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Thirty Years of Publications in the International Review of Social Psychology (1988–2018): Genesis, Evolution and Development

Authors:

Béatrice Degraeve ,

Université Catholique de Lille, Lille cedex, FR
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Stéphanie Rambaud

University Paris Descartes, FR
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Abstract

When they became the first chief editors of the International Review of Social Psychology (IRSP), the goal of Robert Pagès and Janine Larrue was to provide better access to texts and research in social psychology. Their legacy continues and extends today. For the 30th anniversary of the journal, the following contribution intends to retrace its origins and evolutions. Following an overview of the history of IRSP, we propose to analyze the characteristics of the articles that have been published during the 30 years of existence of the journal and their evolution over time. For this purpose, we developed a database—available at: osf.io/69x47—containing the characteristics of the articles published between 1988 and May 1, 2018 (i.e., for each year: title of the articles, volume, type, authors’ names, sex and institutional affiliation, length and associated keywords). This database can be useful to browse IRSP’s literature and facilitate reference search, but can also be used for further research on the evolution of the scientific literature in social psychology (e.g., analysis of the characteristics of the authors/published contents of the field).

How to Cite: Degraeve, B., & Rambaud, S. (2019). Thirty Years of Publications in the International Review of Social Psychology (1988–2018): Genesis, Evolution and Development. International Review of Social Psychology, 32(1), 8. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/irsp.203
Handling Editor:
Olivier Desrichard
Université de Genève, CH
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  Published on 17 May 2019
 Accepted on 08 Apr 2019            Submitted on 23 Jun 2018

When they became the first chief editors of the International Review of Social Psychology (IRSP), the goal of Robert Pagès and Janine Larrue was to provide better access to specialized literature of the discipline at a time when it was scarce (Delouvée, 2013; Pagès, 1979). Their legacy continues today. The journal, which is now 30 years old (1988–2018), evolved to follow the evolution of research in social psychology. In this special occasion, our contribution intends to retrace the history of the IRSP, from its roots through its latest developments. We begin by describing the genesis and evolution of the journal. We then analyze some characteristics of the articles that have been published during the 30 years of existence of the journal and their evolution over time. A final goal of this contribution was to develop and make the database (containing the characteristics of the articles and used for the following analyses) accessible. This database can be useful to browse IRSP’s literature and facilitate reference searches but also for further research on the evolution of the scientific literature in social psychology. We conclude by proposing suggestions for further research through the use of this database.

Genesis

In the mid-1980s, a group of scholars gathered, as they believed it was necessary to promote social psychology and improve access to the specialized literature of the discipline (Curie & Tap, 1987; Delouvée, 2013; Pagès, 1979; see also Beauvois, Joule & Monteil, 1998). For this purpose, a French association was created in 1987 (April 8th) in Toulouse: the Association pour la Diffusion de la Recherche Internationale en Psychologie Sociale (ADRIPS). The primary purpose of the association at this time was to edit a journal devoted to the diffusion of international research in social psychology. Gérard Lemaine, member of the social psychology laboratory at Sorbonne Université (and then Université Paris 7 from 1968 to 1988), was the first president of the association, with Pierre Tap of Toulouse Le Mirail Université as First Secretary. Janine Larrue (Toulouse Le Mirail Université) and Robert Pagès (Université Paris 7) became the first chief editors of the IRSP.

If the first issue of the IRSP appeared in 1988, the journal was not created from scratch. Indeed, the IRSP was built on pre-existing foundations: it came from the merger of two journals that existed until 1987, which were edited by the laboratories of the first two chief editors of the IRSP. Indeed, in the early 1950s, Daniel Lagache, the head of the psychology department at Sorbonne Université, founded the first French social psychology laboratory with university members and members of the National Center for Scientific Research (i.e., CNRS; Delouvée, 2013; Revault d’Allonès, 1960). Robert Pagès (researcher in social and sociopolitical psychology) later took over the management of the laboratory, which was established after 1968 at Université Paris 7 (Deconchy, 2007; Demailly, 2009). For a few years (1979–1987), the laboratory published a journal entitled Recherches de Psychologie Sociale (Social Psychology Research, see Figure 1). In the editorial of the first issue, Robert Pagès presented the journal as ‘an initiative of the Laboratory of Social Psychology of Université Paris 7 (the former social psychology laboratory of Sorbonne Université), associated with the National Center for Scientific Research’ and the issue as ‘a first volume of a publication [we] hope to renew with increasing regularity’ (Pagès, 1979: 3, our translation).1 This issue includes ‘several experimental studies in social psychology […] but it also includes theoretical notes, historical analyzes of the discipline, discussion articles or literature reviews’ (Pagès, 1979: 3, our translation).2 This variety of format and the substantial place left for critical discussion appeared as an editorial choice to improve access and dissemination of psychosocial knowledge. Indeed, for Robert Pagès, publishing companies did not ensure sufficient space for specialized literature and theoretical debates of the discipline at that time (Pagès, 1979: 3; see also Delouvée, 2013).

Figure 1 

Initially, the International Review of Social Psychology (IRSP) came from the fusion of two journals: Research of Social Psychology, published by the laboratory of social psychology of Université Paris 7, and Psychology and Education, published by the CNRS laboratory n°259 of Toulouse le Mirail Université.

In Toulouse Le Mirail Université, Philippe Malrieu founded a laboratory in 1952, which aimed to articulate two fields of psychology—developmental psychology and social-organizational psychology—around a common research topic: socialization (Vaysse, 2005). It became in 1965 the ‘Personalization and Social Change’ laboratory associated with the CNRS, which also published, from 1976, a journal entitled Psychology and Education (see Figure 1). In 1988, Research of Social Psychology and Psychology and Education merged to become the International Review of Social Psychology (IRSP).

In the last issue of Psychology and Education, published in September 1987, Jacques Curie and Pierre Tap, directors of the ‘Personalization and Social Change’ laboratory (Toulouse le Mirail Université), wrote: ‘This double issue of 1987 (3–4) will also be the last. In its first issue, in 1976, Psychology and Education was modestly presented in this way: It is not a psychology journal; its function is humbler. It is a working tool, intended to provide researchers of our laboratory with concrete help (…). The journal of our laboratory disappears, but to make room for the International Review of Social Psychology, which will be published by Privat from 1988, and whose ambition goes beyond the research territory of this or that laboratory. The IRSP will report international research, especially French-speaking research, even if it solicits and accepts articles in English from now on. We invite our readers to transfer their interest and their trust—and researchers to submit their articles—to this new journal’ (Curie & Tap, 1987: 9, our translation; see original text in French in Figure 2). The IRSP was presented at the end of the volume. In particular, it was specified that the journal sought to ‘promote research in social psychology, mostly from French-speaking authors or authors who wish[ed] to reach a predominantly French-speaking audience, regardless of nationality, while reserving substantial space for English-speaking authors and readers’ (see Figure 2).

Figure 2 

Last issue of Psychology and Education, published by the CNRS laboratory n°259 of Toulouse le Mirail Université in 1987.

The Metamorphosis of the ADRIPS to Support the IRSP

In its early days (1988), the association had only about 20 members, and could therefore count on limited financial resources (Neculau, 2008). Rodolphe Ghiglione (Université Paris 8) and Jean-Marc Monteil (Université Clermont 2) became chief editors of the IRSP in 1991. To fund the IRSP in time of financial difficulties, the two chief editors and Jean-Léon Beauvois (Grenoble 2 Université and president of the association at that time), worked with two guidelines: (1) encourage French psychology laboratories to take institutional memberships to the association (see Monteil, 1994), and (2) expand the ADRIPS community through attractive actions and events (see Neculau, 2008). Their idea was to promote the association to support the IRSP. Indeed, they considered it was ‘necessary to make the ADRIPS an attractive association so that the memberships could finance the publication costs of the journal’ (Neculau, 2008: 173, our translation). From 1993, many initiatives likely to interest professionals and academics of the discipline (including young researchers in social psychology) were organized to this end. The first ‘junior conference’—devoted to PhD students and young researchers in social psychology—took place in Aix-en-Provence in 1993. The first Congress of Applied Social Psychology (CPSA) was organized in Rennes the same year. Three years later, the first International Congress of Social Psychology in French Language (CIPSLF) was held in Montreal.

In addition to these actions carried out to find new sources of funding for the IRSP, some actors also decided to support some costs. Monteil’s laboratory, the LAPSCO (Laboratory for Social and Cognitive Psychology of Clermont-Auvergne University, of which he was director), started to partly finance the journal by taking over the secretarial work associated with the management of the journal. The LAPSCO integrated Sylviane Bondoux as editorial secretary for the IRSP until Monteil left the direction of the laboratory.

The purpose of Ghiglione, Monteil and Beauvois was to achieve financial self-sufficiency for the publication of the IRSP. They reached this goal in about two years. In the editorial of issue 7(1), Monteil wrote: ‘The delay of the publication of the first edition of 1994 of the International Review of Social Psychology reveals, straight away, a problem and a new development. The problem, a financial and organizational one, is now resolved through the active participation of the institutions at the grass roots level of support of the journal and also thanks to the increased voluntary commitment of our editor. Thanks go to one and all’ (Monteil, 1994: 9).3 Ghiglione, Monteil and Beauvois not only managed to get the journal out of financial difficulties, but also to improve its visibility, which resulted in an increase in the submission rate between 1994 and 2000. Indeed, since 2000, the IRSP has edited four issues per year, as Jean-Léon Beauvois (chief editor of the IRSP from 1995 to 2000) stated in his editorial of issue 13(1): ‘The IRSP will now publish 4 issues a year! This growth is not the result of a reduced level of requirements, since the percentage of rejected articles has not changed in the last two years (about 60% rejection). It should rather be attributed to the fact that new authors think about the RIPS and send us quality articles’ (Beauvois, 2000: 4, our translation).4 In May 2018, ADRIPS counted 250 members—and has been funding the IRSP and all its activities since the difficulties encountered.

Initial Vision and Recent Developments

Over time, the IRSP evolved to follow the evolution of research in social psychology (see Figure 3). Originally, the goal was to promote social psychology and improve access to specialized literature of the discipline (Curie & Tap, 1987; Pagès, 1979; see also Delouvée, 2013). If the editorial policy was oriented towards internationalization from the start, the IRSP reinforced its editorial line on internationalization from the period 1991–1994. In the editorial of issue 7(1) of 1994, Monteil wrote: ‘New developments concern the internationalization of the journal, as shown by the current issue entrusted to our colleague Ulrich Wagner’ (Monteil, 1994: 9). From this period on, the name of the journal also appeared in English on the cover pages, whereas it only appeared in French before (as shown in Figure 1).

Figure 3 

Timeline of the successive chief editors of the IRSP and successive developments.

In 2006, in addition to paper volumes, the IRSP was made available on the CAIRN online platform.5 In 2010, when Mugny was the chief editor, the journal offered a new submission format, with the possibility for authors to submit Short Research Notes (i.e., between 1,500 and 3,000 words in English; see Mugny, 2010). In 2015, Céline Darnon (Université Clermont Auvergne) and Olivier Klein (Université Libre de Bruxelles) became chief editors of the IRSP and proposed a series of initiatives to increase its accessibility and visibility. So far, the IRSP had only been available through institutions subscribing to the CAIRN platform. Starting as of January 2016, the journal underwent a major change: The British open access publisher Ubiquity Press started to publish the IRSP entirely online.6 This had three implications: (1) it allowed authors to submit via a new professional online submission system, (2) the paper volumes were no longer edited; articles were thus no longer gathered as volumes but were published as and when accepted, and (3) the IRSP became a fully open access journal. From that moment, everyone, even without institutional access, was able to read and download IRSP articles. In parallel, two communication managers were integrated to the editorial team, whose goals are to expand the external communication of the journal.7 Since the end of 2015, with the chief editors, they have handled the journal’s social media (i.e., social networks, blog),8 broadcast the news about the latest publications or special collections, and provide information about the journal, calls for papers or forthcoming events.

The IRSP continues to evolve in order to follow the evolution of research in social psychology by encouraging new research practices (e.g., transparency, data provision and accessibility, a priori power analysis). In this context, the editors published a special collection on methodological resources in 2017, and started to offer the possibility for authors to submit preregistered reports beginning in September 2017.

The goal of Robert Pagès and Janine Larrue was to create a journal that would provide a better access to texts and research in social psychology. Their legacy continues and extends today. Following the evolution of the research, the association and its journal have been able to adapt through the implication of a dedicated community. Aside from this overview of the history of IRSP, another goal for our contribution is to analyze some characteristics of the articles that have been published during the 30 years of existence of the journal and their evolution over time. For this purpose, we developed a database containing the characteristics of the articles (i.e., for each year: title of the articles, volume, type, authors’ names, sex and institutional affiliation, length and associated keywords). We hope this analysis will help to complete the presentation of the journal and its evolution through the evolution of its scientific content and contributors.

Analyses

Method

We collected information about IRSP publications directly from the IRSP volumes (from 1988 to 2005) or from available information on online platforms (i.e., CAIRN from 2006 to 2015 and Ubiquity from 2016 to 2018). Specifically, we gathered information about each article published from 1988 to 2018: name, sex and institutional affiliation of the author(s), length and associated keywords of the articles. We also collected information about the IRSP’s successive editorial committees (i.e., name and affiliation of the editors in chief and associate editors), which appeared at the beginning of each volume.

When the authors’ first names were not available (only the initials were reported from issue 1994 to issue 1998) and when we could not know authors’ sex (men or women) by any other available information, we reported missing data (N = 42; 2.83%).

Concerning institutional affiliations, note that we considered the affiliations that authors reported at the time of their article publication. Thus, given the geographical mobility of authors, the affiliation of an author is not necessarily the same from one publication to another or is not necessarily the same as today. In addition, the name of the institution may have changed.

Finally, the length of the articles was reported on the basis on their number of pages. Indeed, because some articles are only available in paper format (all volumes before 2006), we could not take into account the number of words.

Results

The IRSP’s Chief Editors: 1988–2018

We collected information about the IRSP’s successive editorial committees (i.e., name and affiliation of the chief and associate editors), which appeared at the beginning of each volume. For the detailed list of chief editors and associate editors of the IRSP over time, see Appendix A. For the composition of the successive committees of the Association pour la Diffusion de la Recherche Internationale en Psychologie Sociale (ADRIPS), see Appendix B.

Regular Issues and Special Collections Over Time

Before the IRSP was published online (i.e., between 1988 and December 2015), 85 volumes were published (57 regular issues and 28 special collections). Between 2016 and May 2018, the IRSP published six additional special collections. Table 1 details the years of publication, titles and guest editors of these 34 special collections published from 1988 through May 2018.

Table 1

Years of publication, titles and editors of the special collections.

Year Volume Name Editor(s) of the special collection

1988 1(1) Interaction and Social Distance Robert Pagès, Alain Trognon
1988 1(2) Personal Dynamics and Social Identities Jean Paul Codol, Pierre Tap
1989 2(1) Social Interactions During Early Childhood Roger Lécuyer, H. Rudolph Schaffer, Janine Beaudichon
1989 2(3) Racism: Domination, Exclusion, Identity James S. Jackson, Gérard Lemaine
1990 3(1) Psycho-Social Analysis of Transitions Situations Jacques Curie
1990 3(3) Representations in the Social Field Denise Jodelet, Serge Moscovici
1991 4(1–2) Psycho-Social Approach to Organizational Behaviors Jean Marc Monteil
1991 4(3–4) Social Psychology of Political Life Piero Amerio, Janine Larrue
1992 5(1) Work Socialization of Youth Hubert Touzard
1997 10(2) Sex, Gender and Power Marie-France Pichevin, Marie-Claude Hurtig
1998 11(2) Social Perception and Intergroup Relations Jacques Phillipe Leyens
2000 13(3) Social Influences Gabriel Mugny
2000 13(4) Communication Contracts Rodolphe Ghiglione, Claude Chabrol
2001 14(2) Social Abilities of Children Monique Allès-Jardel
2001 14(4) Social Comparison and Risk Perception Jean-François Verlhiac, Olivier Desrichard, Isabelle Milhabet
2002 15(3–4) Self and Identity: Let One Thousand Flowers Bloom Constantine Sedikides
2003 16(3) Nondirect Aggression Deborah South Richardson, Georgina S. Hammock
2004 17(2) Aggressive Behavior Farzaneh Pahlavan
2005 18(1–2) Culture and Social Psychology Dario Paez, Peter B. Smith
2006 19(1) Special Issue on Social Justice Rémi Finkelstein, Didier Truchot
2007 20(1) Special Issue on Social Comparison Hans Kuyper, Bram Buunk
2008 21(1–2) Toward a Clarification of the Effects of Achievement Goals Céline Darnon, Fabrizio Butera, Judith M. Harackiewicz
2009 22(3–4) Social Psychological Perspectives on Terrorism: Processes, Causes and Consequences Thomas Arciszewski, Jean-François Verlhiac, Isabelle Goncalves, Arie Kruglanski
2010 23(2–3) Social Issues and Social Psychology: Distinctive Pathways in Applying Social Psychology to Resolve Major Social Problems Fabrice Buschini, Serge Guimond, Glynis Breakwell
2012 25(3–4) Organizational Citizenship Behaviors Pascal Paillé, Adalgisa Battistelli
2013 26(3) Science, Technology and Society: The Social Representations Approach Nikos Kalampalikis, Martin W. Bauer, Thémistoklis Apostolidis
2014 27(3–4) Stereotype Threat in Children: Past and Present Isabelle Régner, Jennifer R. Steele, Pascal Huguet
2015 28(1) Objectifying others: Social psychological perspectives Olivier Klein, Sarah J. Gervais
2016 « Je suis Charlie »: New Findings on the Social and Political Psychology of Terrorism Armelle Nugier, Serge Guimond
2016 Socio-Cognitive Elaborations and Reactions to Economic Crisis Stamos Papastamou, Pascal Marchand, Silvia Mari, Joaquim Pires Valentim
2017 Methodological Resources for Social Psychologists Olivier Klein, Céline Darnon
2017–2018 Conflicts in Social Influence: A Festschrift in Honour of Gabriel Mugny Fabrizio Butera, Juan Manuel Falomir Pichastor
2018 Immigration: How Minority and Majority Members Deal With Cultural Diversity Constantina Badea, Eva G.T. Green
2018 Cognitive Dissonance and Change Joel Cooper, Fabien Girandola, Séverine Halimi-Falkowicz, Daniel Priolo, Cécile Sénémeaud

Of all these special collections, 13 were handled by French guest editors (38.23%), 13 were handled by both French and non-French guest editors (38.23%) and 8 were handled by non-French guest editors (23.53%). We can observe some changes over time. Indeed, between 1988 and 1997, these special collections were handled mostly by French guest editors (N = 7, 70%), whereas two were handled by both French and non-French guest editors (20%) and one was handled by non-French guest editors (10%). Between 1998 and 2007, the distribution between French and non-French guest editors was balanced (there was no special collection handled by both French and non-French guest editors during this period): five special collections were handled by French guest editors (45.45%) and six were handled by non-French guest editors (54.54%). Between 2008 and May 2018, they were handled mostly by both French and non-French guest editors (N = 11, 84.61%), whereas one was handled by non-French guest editors (7.69%) and one was handled by French guest editors (7.69%). Thus, we can note that the proportion of special collections handled by (only) French guest editors decreased with time.

Evolution of the IRSP Sections

In addition to empirical articles and literature reviews, two categories of articles were originally proposed: ‘Reading notes’ and ‘Diffusion, counterpoints and debates’ (i.e., ‘Notes de lectures’ and ‘Diffusion, contrepoints et débats’). In 1988, Willem Doise (Université de Genève) handled the ‘Reading notes’ section and Jean-Pierre Deconchy (Université Paris X) handled the ‘Diffusion, counterpoints and debates’ section.

The ‘Reading notes’ were devoted to the discussion of important works of the discipline, especially to make them accessible to French readers (hence they were mostly in French). Here, the authors discussed rather than summarized the main ideas. They were not literature reviews per se on a specific research topic (covering a large number of references) but rather a review about one or several particular outlets (e.g., a book, an article). When the reading notes concerned a work that had not been translated into French, the author could summarize it before commenting it (that is why the length could vary from one note to another).

The ‘Diffusion, counterpoints and debates’ section was dedicated to the expression of epistemological debates (e.g., ‘Cognitive Psychology at the Time of Connectionism’, Lories & Seron, 1989), reflections on social issues (‘AIDS and Prevention: Crises and Individual Transitions’, Ludwig, 1990; ‘Some Psycho-Sociological Reflections on a Scientific Controversy: The Case of the Memory of Water’, Matalon, 1991), or important figures in the field (e.g., ‘Jean-Paul Codol’s Approach to Social Psychology’, Leyens, 1990). We counted 13 ‘Reading notes’ (the last was published in 1996, volume 1) and 7 ‘Diffusion, counterpoints and debates’ (the last was published in 1997, volume 2).

In addition, the section ‘News of social psychology’ was also originally proposed to broadcast news and information about the activities of fundamental or applied research in social psychology (e.g., upcoming congress, symposia or workshops, reports of past congresses, call for papers). In 1988, Hubert Touzard (Université Paris V) and Gabriel Mugny (Université de Genève) handled this section. As they indicated in the first volume (1988), the aim was to broadcast information to ‘foster links between colleagues from different countries or laboratories, and facilitate collaboration between researchers or teams working on a related research topic’ (Touzard & Mugny, 1988: 150, our translation).

Number of Articles and Language of Publications

Between 1988 and May 2018, we counted 635 published articles (including editorials of special collections): 325 (51.18%) were published in French and 310 (48.82%) in English. Examining the language distribution over time (see Figure 4), we see that English publications increased over the past 30 years, whereas French publications decreased. Indeed, between 1988 and 1997, 149 articles (70.62%) were published in French and 62 (29.38%) in English. Between 1998 and 2007, 128 articles (58.72%) were published in French and 90 (41.28%) in English. Between 2008 and May 2018, 48 articles (23.30%) were published in French and 158 (76.70%) in English. The evolution of the number of French publications shows no significant difference between the first period (1988–1997, N = 149) and the second period (1998–2007, N = 128), χ2 (1) = 1.59, p = 0.207. However, this evolution is significant between the second and the third period (2008–May 2018, N = 48), χ2 (1) = 36.4, p < 0.001. In parallel, the evolution of the number of English publications is significant between the first (N = 62) and the second period (N = 90), and between the second and the third period (N = 158), with respectively χ2 (1) = 5.16, p < 0.02 and χ2 (1) = 18.6, p < 0.001.

Figure 4 

Percentages of French and English articles published in the IRSP per year.

The Authors of the IRSP: Number and Institutional Affiliation Over Time

Between 1988 and May 2018, of the 635 published articles, we counted 1485 authors in total (including 985 different authors). We examined their institutional affiliations between 1988 and May 2018. Using the affiliation data, we created five types of classification for affiliation: we categorized locations into Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania and South America. Of all the 1485 authors who published in the IRSP between 1988 and May 2018, 7 were affiliated in Africa (0.47%), 23 in Asia (1.55%), 1235 in Europe (83.16%), 189 in North America (12.73%), 11 in Oceania (0.74%) and 1 in South America (0.07%; χ2 (5) = 335.98, p < 0.001; 19 missing data, 1.28%). We thus observe clear discrepancies within affiliations, as Europe predominates (N = 1235; 83.16%). Looking at the distribution of affiliations by country (see Appendix C), we can see that French affiliations (N = 692) represent 56.03% of European affiliations, whereas non-French affiliations (N = 543) represent 43.97% of European affiliations. This difference is non-significant, χ2 (1) = 1.45, p = 0.228. However, we notice a discrepancy in Europe where Western Europe predominates (N = 1227; 99.35%) compared to Eastern Europe (N = 8; 0.65%), χ2 (1) = 97.42, p = 0.001. French affiliations (N = 692) represent 47.20% of all affiliations while non-French affiliations (N = 774) represent 52.80% of all affiliations.

We examined the institutional affiliations of authors over time (see Figure 5). The presence of non-French affiliations early in the history of the journal shows that the editorial policy was oriented towards internationalization from the start. For example, in 1989, of all the authors who published in the IRSP that year, 32% worked in Europe with French affiliations, 22% in Europe with non-French affiliations, 40% in North America and 2% in Oceania (see Figure 5). Moreover, 42% of articles were published in English that year (see Figure 4).

Figure 5 

Institutional affiliation of authors over time.

Comparing institutional affiliations (Figure 5) and language distribution over time (Figure 4), we notice that this is not the type of institutional affiliation that seems to have changed (the journal being oriented towards internationalization from the start), but rather that French-speaking authors started to submit more and more in English over time. To test this assumption, we counted the number of articles published in French and English among French and non-French authors over three time periods (1988–1997; 1998–2007; 2008–May2018; see Table 2). Note that we considered authors as ‘French’ when there was at least one author affiliated to a French university among the authors. This includes the case where (1) all the authors of a publication were affiliated to a French University (i.e., ‘French affiliation’), and the case where (2) French author(s) co-wrote with non-French author(s) (i.e., ‘Mixed affiliation’, see details in Appendix D).

Table 2

Number of articles published in French or English depending on the country of affiliation (French or mixed affiliation versus non-French affiliation) of the authors over 3 time periods (1988–1997; 1998–2007; 2008–May 2018).

1988–1997 1998–2007 2008–May 2018

French Authors N French articles 104 111 41
N English articles 10 23 62
Non-French Authors N French articles 38 16 7
N English articles 49 67 93

During the period 2008–May 2018, the number of articles published in French by French authors (N = 41) was lower compared to the period 1998–2007 (N = 111) and the period 1988–1997 (N = 104). This evolution is significant overall, χ2 (2) = 34.8, p < 0.001. In parallel, the number of articles published in English by French authors during period 2008–May 2018 (N = 62) was greater compared to the period 1998–2007 (N = 23) and the period 1988–1997 (N = 10). This evolution is significant overall, χ2 (2) = 46.3, p < 0.001.

During the period 2008–May 2018, the number of articles published in French by non-French authors (N = 7) was lower compared to the period 1998–2007 (N = 16) and the period 1988–1997 (N = 38). This evolution is significant overall, χ2 (2) = 25.0, p < 0.001. In parallel, the number of articles published in English by non-French authors during the period 2008–May 2018 (N = 93) was greater compared to the period 1998–2007 (N = 67) and the period 1988–1997 (N = 49). This evolution is significant overall, χ2 (2) = 14.0, p < 0.001.

Number of Citations: Impact of IRSP Over Time

Articles published in the IRSP between 2006 and 2017 have an average number of 89.42 citations. Unfortunately, data collected from Web of Science do not allow us to know the number of official citations for the documents published before 2006. We noticed that publications from 2008 show the highest score of cited publications (see Table 3). The most cited publication is from 2008 (i.e., Linnenbrink-Garcia, Tyson & Patall, 2008) with a total of 72 citations and an average of 6.55 citations per year.

Table 3

Publications per year: Number and mean of their citations. Indexes = SCI-EXPANDED, SSCI, A&HCI, CPCI-S, CPCI-SSH, ESCI, CCR-EXPANDED, IC.

Year N publications N citations M citation

2006 22 126 5.73
2007 24 185 7.71
2008 19 214 11.26
2009 20 56 2.80
2010 18 89 4.94
2011 20 25 1.25
2012 18 35 1.94
2013 24 41 1.71
2014 21 51 2.43
2015 20 55 2.75
2016 13 83 6.38
2017 20 113 5.65
M (2006–2017) 19.92 89.42 4.55

The impact factor (IF) is a journal-level bibliometric index based on citation analysis (Garfield, 1972). Although the IF (and journal-level bibliometric indexes in general) has not been spared from criticism (e.g., Hegarty & Walton, 2012; Seglen, 1997), it has been extensively used in the past decades as an index of quality of scientific journals (Garfield, 2006). Due to a recent name change in the database, Web of Science considers now IRSP as two separate journals. The first one, which includes the English and French title of the review, has an impact factor of 0.579 and an Eigenfactor score of 0.000260 with a total of 189 citations. The second one, which take into account the new title from 2016 as a new journal, has an impact factor of 1.417, an Eigenfactor score of 0.000080 and a total cites of 32.9 The Scopus CiteScore from Scimago Journal, which is an equivalent of the IF, is another index that describes the impact of IRSP over time (see SCImago, 2018). The IRSP CiteScore showed a continuous increase from 2008, reaching 0.561 in 2011 until it declined in 2012. Recently, it showed an impressive growth between 2016 and 2017, going from 0.354 to 0.852 (see Figure 6). As a result, IRSP went from the lowest values in 2016 (i.e., the fourth quartile) to the third highest values in 2017 (i.e., the third quartile) with an H-index of 13—now placing the journal at rank 148 of the 247 journals in social psychology.

Figure 6 

Evolution of IRSP CiteScore per document from 2006 to 2017 (from Scimago Journal & Country Rank).

Discussion

In the mid-1980s, a group of scholars gathered, as they believed it was necessary to provide better access to scientific literature in social psychology and to promote French-speaking, but also international, work of the field. Historically, the creation of the IRSP is part of the institutionalization of the discipline in France and French-speaking countries. Indeed, the journal came from the first social psychology laboratories in France, and from the beginning it involved other French-speaking laboratories.

The editorial policy was not only focused on the promotion of French-speaking work, but also oriented towards internationalization from the start. Indeed, submissions of English articles were solicited and accepted from the beginning. In the editorial of issue 7(1) of 1994, Monteil wrote: ‘New developments concern the internationalization of the journal, as shown by the current issue entrusted to our colleague Ulrich Wagner. It is on the consolidation of already solid foundations that an ambitious editorial policy will develop, a policy that leads the IRSP to align with the highest scientific standards’ (Monteil, 1994: 9, our translation). Considering the various institutional affiliations of the authors or the evolution of the number of articles published in English, this mission seems satisfied.

The IRSP has always been about accessibility. Initially, by improving access to specialized literature of the discipline at a time when it was scarce (Delouvée, 2013; Pagès, 1979). Apart from historical elements, this desire for accessibility also reflects in the volumes of the RIPS themselves. Specifically, the sections ‘Reading Notes’ and ‘News of social psychology’ (proposed at the early beginning of the IRSP) show this willingness to make research in social psychology available to the community. Indeed, the purpose of the section ‘Reading notes’ was to review and discuss one or several particular outlets (e.g., a book, an article) so that important works of the discipline were accessible. The section ‘News of social psychology’ was proposed to broadcast news and information about research in social psychology. At this time, the community did not possess the communication channels that exist today, and the journal allowed readers and researchers to broadcast, inform, promote and gather. Over time, accessibility remained central but took other forms. By becoming fully open access in 2015, research is now immediately and freely available to everyone. Furthermore, the journal started to strongly encourage authors to embrace new research practices and make all data associated with their submission openly available. Thus, many indicators show that accessibility has been—and continues to be—an important concern for the IRSP.

To trace the evolution of the IRSP and its scientific literature, we developed a database containing the characteristics of the articles from 1988 to May 2018. We believe that it can be a useful tool as it allows browsing many types of information (e.g., title of the articles, type or associated keywords) and thereby finding resources on specific topics or look for the work of some authors. We hope that this database will contribute to facilitating research of the scientific literature published in the journal since 1988 (and through May 1, 2018).

Note that we did not discuss the evolution of the male/female ratio (among the authors or the editorial committee) or the evolution of thematic approaches in the IRSP. Without any comprehensive background on the matter, these topics appear beyond the scope of this article. If these issues are not addressed here, the developed database can be useful for further research on these topics. Specifically, it can be used to go further on the issue on sex equality in academia (via the number of male and female authors or even via their respective ranks in the list of authors) or the evolution of published contents of the field.

Additional Files

The additional files for this article can be found as follows:

Appendix A

Name and institutional affiliations of chief editors and associate editors of the IRSP. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/irsp.203.s1

Appendix B

Composition of the successive committee of the Association pour la Diffusion de la Recherche Internationale en Psychologie Sociale (ADRIPS). DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/irsp.203.s2

Appendix C

Country distribution of the authors who published in the IRSP between 1988 and May 2018. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/irsp.203.s3

Appendix D

Number of articles published in French or English depending on the country of affiliation (French, mixed affiliations or non-French) of authors over three periods (1988–1997; 1998–2007; 2008–May 2018). DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/irsp.203.s4

Notes

1Original text in French: ‘Recherches de Psychologie Sociale est un premier cahier d’une publication que nous espérons renouveler avec une régularité croissante. Cette publication est à l’initiative du Laboratoire de Psychologie sociale de l’Université Paris 7, associé au Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (c’est l’ancien laboratoire de psychologie sociale de la Sorbonne).’ 

2Original text in French: ‘plusieurs recherches expérimentales en psychologie sociale […] mais il comporte aussi des synthèses théorique, des travaux d’histoire de la discipline, des articles de discussion, voire de mises en question à distance.’ 

3The editorial also included the following French version: ‘Le retard de la publication de ce premier numéro de 1994 de la Revue Internationale de Psychologie Sociale révèle à la fois une difficulté et une réalité nouvelle. La difficulté, financière et d’organisation, est maintenant résolue par la participation active des institutions à la base du soutien de la revue, mais aussi grâce à l’engagement accru et volontariste de notre éditeur. Que les uns et les autres soient remerciés.’ 

4Note that the IRSP published four issues per year until 2016, except between 1991 and 1999 where two issues per year were published. 

7Originally, Béatrice Degraeve (Université de Nîmes) and Antoine Roblain (Université Libre de Bruxelles) held this position, then Stephanie Rambaud (Université Paris Descartes) succeeded Antoine Roblain beginning in July 2016. 

9Before 2016, the journal’s title was Revue Internationale de Psychologie Sociale–International Review of Social Psychology to become International Review of Social Psychology. 

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Jean-Léon Beauvois, Olivier Desrichard, Nicole Dubois, Marie-Axelle Granié, Janine Larrue, Jean Marc Monteil, Christine Morin-Messabel, Patrick Rateau and Pierre Tap, who helped us gather information about the journal and trace its history. We are very grateful and honored to have investigated the history of the IRSP with you. The authors of course assume full responsibility for this text and any errors it may contain. The authors also would like to thank Céline Darnon and Olivier Klein for their support and assistance with this project—but also for the trust, advice and inspiration they gave us over the past couple of years, working alongside them.

Competing Interests

The author declares that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

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