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TOPICS — Journal of The Cognitive Science Society

Welcome to topiCS: Topics in Cognitive Science, the newest journal of the Cognitive Science Society.
November 2017

The inaugural issue of topiCS was published in January, 2009. [Publisher's site >]

topiCS is a forum for:

  • New communities of researchers
  • New controversies in established areas
  • Debates and commentaries
  • Reflection and integration

The following are the types of topiCS submissions. (This outline reflects the structure of our online submission site, see http://www.editorialmanager.com/topics/).

NOTE: We are soliciting proposals for topics, not for issues. Whereas we will be trying to publish as many topic papers as possible in the same issue of the journal, there are many reasons what this is not always practical. (For example, single issue publication may force authors to wait excessively long for late authors to complete the review process; attempts to force all topic papers into a single issue may distort the publication pipeline and penalize other topics.)

  1. Proposal for a new Topic:

    1. WHO: one or a small group of researchers working together to propose a particular topic in a particular format

    2. FORMAT (click on link to go to the FAQ for more information);
      1. Multiple (4–10) papers on one topic
      2. Debate — 2 to 3 central papers with commentaries
      3. Target article with commentaries
      4. Does not fit into one of the above categories, but seems like a good match to topiCS anyway.
  1. Sketches, papers, introductions to an accepted Topic or responses to a published topic:

    1. Sketches (i.e., immediate responses to a Call-for-Papers on a given topic):
      WHO: researchers who are interested in contributing to a topic and wish to have their contribution vetted by the editors before writing a full paper. Please note that “vetting” does not imply “acceptance”, it merely implies that your proposed contribution fits with the Editors vision of their topic.
    1. Article submission:

      WHO: researchers whose proposals (B.1) have been accepted by the topiCS Editor or have been otherwise invited to submit a paper on the topic
    1. Topic introduction:

      WHO: typically an introduction is written by the topiCS Editors for the entire topic
    1. Topic commentary, report, rebuttal, or letter-to-editor on an already published topic:

      WHO: anyone may submit a commentary, report, or rebuttal to a published topic or paper. These will be vetted by the Editor-in-Chief in consultation with the topiCS Editors. 

topiCS is a different journal. Its differences will be felt by its authors, reviewers, editors, and readers.

  • Authors: there will be no such thing as an unsolicited topiCS paper. If you have an idea for a topic then submit a proposal for a topic via the topiCS Editorial Manager website.

    Note that although all authors will be invited to submit, this does not mean that all submissions will be accepted. Although we expect topiCS to have a higher than normal acceptance rate, this higher rate will be due to soliciting papers that we know fit the charter of the journal from researchers who we know have something to say. However, papers will be rejected and papers that are assigned a "revise and resubmit" review category will not have the luxury of time needed to make it back into the pool of papers published on that topic.

  • Senior Editorial Board: The heart of topiCS is its Senior Editorial Board of distinguished Cognitive Scientists who, although noted for the depth of their personal research, possess a broad vision of cognitive science that extends well beyond their own areas of expertise. Each Senior Editorial Board member is expected to:

      a. Identify topics suitable for topiCS and identify candidate Topics Editors interested and capable of crafting a topic proposal (see FAQ for How to Prepare a Topic for topiCS).

      b. Read proposals submitted to topiCS and discuss them via an email exchange with the full Advisory Board.

        In those cases in which a promising proposal is submitted but the proposer(s) need some help in fulling its promise, step forward to offer guidance in formulating an acceptable proposal.

        On occasions when the proposal is strong but the proposer is inexperienced as an Editor or Reviewer, to step forward to assist a proposal in the role of Associate Editor for that topic.

  • Associate and Topics Editors: topiCS For each successful proposal, one member of the group submitting the proposal will become an Associate Editor of topiCS and the other members will be Topics Editors. The appointment as Associate or Topics Editor will begin when the proposal is accepted by the Executive Editor and will end in the volume year in which the topic is published.

    The Associate Editor and her/his team of Topics Editors prepare the call for papers on that topic, recruit authors, recruit reviewers, and in general guide one topic through the process from inspiration to publication.

    During the review, revision, and publication process, the Associate Editor will be the one person in charge of communicating with the Executive Editor (Wayne Gray) and the Managing Editor (Caroline Verdier). The Topics Editors may act as Action Editors for individual papers submitted to the topic. In general, the topic proposers are free to organize their internal structure as best fits the topic and their individual strengths and weaknesses.

    If you have organized an exciting and successful symposium, or if you have an idea for a topic whose time has come and that has not yet found an outlet, you are a potential topiCS Editor and you should Prepare a Proposal for a New Topic.

  • Reviewers: Although all topiCS papers will be solicited, no paper will be accepted for publication until it receives three peer reviews. All topiCS authors should consider themselves as potential topiCS reviewers. The field of Cognitive Science can only flourish if our best researchers devote some of their time and energy to shaping the literature. Once a topic has been posted on the topiCS Home (http://cognitivesciencesociety.org/journal_topics.html) you may volunteer as a reviewer by clicking on that topic and filling in the requested information. All reviewers will be vetted by the topiCS Editors.

    For a multiple paper topic, an ideal distribution of three reviewers would be: an author of one of the other submissions (an inside reviewer), a reviewer with expertise in the topic (a subject matter reviewer), and a reviewer with expertise in cognitive science but not in the topic (an outside reviewer).

  • Readers: if you are interested in leading edge Cognitive Science then you should be a topic reader. It is our intention that many topiCS topics could form the core of a graduate seminar. Hence, your graduate students and colleagues may be topiCS readers as well. There is no requirement that topiCS readers must be cognitive researchers; however, it is our intention to create a journal so fresh and exciting that if you are not a cognitive researcher when you begin your subscription then you will wish you were one before your subscription ends.
Please address all correspondence regarding Topics in Cognitive Science (topiCS) to Wayne Gray, Founding & Executive Editor (grayw@rpi.edu) and Caroline Verdier, Managing Editor (topicsj@indiana.edu).


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