Thanks so much for digging deeper. We update this page periodically to provide a repository of the staff’s questions and our answers. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you don’t see your question answered here. Cheers!
How can I participate?
The best way to participate is in writing and editing. We ask people to write for our publication and/or blog. Editing entails peer reviews—you’ll read a student writer’s article of 1-3 pages and offer feedback. It also involves design and layout, so let us know if you have a knack for those! We also need help with event planning and website design and maintenance.
What does the blog entail?
We envision a space where students can quickly share about anything in the realm of psychology. Perhaps a new study has been published with exciting results that you’d like to summarize in a paragraph. Or maybe you have discovered something interesting in your own research. The blog will also share information about events and deadlines pertinent to the Psychology Collective and the psychology department. You can help decide!
What are the parameters for student writing in the semesterly newsletter?
Articles for the newsletter will typically run between one and three pages. In special cases, they might be longer. Topics are wide-ranging but should focus, at least tangentially, on psychology. Any topic or subfield within psychology is acceptable, as are topics in neuroscience, psychiatry, social work, etc. A list of possible topics will be offered to writers via email, but writers will have great leeway to decide what they write about.
What are the deadlines for newsletter writing contributions in Spring 2022?
First, you will hand in a topic proposal and three cited, accredited sources that you plan to use for your article. The topic proposal is due Tuesday, September 21st. Your first draft is due Friday, October 15th. It helps editors to get them in even earlier! Editors will review contributions and return them within two and a half weeks (Tuesday, November 2nd). You will then have 2 weeks (Tuesday, November 16th) to enter the edits and re-submit your work for a second edit. Editors will have two more weeks (Tuesday, November 30) on this round before returning your work for your final revision. You’ll hand in your final work a week and a half later on Friday, December 10. Editors will spend another week on last minute edits and layout before we publish on Friday, December 17th.
Note: Deadlines are subject to change but are generally non-negotiable. This ensures writers and editors can link up and do their work gradually in the lead up to publishing. Previous semesters saw crazed distribution processes that we wish to avoid 🙂
Is there a particular form to the topic proposal?
Please draft your topic proposal in a Word document. Include your contact information and topic at the top of the page, followed by a few sentences that expand on your topic, and then your (at least three) sources. Make a good faith effort to find and list the sources you will later use in your writing, as the editors must vet your sources before your article is green-lighted. If you add or change sources down the road, please communicate that with your editor.
Who will review my topic proposal? What are they looking for?
The editors-in-chief (e-board members) will review your topic. We are looking for original topics—in order to prevent redundancies—and solid sourcing (include in your proposal at least three accredited sources, please!) We will also ensure that the topic is of general interest and scientifically sound.
As a writer or blogger, do I need to conduct my own original research/work for a lab, or can I base my writing in outside sources alone?
You do not need to be tied to a lab or conduct original research to write about a topic of interest for Psych News. All that is asked is that you do some background research using reputable outside sources. Wikipedia isn’t great but you can mine it for sources. Popular sites like Psychology Today are not ideal–it’s better to use journals, but you once again can turn to popular sites for sources.
Additionally, we would like at least one writer to write about a Hunter psychology professor’s research lab. This student should conduct and transcribe an interview with the professor, who you will clear with the editors first, and provide context and edits as needed. You would prepare a list of questions with the help of your editor. Please let us know if you would like this role.
How do I cite my research?
If the research you draw on is not original, we ask that you cite it. Citations should be in APA form.
Can I pull quotes from my sources?
Yes! We’d love to see quotes, provided that 1) they are used sparingly and 2) they are cited properly.
Can I write an editorial?
If you have personal experience with the subject matter you are writing about, ask your editor if you can invoke it in your writing. Generally, in that we are delivering news, we avoid the “I” pronoun and do not insert ourselves into our journalism.
What’s a good model for the articles we are to write?
There are a number of examples. If you keep your writing to 1-3 pages (except with permission from your editor to exceed that range), feature a few quotes, and use a few sources, you’re off to a great start. Feel free to refer to Psychology Today’s “News” section for a reference. There, writers draw on sources, quote, and share cutting edge research in psychology. These writers often use fewer than three sources and might differ in other ways, too, so please be mindful of the requirements.
Describe the relationship between writers and editors.
Writers and editors will work together closely and symbiotically. Editors will review multiple drafts, as detailed above, and provide substantive feedback to writers. Writers will implement the feedback. Both parties are expected to answer each other promptly and fully.
How do writers and editors communicate? What is the chain of command at Psych News?
Writers are to direct all questions and concerns to their assigned editors while CC’ing the e-board at email@example.com on electronic communications. This will allow the e-board to oversee progress from afar and step in when editors are unable. Please do not reach out to the e-board before first reaching out to your editor and awaiting a response. This system is to prevent confusion and chaos; we don’t want writers to be overwhelmed with a billion different responses.
What does editing for Psych News look like?
This semester’s will be our first newsletter in years, so things are a bit up in the air. That said, in previous years editors worked with writers at a 1:4 ratio. Editors should expect in Fall 2021 to review two or three pieces. Editors are tasked with reviewing student writing and offering feedback to improve writing across domains and ensure compliance with APA guidelines. Light fact checking is also expected. Editors’ first job, upon checking out the article topics/assignments spreadsheet, is to assign themselves topics. Specific instructions were e-mailed. The meat and potatoes of the editing process initially takes place in a two-and-a-half-week window between Friday, October 15th and Tuesday, November 2nd. Editors will then return writers’ work to them before reviewing second and—ultimately—final drafts before we publish. Editors will enter final changes and assist with layout of the publication in the week leading up to our publication date.
Throughout the semester, editors should periodically check in with the writers they work with to evaluate writers’ progress. Crucially, editors must ensure that writers’ articles are scientifically sound–opinions and assertions are not publishable.
What are the deadlines for editors?
Please see above under “What are the deadlines for newsletter writing contributions in Fall 2021?”
Can I edit and write?
You can contribute in both ways, but please be mindful of the burden you take on. There is limited time and we don’t want you to burnout! Note that we need people to contribute short blog posts; editors who would otherwise shy away from writing might consider blogging
How should I use the Psych Collective Discord server?
Psych News e-board members are labeled as such in their nicknames on the server. All writers and editors will also be on the server. Therefore, Discord offers an easy way to quickly communicate (you should generally address questions to your editor via e-mail, though, and only reach out directly to e-board members if your editor is unresponsive). The server also hosts the #psychnews channel, where you can post questions for others to see and answer publicly, and catch up on updates pertinent to the staff. Feel free to use the other parts of the server, too–once you join Psych News, you by extension join the Psych Collective.
What happens once the writing and editing process is complete?
Due to the pandemic, we will publish our newsletter only online this semester. Next semester, we hope to print on paper (budget-dependent) AND publish online. We’d really like to share our newsletter in person at the annual Spring convention. This is all TBD and TBA.