Arts & Sciences

Translational Issues in Psychological Science: Editor spotlight with Dr. Jacklynn Fitzgerald

Republished with permission from APA Publishing. See APA Editor Spotlight series and other free APA content at

Dr. Jacklynn Fitzgerald, assistant professor of psychology in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, serves as the editor for the American Psychological Association’s journal, Translational Issues in Psychological Science. She was recently featured in the journal’s Editor Spotlight.

Tell us a bit about your background: What is your area of research? What is your most recent journal-editing experience?

I am an assistant professor of psychology at Marquette University, and my program of research is the neurobiology of emotion dysregulation as it manifests in posttraumatic stress disorder.

Prior to joining as editor-in-chief of Translational Issues in Psychological Science (TPS), I served as an associate editor on the TPS board and personally benefitted from the mentorship I received as a student member when I joined the board in 2014 as a graduate student. In this way, I have come full circle in my involvement at TPS, now serving in the editor position. The success of the mentoring approach at TPS is something I touch on in my inaugural editorial.

Briefly, what are your main priorities? For example, how will you grow readership, what type of scholarship would you like to see in the journal, and what kind of content are you hoping to attract?

Every year, psychological science’s wide reach becomes increasingly evident, in that it is relevant to how people respond to both proximal events and events that have national and global effects. For example, the psychological effects of climate change and global pandemics are now clear. Similarly, prevention and treatment science is evolving to treat whole systems and recognizes the mind–body connection, relying on psychological approaches to a greater extent than it has in the past. In addition, new technologies routinely influence psychological science, particularly in the ways psychologists deliver mental health services, study the brain, and measure human behavior. All of these advances necessitate a blended approach to conducting psychological science that brings together experts from outside fields, such as medicine, statistics and bioengineering. As such, my main priority is to continue to invest in the journal’s translational approach, because I see it as integral to the future of psychological science.

Why is this journal important for the field? What is its relevance to society/public health? What are the hot issues in your area right now?

TPS is the official journal of the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) and serves as a home journal for training and mentoring students in editorial work. In this way, it is a unique journal, precisely because it elevates the trainee perspective and experience. TPS also possesses additional translational missions: to bridge subdisciplines across psychology and to reach beyond the silo of academia. Each of these goals by itself would be worthy enough for a journal to herald as its mission, but to experience them together is powerful. Because of this, my vision is to use these goals synergistically to create a journal that connects the field to itself as well as to the public through the lens of the up-and-coming scientist.

What challenges, if any, lie ahead for the field?

Peer review burnout is a growing issue, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic. One of my goals for TPS is to revitalize interest in peer reviewing, framing it as a career value. The journal relies heavily on students as peer reviewers; thus, an obligation of those of us on the TPS editorial board is to educate potential reviewers on the benefits of peer reviewing. For students new to the experience, we try to anchor it both as a personal career milestone and as a contribution to the larger discipline.

Do you have plans for a special issue or changes to the editorial process? Have you introduced or are you planning to introduce any changes?

TPS already relies on a special issue framework, publishing four special issue topics per year. One of the great privileges conferred by the editor position at TPS is active involvement with the editorial board on selecting these up-and-coming topics. Special issue topic selection is a team effort that involves student leaders in APAGS, and we have a track record of embracing issues centered on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. With that said, I hope that we continue to embrace and spotlight these topics.