I feel very honored to be the new editor of Learning & Behavior. I am also fortunate that the new editorial team includes three Associate Editors who are outstanding and respected scientists: Robin A. Murphy (University of Oxford), Federico Sanabria (Arizona State University), and Amanda M. Seed (University of St Andrews). They serve as action editors on manuscripts in their areas of expertise, allowing us to cover a broad range of research. The diversity of our field (including diverse research interests and perspectives) is represented in the roster of consulting editors (a.k.a. the editorial board), which appears on the inside front cover of the journal and online at www.psychonomic.org/learning-behavior.
To prepare this editorial, I read the statements of former incoming editors of the journal, including Abe Amsel (1973–1976), Mike D’Amato (1977–1980), Bob Bolles (1981–1984), Russ Church (1985–1988), Vin LoLordo (1989–1994), Bob Rescorla (1995–1997), Ralph Miller (1998–2002), Shep Siegel (2003–2007), and Geoff Hall (2008–2015). They consistently stated that the journal is strong and in little need of change. Learning & Behavior will continue to present experimental and theoretical contributions and critical reviews concerning the fundamental processes of learning and behavior in nonhuman and human animals. Topics include perception, conditioning, learning, attention, memory, cognition, motivation, emotion, development, social behavior, and comparative investigations, among others.
However, the publishing landscape has changed in recent years. The academic community finds articles in new ways. Increasingly, people follow threads of citations, taking them to a multitude of publication outlets: Google Scholar knows what I like to read and recommends articles that interest me, and Google Scholar (and other search engines) place the most cited articles at the top of each search. It is increasingly difficult to find the latest developments, which appear in both general and specialized journals.
To address this challenge, we are launching a new section of the journal (called Outlook). We hope this section will provide an outlook on the field and a venue for discussion of the most exciting current research on aspects of learning and behavior. Each Outlook paper will be an invited, brief, and readable paper, allowing readers to stay up to date on the latest findings, trends, important developments, and new ideas. Outlook papers are commissioned by the editors to offer a short review of groundbreaking work reported in a recent target article, allowing the Outlook author to say something about the target and expand to the author’s views on this part of the field. We aim to have Outlook articles that are vibrant and high-quality, but short (limited to two pages). My objective is to make L&B the venue for new and important developments in the field.
Other types of articles published by the journal include invited review articles, commentary on important articles published in L&B, and occasional special issues of the journal on a theme or research area. Nonetheless, the primary article in the journal will continue to be reports of original, empirical research. I urge you to submit your best work to the journal.
Jonathon D. Crystal
Editor, Learning & Behavior