Last updated on 14th February 2011
January saw the publication of the first edition of the new, free full-text International Journal of Wellbeing. It's good news. The opening editorial - "Promoting research on wellbeing" - starts "Welcome to the inaugural issue of the International Journal of Wellbeing (IJW). The IJW is an open access peer-reviewed journal that publishes scholarly research on wellbeing (broadly construed). The purpose of the journal is to promote thought and discussion on this vital topic. The launch of the IJW is a direct response to increasing demand both for research on wellbeing and for publishing opportunities for wellbeing researchers. Several established academic journals already publish research on wellbeing, most notably the Journal of Happiness Studies, Social Indicators Research, Applied Psychology: Health and Well-being, The Journal of Positive Psychology, Quality of Life Research, Applied Research in Quality of Life, the International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Wellbeing, and the forthcoming open access journal Psychology of Wellbeing: Theory, Research and Practice. However, none of these journals provides the combination that is the IJW's most striking attribute: a broad multidisciplinary scope, an interdisciplinary focus, and a commitment to provide all its content for free without delay or any cost to authors".
I have a mixed reaction to the seven articles in this first edition of the journal. They're interesting. I'm fascinated by the discrepancy between how poorly we trust others - e.g. to return a lost wallet - and how impressively trustworthy people often are (and how important this is for our wellbeing). See "Trust and wellbeing" by Helliwell and Wang. The article on "Doing the right thing: measuring well-being for public policy" by Forgeard, Seligman & colleagues is good too, providing an impressive and helpful overview of wellbeing assessment measures. It's welcome as well to see a new article by Bryant & colleagues on savoring. I've blogged before on this - see "Savouring - initial thoughts" - and I appreciate hearing more about this topic. My concern is that there is very little original research reported here. This is the life blood of science. And with other new wellbeing journals springing up - see "Psychology of wellbeing: theory, research and practice" - I'm a little concerned that we'll get an increased ratio of "commentary" to "new hard data". Ah well, we'll see. Overall though I welcome the emergence of these new journals, particularly as they are open access.