Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Just a Click Away

Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Just a Click Away

Article excerpt

Empirical Research at the Tip of Your Fingers

There has been a conundrum in school psychology that has been around since the field began. The issue is how to get the latest research into practice in the shortest time possible. Typically, it takes several years for research findings to go from being published in journals to being incorporated into the schools.

It is easy to see why this issue has continued to persist despite efforts to shorten the delay. One factor is that many practitioners do not have access to the research. For decades, research was primarily archived at universities and was accessible only to professors and graduate students. This began to ease as journals were catalogued onto electronic databases and became accessible on the Web. Unfortunately, most practitioners could only access the abstracts because the journals kept full articles behind a firewall where only subscribers could access the full content.

NASP was well aware of the issue of accessibility and early on decided to send members School Psychology Review (SPR). SPR could be counted on to land in the mailbox four times a year. It offered the latest research on a range of topics. There were a couple of problems with this approach: It was only one journal, and it could be hard to find the exact content that was being sought after. These problems were partially addressed when old issues ofSPRwere digitized and made available on the NASP website a few years ago.

Despite the electronic availability of SPR, it was hard to simply toss out the hard copy issues. I have been in plenty of school psychologists' offices where there are several shelves filled with past issues. Even though school psychologists may have been tempted to throw out the old issues, they wouldfeel guilty because it would be admitting that they never really would read the journal articles that they planned on reading "when they had the time."

Many of the difficulties described above will be a thing of the past. Coming this fall, all new SPR issues will be in electronic format. NASP members have long had the opportunity to access two high quality school psychology journals, SPR and School Psychology Forum, on the NASP website. But now, it won't stop there, because NASP will be releasing a tablet app that optimizes the content of both journals and allows school psychologists to read the latest issues on the go.

This change in distribution of SPR is part of a wider trend among most scholarlyjoumals. …

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