We talked to Rachel Daniel, Executive Editor for Behavioral Sciences Books to find out more about the collection. From the publishing legacies of Palgrave and Macmillan to the recent research trends in AI and behavior to how the disruptions of 2020 will be reflected in the new collection.
From a historical perspective, can you tell me more about the Palgrave Macmillan imprint in the fields of HSS?
The imprint blends the longstanding publishing legacies of the Palgrave and Macmillan names with cutting-edge and dynamic viewpoints from the Humanities and Social Sciences. It is unique to find a press that can so seamlessly adapt to new developments and needs in academia while still maintaining high standards of quality and excellence. Palgrave Macmillan’s standing in the fields of HSS is evident from the prestigious authors and editors that it attracts, as well as, the volume of distinguished awards it wins on an annual basis. The core brand identity of Palgrave Macmillan values interdisciplinary and critical approaches to HSS subject areas which has enabled it to occupy an important place within the larger Springer Nature publishing ecosystem.
In 2015, Springer merged with Nature Publishing Group and Palgrave Macmillan to form the newly named company, Springer Nature. What impact did combining the editorial teams from Springer and Palgrave along with the eBooks titles as a result of this merger, have on this eBook collection?
Following the merger, Springer Nature is now one of the largest publishers of psychology research globally. Our Behavioral Sciences and Psychology collection of eBooks presents a well-rounded collection of books from some of the leading thinkers as well as exciting rising stars in the field. The two publishing imprints excellently complement each other. The Springer imprint is defined by its reputation for publishing canonical literature and evidence-based research, which sits well alongside the Palgrave Macmillan program that draws upon critical and humanistic approaches to round out the eBook collection. Together, we pride ourselves on close collaboration between Palgrave and Springer editors to ensure we remain in tune with the needs of our authors, researchers, educators and readers.
How else has the editorial program developed in the last few years to further serve students, faculty, researchers and libraries?
I have seen the program become increasingly diverse in terms of product types and author base. The inclusion over the past few years of more reference and student materials, such as handbooks and textbooks, has ensured that this collection represents an end-to-end resource for libraries tailor-made for their researcher and student communities. Our editors actively acquire new projects with an eye on global representation and diverse perspectives. Broadly speaking, behavioral sciences and psychology is the study of the mind, behavior, and interpersonal relationships, and in order to provide research that supports this ever-changing field, we need to publish books that reflect diversity of viewpoint and background in race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and nationality.
Talk to me about the main book types found this collection. How are the different book types significant for the various key user groups?
Our eBook package includes a diverse offering of research and student materials such as textbooks and resources to support both graduate and upper-level graduate students. We are also always looking at new ways to engage our readers and researchers so you will see that we have more interactive features including embedded hyperlinks and video content in eBooks. Another unique feature of this collection is the inclusion of practitioner guides and other resources for psychology professionals or those training to work in the field.
How has the COVID-19 global pandemic affected book submissions?
We are in the books business, but all of what we do centers on the individual author. The mixed response we have seen with book submissions during the lockdown vary much reflects the different coping mechanisms and challenges people have taken on during this pandemic. For some authors, they have needed to delay proposal and manuscript submission due to increased responsibilities at home or pressures around their teaching schedule. While other authors have used additional time from no commuting or flexible work arrangements to bring to fruition long-planned projects that they didn’t have the time or mental bandwidth to focus on in the past.
What new trends are you seeing in behavioral science research?
Recently, we have seen increased interest in how technology and artificial intelligence is applied to behavior. The focus on technology-based interventions for mental health continues to be a growing trend in psychology research, which has only accelerated as a result of the current pandemic. For example, the expansion of tele-mental health counseling has the potential to revolutionize who has access to these services. Another interesting trend is the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and machine learning applications in understanding and affect behavior.
In the future, do you expect to a shift in current research trends in behavioral science research as a result of the global pandemic?
We expect to see behavioral science researchers studying the aftershocks of COVID-19 for decades to come. This pandemic has fundamentally changed the ways that we interact with each other as well as our behaviors at home and in society at large. There will be a need to study the uptick in PTSD, especially for healthcare workers, as well as new phenomena like ‘zoom brain.’ Concurrent with the pandemic, it will also be essential to unpack the effects of the social movements for racial justice and climate change threat on our psychological processes and mental health.
Can you provide some topical highlights of titles coming out in the 2021 collection?
The 2021 collection will feature titles that are closely linked to the disruptions we have experienced globally in 2020, such as topics at the intersection of behavior and technology as well as mental health and racism, social justice, gender equality, and LGBTQ identity. We will also see more global and diverse voices included in the research we publish and include in this year’s collection.