Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies: Remarks After a Decade of Hard Work, Fight for Research Reform and Excellence!

Vol XI, No. 2, 2011 Comments (0)

I would like to thank the editor of Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies ( for inviting me to write this editorial, now that the Journal celebrates a decade of existence.


As described in the journal, Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies is published biannually (in March and September) in one volume per year, by the International Institute for the Advanced Studies of Psychotherapy and Applied Mental Health (IIAS of PAMH). The journal is devoted to the advancement of the clinical theory and practice of cognitive and behavioral psychotherapies (CBT) and other evidence-based psychological assessments and interventions. The journal publishes original papers dealing with CBT and psychology, psychiatry, the medical and mental specialties, other evidence-based psychotherapies, and allied areas of science.


1. A brief history

1.1. The first wave (2001-2004): Reconnecting Romanian psychology with the international arena by setting the new standards.

I was the first (and founding) editor of the Romanian Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies, first published in 2001. It started as the official publication of the Romanian Association of Hypnosis and Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy (now the Romanian Association of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies; The financial support for the first issue was offered by the Albert Ellis Institute, USA. The Journal was focused mainly on research from Romania. It had a limited circulation, being published in maximum 100 copies, freely distributed to the members of the Romanian Association of CBT and/or to some members of Psychology Departments in Romania. The editorial mistakes, inevitable in these early stages of publication, were corrected by errata, as inserted sheets. Taking into account that Psychology was a new science in Romania (having been forbidden during the Communist Regime, until 1989), the Journal had the mission of setting the standards and good practices for international publication and of reconnecting Romania psychology with the international arena. Indeed, taking into account the difficult situation of the field after the Revolution of 1989 (e.g., many professional did not speak foreign languages, had no access to scientific literature, had no professional organizations and/or standards for research and publication), we implemented internationally accepted procedures for helping the development and dissemination of scientific publications at an international level (e.g., “fair use”, “limited circulation”) and rigorous research and publication standards (e.g., APA publication standards) for connecting the field to top international practices. Due to the high standards promoted by the editorial board and to the stubbornness of implementing international practices (e.g., peer-review, quality publications), despite many difficulties and criticisms from the old establishments, used to publishing based on notoriety and influence rather than on “peer-review”, in 2004 the Journal (March issue) was abstracted by PsycINFO and IBSS.

Between 2001-2006, based on the limited circulation principle (see the APA standards of publication, the 5th edition) and respecting the ethical guidelines (e.g., avoiding copyright issues), we allowed the authors of the articles in the Journal to publish their articles in other high impact factor Journals (only in Web of Science) and/or in international books (only published by relevant international publishers), in order to increase articles visibility; in this case, the authors were asked to send us a note about the republication so that we can mention this on Journal’s website.

Starting with 2007, when the Journal was already indexed both by abstracts in Web of Science and full text in EBSCO/ProQuest, the limited circulation principle was not longer applied. Therefore, since 2007, the articles can be fully published in international books only as republication material (mentioning the Journal as the original source). Also, since 2007, we accept the republication of an article in other Journals only in special conditions, justified by targeting a new audience (mentioning the Journal as the original source). All these constraints do not exclude the fair use of the published material and/or the use of the publications or parts of them in derivatives works (mentioning the Journal as the original source).


1.2. The second wave (2004-2007): Integration of the Eastern/Central European research in the field in the international arena.

In 2004 we took a step forward. We decided to change the name of the Journal to Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies (September issue). We expanded the board to include new distinguished international professionals (e.g., highly cited researchers) from all over the world to better reflect the Journals’ international ambitions. A special attention was given to including key professionals in the field form Eastern/Central Europe. The Journal became the official publication of the International Institute for the Advanced Studies of Psychotherapy and Applied Mental Health, a world-class research institute ( and its new publisher became the ASCR Press, press of the Society of Cognitive Science. The number of articles per Journal issue started to increase. Due to this policy, between 2004 and 2007 the Journal was indexed (full text) in EBSCO and ProQuest (March 2007 issue), becoming the reference standard for research in Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapies in Eastern and Central Europe.


1.3. The third wave (2007-2009): An international and visible Journal, with a impact on the international arena.

Starting with 2007, the Journal has evolved to a new level. A new associate editor was appointed (Dr. Aurora Szentagotai) with a clear mission/program of attracting more international publications. In 2007 (March issue) the Journal was indexed in Web of Science (Social Sciences Citation Indexed) and in 2008 (March issue), in SCOPUS. Due to the international visibility and impact of the Journal international publishers (e.g., Rutledge Mental Health and Guilford Press) started to advertise in the Journal.


1.4. The fourth wave (2009 onwards): Towards a top, world-class Journal.

Starting with the March issue of 2009 a new editor was appointed (Dr. Aurora Szentagotai) and since 2010 the Journal has been published by PsyTech, a new publisher that aims to make the publication and dissemination of the Journal its priority. Moreover, while I am writing this editorial, I know that the editor is discussing the possibility of the Journal being published by an international publisher, with the idea of definitively establishing it among world-class clinical Journals, not only visible, but with strong impact, a real standards and trends-setter in the field.


2. A SWOT analysis of the Journal

2.1. Strengths

  • This is the only Psychology journal in Romania and the only Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy journal in Eastern/Central Europe indexed by Web of Science;
  • It set standards of publication and research in psychology in Eastern/Central Europe. Practically, it has changed the face of psychology research in Romania, by promoting the need for international standards, visibility and impact;
  • It is a serious and rigorous peer-reviewed Journal, with a rejection rate close to 60% (Web of Science indicators 2007-2011: average citation per item: 0.61).

2.2. Weaknesses

  • The international top professionals in the field do not regularly send manuscripts to the Journal
    • To correct this situation we need to: (a) target directly top research groups; and (b) make the articles of the Journal accessible to them;
  • The scientometric indicators of the Journal are not yet world-class
    • To correct this situation, a specific program to increase scientometric indicators (e.g., impact factor, Hirsch index, citations excluding self-citations) is being implemented (e.g., by targeting key contributors from competitive research groups);
  • Previously, errata were not published in the Journal but were added as inserted sheets; therefore, several errata were not indexed by databases
    • To correct this situation all errata, from the beginning of the Journal, were republished in the Journal.

2.3. Opportunities

  • Being the only Journal on this topic in Eastern/Central Europe indexed in major international databases, it can become a pole of excellence reflecting not only top international research but also rigorous and specific research from this part of the world;
  • It is still a dynamic Journal whose impact factor is not yet stabilized. Therefore, plans for new creative policies can be implemented and tested to increase the impact of the Journal;
  • We are discussing the possibility of the Journal being published by a top publisher in Europe.

2.4. Threats

  • Competition among various cognitive-behavioral Journals
    • To counter this threat, we extended the objectives of the Journal, to cover evidence-based clinical practice and clinical cognitive sciences in relation with psychotherapy (theory and practice);
  • Open source and online clinical Journals
    • To counter this threat, the Journal allows access to full text articles on its website, except the current issue. Moreover, we allow our articles to be republished in other Journals, to target new audiences and/or in books, thus contributing to the dissemination of the scientific information.


3. Conclusions

I am convinced that the publication of the Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies was a key factor in the reform of psychology research in Romania and in psychotherapy in Eastern/Central Europe, and still fills a gap in the scientific literature on this topic. Indeed, although it now includes publications of top authors from all over the world, it also specifically promotes international level, rigorous research from Eastern/Central Europe. Thus, it is an important player on the international arena, while preserving its regional specificity and diversity, continuously challenging us to make it more visible and raise its impact. This is the beauty and uniqueness of this Journal!

Daniel David, Ph.D

Founding Editor Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies

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