As our world becomes ever more interconnected, the sciences have found the ideal environment for breaking free from their bonds, overcoming problems of language and distance, and have spread out in all directions and in thousands of ways. In this respect, universality is a concept closely linked to that of science, since the laws governing scientific facts have a universal vocation.
This tendency to transcend local limits and resolve communication difficulties is especially evident in the current proliferation of scientific publications, the constant interchange of scientists and researchers between countries, and the holding of international events of all kinds and in all branches of knowledge.
Psychology is by no means excluded from this universalistic movement. Societies, congresses and publications, in both the professional and the scientific fields of the discipline, are year by year becoming more numerous and more diverse. This is especially the case in Europe, where the European Federation of Psychologists Associations (EFPA), in line with European integration, is increasingly bringing together practically all the national professional associations of the continent. Encouraged by this process, new publications, exchanges of experiences, working groups, and scientific and professional meetings have already appeared, creating a transnational framework for psychology and for psychologists. Moreover, what is happening in Europe may quite possibly also occur -to a greater or lesser extent- in other parts of the world.
However, the progress of psychology in its process of internationalisation is not free from difficulties. One of the most important obstacles is language. Despite the acknowledgement of English as the language of international scientific exchange, there is an enormous quantity of scientific and professional work published in languages other than English. Regrettably, such work is quite likely to remain relatively unknown to the international scientific community, whose nexus is the English language. This is the case of psychology produced in Spain and in Spanish.
Spanish psychology, with a long tradition going back to the Renaissance, has had its share of outstanding figures, who have united it with the major currents in Europe and America. This union has meant that almost all the great revolutions in psychological knowledge that have occurred elsewhere have been faithfully reflected in the academic and professional life of our country. However, it was not until the 1970s -when processes of expansion began in so many fields- that Spanish psychology began to take on an outstanding and recognised role in the international arena.
Today, Spain boasts 30,000 affiliated psychologists working in diverse fields. There are 24 university faculties in which a psychology degree can be obtained, and some 40,000 students. A great number of journals and books are published, covering both general and specialised topics, and most are of an extremely high standard. As regards this latter aspect, the Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos (COP - Spanish Psychological Association), publishes seven journals covering topics of scientific and professional interest, both basic and applied, and five that specialise in different professional fields, and which, in many cases, are to be found in the leading international databases. It is this volume of scientific and professional work that we now intend to make accessible to a wider public.
Psychology in Spain aims to be an effective instrument for making Spanish psychology known to the world.
Conceived as a journal of journals, Psychology in Spain's annual edition will include some of the best papers published in the journals of the COP throughout the previous year, basing its choice on criteria of excellence and interest. In order to make the selection, the journal enjoys the co-operation of an Editorial Board made up of fifty specialists of acknowledged prestige within Spanish psychology, to whom the COP is grateful for the arduous task of reading and assessment they carry out. The selected papers will be submitted for translation into English, a translation which will be subject to the conditions of quality and rigour appropriate for a journal of such characteristics. The final product will seek a balance between the different professional and scientific fields of psychology, and offer a wide range of the best work, the best thought and the best research within each area.
We feel that Psychology in Spain is also the COP's contribution to the building of a psychology that goes beyond linguistic barriers, searching for better dissemination of information and better communication within the world community of psychologists. It is, in sum, and from the perspective of the reader with an interest in psychology, a window on what is, professionally, academically and scientifically, one of the most advanced psychologies on the European continent.
We hope and trust our readers will agree.
José Ramón Fernández Hermida
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Psychology in Spain (ISSN 1137-9685) is published annually by the Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos (COP - Spanish Psychological Association). Its purpose is to disseminate in the English language the best Spanish psychology published in COP journals. Each issue of Psychology in Spain will look for balance among the different professional and scientific fields in Spanish Psychology, in an effort to offer a wide range of the best work, thought and research being produced in each field. Selection is carried out by a qualified Editorial Board made up of several of the most prestigious specialists in Spanish academic and professional psychology.