Introducing Nature Mental Health: The Editorial Approach and Planning for the Launch

Sponsored by Springer Nature

Recorded on 10/05/2022
Posted in The Authority File

Episode 281

The language surrounding “mental health” is often clouded with vague lifestyle tips (get plenty of sleep! Light a candle!) or out-of-touch direction pointing toward a healthcare system that cannot support the barrage of people seeking care. Even further, our mental health systems often don’t account for the disparities in support across social, racial, and economic lines, leading to inequitable care and heightened stigma for marginalized groups—and this was before a global pandemic.

Nature Mental Health, a forthcoming January 2023 journal, hopes to take a different approach. As Chief Editor Dr. Rebecca “Bek” Cooney describes, the journal will combine research in general science and public health, creating a holistic perspective toward mental illness and well-being that will appeal to both academics and a general audience. In this four-part series, Bek explains how she plans to put these ideas into practice. By utilizing Nature’s expansive global network and creating partnerships across disciplines, Bek aims for the journal to shape public health policy, benefit lay readers, and reframe mental health as a human right. She also chats about the publishing environment at large, advocating for author choice and highlighting how the role of librarians continues to shift along with new open publishing mandates.

In this first episode, Bek walks through her own editorial background and research interests in psychology. She explains what attracted her to the Chief Editor position and her hopes for the journal to expand upon traditional research in the field. Further, she provides an overview of Nature Mental Health’s inclusive editorial approach and the current prep work to prepare for the January launch.

Interested in this topic? On October 10th’s World Mental Health Day, Bek will present at “Nature Mental Health: An Introduction for Researchers, Librarians and Information Managers.” You can register here.

About the guest:

Rebecca Cooney headshot

Rebecca Cooney, PhD
Chief Editor
Nature Mental Health

Rebecca “Bek” Cooney is the Chief Editor of Nature Mental Health. Before joining the Nature Group in 2022, she served as the North American Executive Editor of The Lancet and the Assistant Editor of The Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. She received her PhD in Psychology from Stanford University in 2007, where her work focused on the neural basis of mood and anxiety disorders and rumination in depression using fMRI. She subsequently trained as a postdoctoral fellow in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University, where she studied inhibitory function in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Her research interests include a broad range of topics in psychology and psychiatry, but particularly, mood disorders, clinical trials, and public health policy. Bek is based in the New York office.

Enjoy the conversation? Listen to the rest of the series:

Check out our previous series with Springer Nature:
Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (AIM) & Ethics
– Practical Sustainability
– Ethics and Integrity in Educational Contexts
– The Path Toward Open Science
– Understanding and Implementing Cybersecurity

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