About Psybernetika:
Conceptual Foundations and Mission Statement

J. Maxwell Clark
Founding Editor

About the Name

"Psybernetika" is a neologism of sorts, adapted from the German spelling of the word 'cybernetics', which is defined in the Oxford Concise Dictionary as the "science of systems of control and communications in animals and machines." The name was chosen as partially befitting the journal's subject matter and electronic format-which reflects the marriage of human and machine systems of communication. The prefix 'psy' is, of course, intended to denote the journal's psychological subject matter.

About the Journal

Psybernetika is a psychological journal published by, but by no means expressly for, students in the Department of Psychology at Simon Fraser University. The journal is dedicated to the ideal of "academic scholarship" in its original sense, and eschews affiliation with the strict intradisciplinary specialization that passes for the same today. It is therefore committed to the ideal of interdisciplinary discourse. Submissions from all manner of disciplines-from Anthropology to Women's Studies and Zoology-are not only welcome, but are, indeed, encouraged. By the same token, the journal welcomes submissions from students studying at all levels: doctoral, masters, and undergraduate. The only stipulation, however, is that submissions deal either in whole or in part with a psychological issue(s). The editors reserve the right to accept/reject submissions based on the degree of psychological content. Psybernetika was initially conceived and developed for the purposes of providing students with a means to (1) publish their own work, (2) publish work that, for one reason or another, may be unsuitable for publication in professional journals, and (3) exchange ideas. Ostensibly, it stands to offer students much more however. As innovative technology, the journal is part of the vanguard of electronic media that is quickly revolutionizing academic scholarship. In all likelihood, it represents the (near) future of professional academic publications. As a repository of psychological research, it is a useful vehicle for furthering student and interdisciplinary discourse, research experience, and critical analysis of psychological theory and method. It may also provide a valuable database for student research. Perhaps, above all, it stands to instill students with a greater sense of purpose in their studies, since it provides them with a voice and a means to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in their respective discipline(s).

Psybernetika's design is intended to reflect various facets of the academic enterprise: e.g., dialogue/commentary, speculation, criticism, research, literature review. In this respect, the journal is comprised of five sections: each representing one of the above named facets.

  1. The first section is devoted to "Letters / Commentary"; here readers may comment on particular issues and/or papers or may even carry on informal debate with other readers and/or authors.
  2. The second section is entitled "At the Margins"; here precedence is given to the generation of ideas, unrestrained speculation, and theory-building. Conceptual investigations, comparative studies, and propositions of the most radical flavour are best entertained here; to borrow from Reichenbach, the primary focus of this section is on "discovery" in contradistinction to matters of "justification".
  3. The third section is entitled "Taking Aim"; it is explicitly concerned with criticism. Submissions to this section must offer critical analysis of a given psychological idea, theory, methodology, concept/construct, empirical investigation, etc.
  4. The fourth section, entitled simply "Articles", accepts formal (scholarly) papers addressing a myriad of psychology related topics.
  5. The fifth section is devoted to literature "Reviews"; here reviews are not limited solely to topics in professional journals, but may include any books or magazine articles that have interesting, psychology related, subject matter.

For sections two through five, the editors reserve the right to refuse contributions that do not conform to the standard, university-level, expository essay style. Prospective contributors are required to subject their work to the highest standards of proofing before submitting to the journal. The editors further reserve the right to (re)format contributions to conform with Psybernetika's formatting style (see "How to Contribute..." protocol). Accepted contributions will be returned to their respective authors for corrections as needed prior to publication. Criteria for acceptance hinges upon some of the following: provocativeness of idea or topic; logic of the argument; clarity and quality of writing. Referencing of other works should at least conform to the general style used in the social sciences. Prospective contributors are encouraged to follow the journal's preferred referencing style as delineated in the American Psychological Association's Publication Manual. Lastly, it is also expected that authors will submit a 3 - 5 line "bio" identifying the author's current academic status and scholarly interests.

IMPORTANT: Psybernetika is a trimesterly publication. New issues will be published by the end of third month of each trimester (Spring ~ March, Summer ~ July, Winter ~ November ). Contributions should be received no later than the last day of the second month each trimester (February, June, October). For specific instructions on how to contribute to Psybernetika, readers are encouraged to consult the How to prepare and send contributions to Psybernetika. It is preferred that all contributions be sent electronically only (via E-mail) tonks@sfu.ca or by disk which can be dropped-off or mailed to the Editor, Psybernetika, Psychology Department, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6.