Saturday, June 02, 2007

PCEP Journal Editors’ Meeting

Entry for 2 June 2007:

Saturday Morning I got up, late, and ran along the Thames: Over the Millenium Bridge flooded with people walking to work (and a few runners); to the Tate Modern Art Gallery; then along the South Bank past the County Halls Museum, with its large Dali Statues next to the river; beneath the Millenium Wheel, which I’d last seen collecting energy for an alien monster on Dr. Who; across the Westminster Bridge; and then back along the north side of the river, past the floating restaurants and excursion boats, their gangways tipping down at low tide.

Peter F. Schmid and Bill Stiles arrived about ten, and Dave Mearns went out to the Marks & Spencer to buy provisions for the journal editors meeting. We visited a bit, but mostly took advantage of someone’s open wireless network to check our email. Once Dave returned we started our meeting; as usual, we had a long agenda to cover over the next 24 hours.

Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapies, we remarked, is doing well: We are in a much better position than last year in terms of papers in the pipeline and special issues, and were able to lay out most of the next year. The journal feels solid, and we seem to have fallen into a rhythm with the work and now know each other pretty well, which helps us organize tasks such as recruiting more submissions. Over the course of the day, several emerging changes came into view: For me, the most exciting of these was presented by our Noble Publisher, Pete Sanders of PCCS Books, who laid out the possibility of buying into a package that would allow on-line submission and journal office automation and at the same time make it possible for current subscribers to log on and get access to all current and previous issues. This would require increasing journal costs by 10-15%, but that would be the first increase in the journal's history. Bill is a believer in the “information wants to be free” philosophy, so he is hoping to be able at some point to persuade the World Association board to make all articles published 12 months or more available to everyone for free. We shall see.

After this, Pete took us out the dinner at the Tate Modern restaurant, which commands a spectacular view over a large part of central London. From this height, we counted a flock of 25 building cranes scattered around and behind St. Paul’s Cathedral, proof of the large number of new buildings rising in London’s main business district. At this point, in the early 21st century, there is a lot of money sloshing around London, much of connected to the banking industry. We talked about politics, primarily Scottish and American, diagnosis and organized psychiatry, and had just reached philosophy of science issues when Pete decided he needed to head out. It was a case of philosophicus interruptus.

One of the developments of the day’s meeting was an agreement by my fellow editors to recommend to the World Association Board that I be designated Editor Emeritus, with a continuing portfolio of overseeing progress toward journal indexing and other such tasks as might be required. This would allow me to step back from the journal while still maintaining some level of helpful involvement. My stepping back into this role will make space for Jeanne Watson, who begins as co-editor on July 1. Welcome Jeanne!

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