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Journal of Applied Psychology Not Most Cited I-O Psychology Journal

2017 June 21
tags: ,
by Richard N. Landers

2016 impact factors for academic journals across all of science were released last week by Clarivate Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters), as part of their Journal Citation Reports database. There are a couple of interesting tidbits, particularly in relation to Journal of Applied Psychology.

Here is the top 15 of the list for the “applied psychology” category of journal and their impact factors:

Artist's rendering of the current struggle.

Artist’s rendering of the current struggle. And I really struggled with whether Ryu should be punching JAP or PP.

  1. 7.733: Journal of Management
  2. 6.959: Annual Review of OP and OB
  3. 4.783: Organizational Research Methods
  4. 4.362: Personnel Psychology
  5. 4.130: Journal of Applied Psychology
  6. 3.607: Journal of Organizational Behavior
  7. 3.400: Work and Stress
  8. 3.385: Journal of Consumer Psychology
  9. 3.139: Journal of Occupational and OP
  10. 3.125: Media Psychology
  11. 3.094: Leadership Quarterly
  12. 2.917: Intl Review of Sport and Exercise Psych
  13. 2.809: Psychology of Sport and Exercise
  14. 2.722: Applied Psych-Health and Well Being
  15. 2.694: Journal of Business and Psychology

Impact factors are a really coarse metric of success – the average number of citations to articles within a journal – so they only give a general sense of how “impactful” a journal really is. Remember, articles are also often cited because they’re both highly visible and highly flawed.  You might also notice that JOM is not really “applied psychology”, and that other types of applied psychology, like media psych and consumer psych, are also in the list.

The list led me to two observations:

One, Personnel Psychology is now more highly cited than Journal of Applied Psychology.  Considering JAP is I-O’s flagship APA-published journal (PP is published by Wiley), this is particularly interesting. What practices do you think have led JAP to lose ground to PP?  My suspicion is that JAP slightly more frequently publishes theoretical advancements that no one except the people researching them care about. After all, the narrower your topic, the fewer people will find it relevant to their own work, and theory in both JAP and PP is pretty narrow these days.  That doesn’t imply that the quality of the work is poorer, just that I-O theory is increasingly irrelevant to anyone except I-Os.  Whether that’s a “problem” or not is a matter of perspective.

Two, Journal of Business and Psychology appears at 15th in this list, with an IF of 2.694.  This is dramatically higher than it was last year and I think is a great reflection of the progressive editorial practices put in place by editor Steven Rogelberg. Among “core general audience I-O publications,” this means it’s in third place, behind PP and in front of Journal of Vocational Behavior.  If I were to make a wager, I’d bet that it will be even higher next year. Is it on track to surpass both JAP and PP one day?

SIOP 2017: I/O Reformist vs. I/O Traditionalist

2017 June 16
by Richard N. Landers

One of the little things I noticed at SIOP this year – a little thing, but consistent across sessions and the people I talked to – is that there are two opposing stances toward the existential issues currently facing I/O psychology, and how to respond to them, at least among those aware of those issues: those of the traditionalist and the reformist.

First, the traditionalist.  I/O traditionalists tend to assume that everything’s okay and that this is a lot of noise about nothing important. I heard a lot of lines like, “We’ve been through this before” or “Practitioners don’t realize why theory’s so important” or “This too shall pass.” Traditionalists are not uniformly academics though; many practitioners believe in their tried-and-true-methods and think they are perfectly sufficient, that academia will continue to churn out small refinements, and that’s enough. Most of the foundational I/O techniques, like job analysis and basic scale design, were developed half a century ago, of course, and in general they still work great.

The most deeply entrenched traditionalists also seem to be the most deeply embedded in our current approach to publishing and have benefited in their own careers from mastering the approach: creating new theory is more important than any other goal, such as providing practical conclusions or using rigorous research methodology.

The second of these, and the side I fall on, is the reformist. Reformists tend to be a little younger, although not exclusively, perhaps more recently and first-hand having seen how broken our publishing system is. I met several mid-tenure Assistant Professors who when trying to publish their own work have realized that the standards for publishing are not precisely what they’d been taught. I could see their bubbles having recently shattered, and it is depressing. There are also overwhelmingly more practitioners in this group, people frustrated with how academia has seemingly ignored their pleas for years.

Reformists are a bit less uniform in their specific beliefs than traditionalists, but they all agree “something is wrong that need fixing.” Perhaps we need to better integrate science and practice. Perhaps we need to reach across the HR aisle. Perhaps we need to reach across the computer scientist aisle. Perhaps this is all the responsibility of SIOP leadership, or perhaps it can only be solved with a grassroots effort. So there is significant disagreement on what precisely is wrong, what precisely needs to be fixed, and how. The reformists I talked to also tended to be frustrated and disappointed that it became this broken before anyone in a position of power said anything publicly and attributed the magnitude of our current problems to that delay.

I also heard a couple of people resigned to no change, believing that our current momentum toward mediocrity will keep us moving that direction, that we are condemned to simply watch as I/O slowly fades from world relevance to an even less influential role for our field than we already hold. As a reformist, I’m not quite that pessimistic, myself.

What I was very happy to hear from both of these groups was a continuing desire to maintain the I/O community.  To me, this is the core strength of I/O; there is a strong “I/O psychologist” identity, as if the fact that we can’t call ourselves “I/O psychologists” to our clients and customers strengthens our awareness of that identity behind the scenes. To clients, we’re people analysts, or HR specialists, or senior consultants, or data scientists, or whatever other buzzword you might want. But to each other, we’re all I/Os. We’re all in this together, and so it’s together that we need to find a solution.

As for me, I don’t know what the solution is, where to find the right balance between reinventing ourselves and staying true to our traditions. But as a reformist, I’m confident there is one, if only we’ll try to find it together.

SIOP 2017: Twitter Analytics and Dataset

2017 May 24
tags: ,
by Richard N. Landers

It’s been about a month since SIOP 2017. I had a whole series of post-SIOP posts planned, but due to a death in the family, my schedule’s gone upside down! But never fear, dear reader, because I’m going to post them anyway!

All of these posts will center on my major takeaway from SIOP 2017: change is afoot.  One of the ways I noticed it was the increasingly rapid shift towards technology in the conference program. When I joined SIOP over a decade ago, there were maybe one or two sessions that had anything to do with technology research. These days, you cannot escape it; there’s a significant awareness that if we don’t engage technology head on, we’re going to be left behind.

One prominent outlet for technology engagement is Twitter. When I first started paying attention to Twitter during SIOP in 2011, there was not enough activity to write about.  This year, the #siop17 hashtag had 1631 posts between April 24 and May 2, which is the SIOP conference plus a few days around the outside.  A total of 282 unique Twitter accounts used the hashtag.  Considering the importance of SIOP, I feel confident saying that this captures most Twitter users in the I/O psychology Twitterverse.  With roughly 8000 SIOP members, I would hazard a guess that this means about 3.5% of SIOP is on Twitter (and maybe 7% of conference attendees).  Not big, but not tiny, and catching up to the US numbers (about 7% of the US population is on Twitter). So what better way to celebrate the trend toward embracing technology than some Twitter analytics?

If you’d like to play with this dataset yourself, feel free to download it here. I’ll be putting together some visualizations…eventually…so if you’d rather beat me to it and show off your R or Tableau skills, feel free.

For now, here are some high-level summary tables.

Most Active #siop17 Users

  1. (146) @SIOPtweets
  2. (75) @ghiovanni_m
  3. (59) @IBMWatsonTalent
  4. (52) @HugoMunsterberg
  5. (50) @TedHayes007
  6. (39) @DrCattell
  7. (34) @LewisGarrad
  8. (32) @allietumminia
  9. (32) @lisa_s_moore
  10. (28) @HoganAssessment

Most Retweeted Tweets

  1. (14) @SIOPtweets: #SIOP17 We have a new record! 4638 registrants so far- Welcome to Orlando! pic.twitter.com/RGJJSkvIth
  2. (14) @LewisGarrad: Great Teams Are About Personalities, Not Just Skills #SIOP17 http://bit.ly/2qfDKVj pic.twitter.com/GtF18w4Efg
  3. (13) @DDIworld: Congratulations, @EvanSinar for being saluted as one of the @SIOPtweets 2017 Fellows! #SIOP17 pic.twitter.com/ZIbTtrNLPS
  4. (11) @AimeeGthePHD: GRIT-same wine, new bottle? Compelling data showing construct overlap. Are we really just measuring conscientiousness and ambition? #SIOP17 pic.twitter.com/DuChgea97D”
  5. (11) @EvanSinar: Filing away my #SIOP17 program – tho rarely opened or carried with me onsite thanks to Whova’s awesomeness! Great work @DrZackHorn and team!pic.twitter.com/jEWvCMvlej
  6. (10) @TRPoeppelman: Congratulations @EvanSinar for being awarded Fellow at #SIOP17 – Exceptionally well deserved. #prestigiousaward #soproud @SIOPtweetspic.twitter.com/Dw9ZvDGEdJ
  7. (10) @BoArmstrong: Let’s go ahead and start off on the right foot. It’s #SIOP17, not #SIOP2017. Follow @SIOPtweets!
  8. (9) @ALOstasis: Congrats to @stevenrogelberg on receiving the inaugural SIOP Humanitarian Award! #SIOP17 #IOPsych
  9. (9) @rnlanders: #SIOP President Mort McPhail: Replicability, oversaturation of theory, and dissemination are the key existential issues facing us #siop17
  10. (9) @PeterReiley: #SIOP17: Come IGNITE solutions to help #military #veterans transition into the workforce | @SIOPtweets #IOPsych | http://ow.ly/Btp430baVJ1 pic.twitter.com/IQteX0gX6K

Most Favorited Tweets

  1. (45) @SIOPtweets: #SIOP17 We have a new record! 4638 registrants so far- Welcome to Orlando! pic.twitter.com/RGJJSkvIth
  2. (37) @HugoMunsterberg: To the #SIOP17 newbie in the next hotel room: You’ve practiced enough. It’s not the Gettysburg Address you’ll be mumbling through tomorrow.
  3. (34) @MikeZickar: At the #SIOP17 session on social media, hoping that someone will stand up and say, “I am @HugoMunsterberg!”pic.twitter.com/jbSfEOr3Ul
  4. (34) @rnlanders: #SIOP17 closing plenary with @NASA has convinced me that sometimes job performance measures can be dichotomous #didntcrashintoaplanet
  5. (33) @Aaron_Kraus: Session Update: Generations are more similar than different and everyone got a trophy. #IOPsych #SIOP17 #Millennialspic.twitter.com/lRUZVn0owZ
  6. (25) @DDIworld: Congratulations, @EvanSinar for being saluted as one of the @SIOPtweets 2017 Fellows! #SIOP17 pic.twitter.com/ZIbTtrNLPS
  7. (24) @VeronicaRabelo_: Thank you to all the custodians, housekeepers, chefs, + other service workers who make #SIOP17 possible!! You the real MVPs!! #SIOP2017
  8. (23) @ALOstasis: Cheers to a great conference. Eagerly awaiting next year in Chicago! #SIOP17 @SIOPtweetspic.twitter.com/OqAGYkilY2
  9. (23) @BoArmstrong: If I fail my comps tomorrow, I might just stay in Orlando as a park attendant. #SIOP17
  10. (22) @chris_cerasoli: Congratulations to @EvanSinar on being awarded Fellow at #SIOP17 @SIOPtweets #IOPsychpic.twitter.com/G1nFNFosr9

Tweets with the Most Replies

  1. (6) @rnlanders: “IO is harder than rocket science.” Wow. Let’s see if we can pat our ourselves on the back even harder. #siop17
  2. (5) @DrCattell: Considering doing an informal “best poster award” from me & @HugoMunsterberg @ #SIOP17 Hugo, you down? Bless us with your esteemed criteria!
  3. (4) @KatherineSliter: Celebrated Friday night at #SIOP17 by getting vomited on by my baby. Four times. #parenting #nofunforme #lifewithkids
  4. (3) @MikeZickar: At the #SIOP17 session on social media, hoping that someone will stand up and say, “I am @HugoMunsterberg!”pic.twitter.com/jbSfEOr3Ul
  5. (3) @BoArmstrong: If I fail my comps tomorrow, I might just stay in Orlando as a park attendant. #SIOP17
  6. (3) @MikeZickar: Loved all the energy at #SIOP17 but good to have a little work recovery time. I hope you all can get a nap on the couch before Mon hits! pic.twitter.com/znz2h3ysEg
  7. (3) @IOSyIslam: Some last minute #SIOP17 preparation b4 my flight tomorrow Looking 4ward 2 seeing friends & colleagues at the premier #IOpsych conference!pic.twitter.com/YNBAIACjff
  8. (3) @mchetta_phd: Why don’t we do a social media panel in Chicago..build on the panel that @surveyguy2 @TRPoeppelman @EvanSinar and others did at #SIOP17 ?
  9. (3) @HugoMunsterberg: When’s the best time to walk unannounced into “”100 Yrs of I-O Research”” to receive my unsolicited laurels? Beginning, middle or end? #SIOP17
  10. (3) @RMendelsonPhD: Already saw #TwitterFamous peeps at #SIOP17. @surveyguy2, @mchetta_phd, @MikeZickar, and @dwbracken. Where are @Aaron_Kraus and @IOSyIslam?
  11. (3) @allietumminia: What features of a person’s LinkedIn account make them more hireable? 1) Profile length 2) Profile picture & 3) # of connections #SIOP17
  12. (3) @BoArmstrong: Creativity = Fluency, Flexibility, & Originality, but is Originality not a circular definition of creativity? #SIOP17 Please explain.
  13. (3) @DrCattell: I’m broadening to all formats: So far we have: 1) “”Too many cooks”” 2) “”Redundant Again”” award 3) “”Worst joke in Title”” What else? #SIOP17 https://twitter.com/HugoMunsterberg/status/856505988001787904″