Professional Problems in Psychology

By Robert S. Daniel; C. M. Louttit | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 8
Problems of Publication

The last two chapters have dealt with the writing of scientific reports and the preparation of manuscripts; they are pertinent whether or not the material is to be published. In Chapter 1 we have pointed out the values to the individual of publication of the results of his research and scholarship. That there is also a value to the science is evident. Without dissemination of the results of experiments and theoretical studies science could not advance. And in our current scientific culture, communication of results is in overwhelming measure by means of printed material. Therefore, the psychologist's obligation to share his knowledge with his colleagues requires that he become an author and that he take adequate steps to have his material appear in print.

This emphasis on the value of publication does not mean there should be no restraint. We have already cautioned against hasty and inadequate publication. Such cautions will bear repeating. The psychologist should avoid publication for the simple purpose of seeing his name in print! The first obligation of the author is to evaluate his proposed paper as critically as possible. Unless questions such as the following can be answered affirmatively, an article had best remain in manuscript: Does this paper contribute fact or idea that adds to the present sum of knowledge? Has it been written in the clearest and most concise style? Does it tell the reader for whom intended what the author wants to say? You may rest assured that, if you as author fail to evaluate your paper, an editor will not fail to do so!

With a manuscript completed which will make an acceptable addition to the literature, the question must be asked, "Where should this manuscript be published?" The possible answers are legion;

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