Numerical Cognition Speaks Up: Reflections and Acknowledgements on the Journal of Numerical Cognition

John Towse*a

Journal of Numerical Cognition, 2017, Vol. 2(3), doi:10.5964/jnc.v2i3.99

Published (VoR): 2017-02-10.

*Corresponding author at: Department of Psychology, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster, LA1 4YF, United Kingdom. E-mail: jtowse@jnc.psychopen.eu

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

The Journal of Numerical Cognition published its first issue last year. For me, the first issue was released with a mixture of excitement, relief and trepidation. Excitement, that the project had come to fruition from its initial genesis (see comments in Towse, 2015). Relief – that the first issue was public and as a result, that the Journal was more than just a potential web page and a set of behind-the-scenes activities. With the release of Volume 1, Issue 1, there was the start of Journal content. And trepidation because at that point, because the Journal was in publication, there was now an expectation of follow up and schedules and yet the Journal was of course still very much in its infancy.

Looking back over the past year, I am happy to confirm that the Journal has indeed been a success. The current issue completes the first full year of publication and accomplishes its target of three issues for the year, accompanying the initial issue that appeared near the end of 2015. I am particularly pleased that the Journal has been able to publish a range of articles that start to represent at least some of the diversity of work in numerical cognition, including for example developmental questions tested at age 4 and beyond (Knudsen, Fischer, Henning, & Aschersleben, 2015; Starr & Brannon, 2015), cross cultural issues (Morrissey, Liu, Kang, Hallett, & Wang, 2016), analysis of the trajectory of real world mathematics skills (Sullivan, Frank, & Barner, 2016) and the cognition that supports different arithmetic processes (Curtis, Huebner, & LeFevre, 2016). In addition, the Journal has addressed and discussed conceptual issues in the research priorities for the field (see Alcock et al., 2016, and accompanying commentaries).

Moreover, I believe that it is already apparent that the Journal has good visibility and value. Each of the research reports in the very first issue has been viewed several hundred times, and the on-page counter of course does not pick up reads from other servers or emailed copies of the papers between colleagues, and so on. Moreover, the majority of the research reports from the first issue have already accumulated multiple citations (and these are other-citations not self-citations). Consequently, I feel confident in being able to write that submitting work to the Journal should be seen as an attractive option, not only for reasons already identified a year ago (Towse, 2015), but also because of evidence that such work stands a good chance of being noticed and used, and feeding into the field of numerical cognition.

Journal Statistics [TOP]

At the time of writing, The Journal had received 66 submissions (this is over an approximately two-year period, because it includes the run-up to launch). The mean time to review has been approximately 7 weeks and, for papers which have been published, the mean time from initial submission to appearance has been approximately 7 months. Review time is within the stated objectives for the Journal. whilst being on the outer region of what we would like to achieve. When there have been delays in the review process we have striven to update authors. In any case, these statistics are provided to back up the Journal aspiration to offer effective peer review of submissions and that this occurs in a reasonable time scale.

Aside from the articles themselves, the Journal has benefited from the establishment of the Mathematical Cognition and Learning Society [http://the-mcls.org], a development that was anticipated but not realised at the launch of the first issue. The Society now provides an important and valuable home for researchers in the field. Moreover, JNC is the official journal of the Society, so there is now a link between a research Society and this research Journal. I believe this is of tremendous benefit to each; the first post-launch meeting of the Society is in Tennessee in 2017, and it is a meeting many are looking forward to already.

The success of the Journal would simply not be possible without the many volunteers who have agreed to invest their time and energy in reviewing submissions. Peer review is by no means a perfect system, but as Editor it has been heartening to witness the constructive advice provided by reviewers – necessarily critical at times, but also insightful and supportive and helping to improve the work that is considered and the way it can be communicated. An experienced and wise Journal Editor, on hearing about the project to launch the Journal of Numerical Cognition had confided “Your biggest problem is going to be finding reviewers. Numerical Cognition above all others is the area where finding journal reviewers is especially hard.” That potential reviewers sometimes decline invitations is to be expected – we nearly all have busy lives and an almost endless list of commitments and priorities. And whilst it would be terrific if we could increase the rate at which review invitations were accepted, the past year provides evidence that this prediction was actually unduly pessimistic.

As Editor, I would like to state my appreciation to the publishers, PsychOpen, for all their help and support in the past year. I have been very impressed by the professionalism, commitment and cooperation that has been provided. They want the Journal to succeed, they want to do a good job, and they want to help authors make the most of the work they have undertaken – and it shows. They provide an exceptional platform for psychologists to discuss their research.

Funding [TOP]

The author has no funding to report.

Competing Interests [TOP]

The author has declared that no competing interests exist.

Acknowledgments [TOP]

The author has no support to report.

References [TOP]

  • Alcock, L., Ansari, D., Batchelor, S., Bisson, M.-J., De Smedt, B., Gilmore, C., . . . Weber, K., (2016). Challenges in mathematical cognition: A collaboratively-derived research agenda. Journal of Numerical Cognition, 2(1), 20-41. doi:10.5964/jnc.v2i1.10

  • Curtis, E. T., Huebner, M. G., & LeFevre, J.-A. (2016). The relationship between problem size and fixation patterns during addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Journal of Numerical Cognition, 2(2), 91-115. doi:10.5964/jnc.v2i2.17

  • Knudsen, B., Fischer, M. H., Henning, A., & Aschersleben, G. (2015). The development of Arabic digit knowledge in 4- to 7-year-old children. Journal of Numerical Cognition, 1(1), 21-37. doi:10.5964/jnc.v1i1.4

  • Morrissey, K. R., Liu, M., Kang, J., Hallett, D., & Wang, Q. (2016). Cross-cultural and intra-cultural differences in finger-counting habits and number magnitude processing: Embodied numerosity in Canadian and Chinese university students. Journal of Numerical Cognition, 2(1), 1-19. doi:10.5964/jnc.v2i1.14

  • Starr, A., & Brannon, E. M. (2015). Developmental continuity in the link between sensitivity to numerosity and physical size. Journal of Numerical Cognition, 1(1), 7-20. doi:10.5964/jnc.v1i1.2

  • Sullivan, J., Frank, M. C., & Barner, D. (2016). Intensive math training does not affect approximate number acuity: Evidence from a three-year longitudinal curriculum intervention. Journal of Numerical Cognition, 2(2), 57-76. doi:10.5964/jnc.v2i2.19

  • Towse, J. (2015). Finding a voice for numerical cognition. Journal of Numerical Cognition, 1(1), 1-6. doi:10.5964/jnc.v1i1.16

Acknowledgment of Reviewers [TOP] [TOP]

The Journal would like to gratefully acknowledge the contribution of the following reviewers for the journal in supporting its efforts in 2015 and 2016.

  1. John Adams

  2. J Alameda-Bailén

  3. Giovanni Anobile

  4. Marie Arsalidou

  5. Mark Ashcraft

  6. Pierre Barrouillet

  7. Hilary Barth

  8. Miriam Bassok

  9. Daniel Berch

  10. Jeff Bisanz

  11. Par Bjalkebring

  12. Elizabeth Brannon

  13. Valerie Camos

  14. Jamie Campbell

  15. Beth Casey

  16. Julie Castronovo

  17. Seda Cavdaroglu

  18. Dana Chesney

  19. Krzysztof Cipora

  20. Jack Clearman

  21. Dale Cohen

  22. Roi Cohen Kadosh

  23. Tanja Dackermann

  24. Eddy Davelaar

  25. Bert De Smedt

  26. Daniele Didino

  27. Julia Dietrich

  28. Frank Domahs

  29. Chris Donlan

  30. Dror Dotan

  31. Ann Dowker

  32. Kimmo Eriksson

  33. Thomas J Faulkenberry

  34. Deborah Fein

  35. Wim Fias

  36. Martin Fischer

  37. Giovanni Galfano

  38. Thomas Gallagher-Mitchell

  39. David C Geary

  40. Silke Goebel

  41. Roland Grabner

  42. Alessandro Guida

  43. Elizabeth Gunderson

  44. Hilde Haider

  45. Harry Haladjian

  46. Nicole Hansen

  47. Matthias Hartmann

  48. Brenna Hassinger-Das

  49. Avishai Henik

  50. Graham Hitch

  51. Christine Howe

  52. Paula Jane Hubber

  53. Charles Hulme

  54. Michelle Hurst

  55. Matthew Inglis

  56. Anja Ischebeck

  57. Curren Katz

  58. Augustin Kelava

  59. David Kirshner

  60. Attila Krajcsi

  61. Evelyn Kroesbergen

  62. Karin Landerl

  63. Elida Laski

  64. Jo-Anne LeFevre

  65. Patrick Lemaire

  66. Hugues Lortie-Forgues

  67. Ian Lyons

  68. Steve Majerus

  69. Nicolas Masson

  70. Veronica Mazza

  71. Michele Mazzocco

  72. Koleen McCrink

  73. Sandrine Mejias

  74. Karen Mills

  75. Wenke Moehring

  76. Kristina Moll

  77. Kevin Muldoon

  78. Benjamin Nagengast

  79. Swiya Nath

  80. Marie-Pascale Noel

  81. Jade Eloise Norris

  82. Andreas Obersteiner

  83. Darko Odic

  84. Sinan Olkun

  85. Maria Chiara Passolunghi

  86. Marcie Penner-Wilger

  87. Pedro Pinheiro-Chagas

  88. Belinda Pletzer

  89. Mariagrazia Ranzini

  90. Ilyse Resnick

  91. Bert Reynvoet

  92. Timothy Rickard

  93. Orly Rubinsten

  94. Delphine Sasanguie

  95. Lennart Schalk

  96. Simone Schnall

  97. Francesco Sella

  98. Samuel Shaki

  99. Fiona Simmons

  100. Victoria Simms

  101. Firat Soylu

  102. Ariel Starr

  103. James Stone

  104. Tilo Strobach

  105. Catherine Thevenot

  106. Peter Thompson

  107. Clarissa A Thompson

  108. Loel Tronsky

  109. Catherine Ulrich

  110. Kiran Vanbinst

  111. Sashank Varma

  112. Tom Verguts

  113. Lieven Verschaffel

  114. Tina Weis

  115. Iro Xenidou-Dervou

  116. Rina Zazkis

  117. Xinlin Zhou

  118. Marco Zorzi

Copyright (c) 2017 Towse