Personal and positive: Fifty years of publishing Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

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Robert A. C. Stewart
Cite this article:  Stewart, R. (2022). Personal and positive: Fifty years of publishing Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 50(1), e11182.


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Dr Robert A. C. (Bob) Stewart
, Editor-in-Chief, Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, Author, Researcher, Professor, and University Deputy President.



When I founded this journal in 1973, I had a vision of the kind of place where I would want to publish my own research. As an early career researcher at the time, I believed that it was possible to combine rigor and uncompromising professional standards with courtesy and encouragement of new ideas. The goal was for a place that provided excellent support in assisting authors to bring their best work to life in published articles. Fifty years into this journey, I find immense satisfaction in the achievement of those goals.

I remember reaching out to a group of the world’s most eminent social psychologists during the early years and inviting them to join this exciting and rewarding venture. Their positive response was immediate. Over the years others have also been chosen on their merit. I am proud to acknowledge all those who have served as members of the Board of Consulting Editors over the years, and particularly the following: Albert Bandura, Jeanne Brockmyer, Donn Byrne, Jin Nam Choi, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Edward de Bono, Anthony N. Doob, Hans J. Eysenck, Michael Eysenck, Norman T. Feather, Adrian Furnham, Jerome Kagan, Torsten Norlander, Stefania Paolini, Robert Rosenthal, Julian B. Rotter, Janet Taylor Spence, Harry Triandis, Bernard Weiner, and Marvin Zuckerman.

Looking back on over 400 issues I continue to see our focus on the original vision, and also how far we have come. When this journey began, I served as editor part-time while holding senior university and research appointments around the world: New Zealand, Canada, and Fiji. By 1989, I was back in my native New Zealand and enlisted a team to support the growing journal. Now, an outstanding team of 20 publishing and social psychology specialists craft each journal issue. An Internet search for “social behavior” continually finds SBP Journal on Google’s prized first page. Typically, each month we have visitors to our website from between 140 and 180 countries. In September 2021, the top readership countries were (in order) the United States, China, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, the United Kingdom, Turkey, and South Korea. The journal is indexed, abstracted, or archived in Ingenta Connect, CrossRef, Scopus, Hinari, Clarivate Analytics, CLOCKSS, LOCKSS, Portico, EBSCO Host, and ScienceOpen.

This work would not be possible without contributions from our valued authors, reviewers, consulting editors, and readers. Authors who have appreciated our team’s friendly and personal attention return to publish multiple times with SBP Journal, then bring their graduate students and colleagues into the journal community. I want to personally thank each of you for the collaboration we have enjoyed.

What is next for SBP Journal? The work will continue apace and I believe that new avenues of expression will open up for the journal! In just the last 3 years we have moved the journal to online-only publication, increasing the speed and flexibility of our processes. We are encouraged that in the most recent release from Web of Science, our journal impact factor increased by no less than 44%.

We continue to collaborate with Ingenta Connect to offer fast-tracked advance publication and we foresee opening up access to more and more journal content as scholarly publishing moves toward open access. Looking to a more accessible model in the future, published research will be potentially available to everyone on the face of the globe. Already, dozens of our journal articles are either freely available on a temporary basis, or are published open access.

Starting this month, we will feature a selection of our top 10 published articles from our 50-year history. These articles have enjoyed the highest engagement numbers over the years, so we offer them to all readers, free to access, for the duration of our fiftieth year.

Looking forward, plans are underway for our journal management forum, Open Journal Systems, to be upgraded, bringing a fresh look and new state-of-the-art features. Authors and reviewers will find helpful improvements in navigation and communication with our journal team. We will keep our journal community updated about a launch date and how to use these exciting enhanced features.

We anticipate that SBP Journal will go from strength to strength as we continue to work with our journal community, strengthening ties and publishing research in social, developmental, and personality psychology. We invite all researchers, either long-time contributors or those in the early stages of their career, to join us. Likewise, we invite anyone with a curious mind and a love of human behavior to explore the pages of SBP Journal. It has been a positive and fulfilling journey for our whole team; I know we can offer that experience to you too.

To our loyal authors: as we could not do this without you, I would like to give you the last word. See the comments from some of our authors below.

Robert A. C. Stewart, PhD
Editor-in-Chief,
Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Comments from our Authors

Dr. David Pearson, DClinPsychol, and Dr. Fiona Kennedy, DClinPsychol, Dream a Dream NGO research team, Bengaluru, India, write:

We would like to start by congratulating Dr Bob Stewart and the team on achieving the 50th volume of Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal. This must surely be a unique achievement. We are a small group of researchers and social entrepreneurs working in the developing world. The main aim of SBP Journal fifty volumes ago was “to draw out the best from social scientists rather than creating obstacles” and to be “a place that encouraged new ideas.”

We were in the fortunate position of reaching a stage in life when new directions could be considered. The move from an academic health lab to blackboard and chalk in the developing world was rather challenging. Our first research meetings took place in a coconut grove outside an orphanage. The danger of falling coconuts was a real risk that we had not accounted for! We also found equally challenging the skepticism that many journals had when considering research that did not come from a standard team in a standard university department. Journals often felt that their readers would not be interested in developing world research. This was when our relationship with SBP Journal started. An open-minded approach was taken by SBP Journal whilst maintaining absolute scientific rigor and quality. The review and editing process has been transparent, with the ability to reach an end point.

The results of our research published with SBP Journal currently impacts on millions of disadvantaged children in the developing world, some of whom are on the edges of survival. The Life Skills Assessment scale is in widespread use in the developing world and gained a Global Innovation Award in Helsinki. None of this could have been possible without the support and positive attitude of the SBP Journal team.

Our message to the SBP Journal team is that you have truly fulfilled the original aims of the journal, and we hope that the 50th volume is a stepping-stone towards the 100th.

Jin Nam Choi, PhD, Professor of OB/HRM, Graduate School of Business, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea, and member of the SBP Board of Consulting Editors, writes:

Congratulations to the SBP Journal editors and staff members for publishing scholarly articles for the past 50 years! Indeed, this is not a small feat in academia and not many journals have such a tremendous history. I believe that the adaptive and flexible coverage of topical issues from various psychology disciplines, such as social, personality, industrial, and organizational psychology, based on both basic and applied perspectives, contribute to the sustainability and thriving of SBP Journal as a reputable academic outlet. More important, the lasting and continued success of SBP Journal should be attributed to the prompt and collegial editorial processes and amazing author services, such as friendly and frequent updates, high-quality copyediting, and collaborative accommodation of author requests throughout the publication process. I wish to see the continued contribution of SBP Journal as a critical source of novel insights and theoretical developments in our literature.

Zhenyuan (James) Wang, Head of Department of Business Administration, East China Normal University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China, writes:

On the 50th anniversary of Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, I would like to express my best wishes to the editors and team members. In 2016, I published my first article in SBP Journal, also my first SSCI-listed journal article. During the submission process, the reviewers gave my coauthors and I constructive comments and helped us to improve our manuscript. I appreciated the timely reviewing process and the excellent copyediting work. I would like to recommend SBP Journal to scholars from the management field, especially in organizational behavior. When I am interested in a topic that is still in its infancy, or relatively unstudied, I often find relevant articles in SBP Journal. The SBP Journal team is clearly sensitive and open-minded to publishing new topics. As the world rapidly changes, my wish is that SBP Journal can keep focusing on novel and important topics to contribute to scholarly research.

Juan Li, doctoral student, School of Economics and Management, Beijing Jiaotong University, People’s Republic of China, writes:

As doctoral students, my coauthors and I have particularly appreciated the review comments for our manuscripts submitted for possible publication in Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal. Our experience has been that SBP Journal has been very supportive of our professional growth.

At www.sbp-journal.com readers can view current author feedback. At the time of publication, these were some of our authors’ comments:


I greatly appreciate the help from the editorial team members. I absolutely believe that the quality of the edited manuscript is a significant improvement. This work will be the best study of my academic career! Thank you very much.

The published article looks great. Thank you very much for your assistance that helped us achieve this wonderful outcome.

Thank you so much for all your kind help and support! Again, I will look forward to continuing to work with SBP Journal.

We would like to express our great appreciation to editors and reviewers for the valuable comments and suggestions on our manuscript. We have had pleasant experiences with the honored SBP Journal. Thank you so much for your support. We really appreciate it.

Thanks for the great support of your team. I hope to get another opportunity to work with you again in the future.

Thank you very much! I don’t know how to thank you for all you have done for us. A Chinese proverb says, “A drop of water offered as a little help, deserves a fountain to return the favor.” I am a fan of your journal and will submit more articles to you in the future and will let more people know about the work you do.

The team at SBP invites you to Submit your Manuscript 

Robert A. C. Stewart, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Journal Publishers, New Zealand. Email: [email protected]

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