thematic issues that focus on a timely theme and that contribute to defining a strong research agenda for the future. We plan to publish one special issue per year. To streamline the procedure for soliciting and selecting special issues, JCP will publish a yearly call to invite authors to submit proposals for special issues. Ideally, a special issue addresses a timely topic from different theoretical and empirical perspectives, including a theory-driven literature review and empirical papers representing strong and contrasting perspectives towards a specific topic. The editorial team will select the best proposal. All papers will follow the journal’s standard manuscript reviewing procedures.

To conclude, my team of associate editors and I look forward to the exciting job of editing the Journal of Cognitive Psychology. We are committed to sustaining JCP’s tradition of publishing high quality papers in the broad field of cognitive psychology. We encourage all of our colleagues to submit their best papers to the Journal of Cognitive Psychology.

Janet van Hell

The Pennsylvania State University, USA