The scientific journal Meta-Psychology, published by Linnaeus University, is currently number one on the journal ranking TOP Factor. The ranking list measures indicators such as openness, transparency, and reproducibility of research results.
Meta-Psychology is a so-called Open Access journal; that is to say, the content is freely available online and anyone can take part of the material without cost. The American organisation Center for Open Science has ranked the journal as number one on their TOP Factor list of the most open scientific journals in the world.
We had a chat with Rickard Carlsson, associate professor of psychology, and editor in chief and one of the founders of Meta-Psychology.
What is TOP Factor and what does it mean that you have received top ranking?
“Center for Open Science has launched TOP Factor as an alternative to Impact Factor to assess the quality of scientific journals. Impact Factor is based on number of citations, and has a number of known problems. For instance, they are easily manipulated. TOP Factor instead makes its assessment based on transparency, openness, and reproducibility of the results that are presented in articles. Reproducibility means that other researchers should be able to replicate the study and achieve the same results.
Up until now, 300 leading scientific journals have been reviewed, within psychology, business and economics, the social sciences, education, and general journals like Science and Nature. It is very pleasing to see that, so far, Meta-Psychology has the number one position with 27 out of 30 possible credits. Even though it feels great to be in number one position, we would be happy to share this place with other journals!”
How does it feel receiving a top ranking on the TOP Factor list?
“We founded Meta-Psychology with the aim to push the boundaries of what can be achieved by a journal in terms of transparency, open science, and reproducibility. Therefore, it feels fantastic that TOP Factor comes to the conclusion that we have succeeded in doing this!”
What have you done to make the journal Meta-Psychology that open?
“It is challenging to change an existing journal so that it meets the increased requirements on transparency, open science, and reproducibility, since one is easily tied down by old structures. Instead, we chose to create a new journal, from start. For instance, our journal has Open Access with no fees whatsoever. Linnaeus University’s policy to let researchers publish journals with no fees made it possible for us to develop the concept without having to worry about funding”.
Who are involved in the work with the journal?
“This is really the result of teamwork. I’m editor in chief and founded the journal together with Ulrich Schimmack from University of Toronto, Mississauga, Canada. We have an Editorial Board with international and national experts. Our editorial secretaries are alumni from our master programme Work and Organisational Psychology. What is more, the librarians at the University Library have provided invaluable help in solving problems that you encounter when creating a scientific journal”.
What does the field of meta-psychology deal with?
“Within meta-psychology, you study psychology as a research subject through a combination of meta-scientific perspectives, method development and evaluation and synthesis of research. We publish, among other things, replication studies, critical comments, and systematic reviews”.
Does this mean that your journal, according to this list, is the world’s most open journal?
“Yes, probably. However, not all journals have been reviewed yet. It would be great if it turns out there is another journal that can inspire us to raise the bar even higher!”
One of the people who has been working with the publishing of Meta-Psychology is Viveka Svensson, librarian at the University Library.
“It feels fantastic that Meta-Psychology has received a top ranking on TOP Factor. The editorial staff has done incredible work to achieve this, and their goal has always been Open Access. I’m very glad that we have been able to help them achieve this”, says Svensson.
Meta-Psychology is published on the platform LnuOpen. What is that?
“LnuOpen is Linnaeus University’s own platform where researchers can publish journals and conference publications Open Access. At the University Library, we administer the platform and help researchers start journals. We offer support to establish routines for the editorial work, create templates, assign ISSN number, support, etc. All articles receive DOI links and a Creative Common license”, Svensson continues.
What does the future of Open Access look like?
“It will grow even more. Much has happened in the last few years. For instance, the opening up of the commercial journals. I think it is important that research results are spread in order for researchers to be able to collaborate in better ways to meet different challenges. In the future, I believe there will be many different models for publishing Open Access” Svensson concludes.