Headshot of Lynn S. Liben, Evan Pugh University Professor and Professor of Psychology at the Pennsylvania State University and Editor of the Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development.

About the Editor
Lynn Liben

The Pennsylvania State University

Editor, Monograph Matters and the Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development

Wecome to Monograph Matters!

I am delighted to welcome readers to Monograph Matters (MM), launched to coincide with the release of the first issue of Monographs published under my editorship. My comments are intended to explain the history and goals of the MM website, and to encourage you to return often, especially whenever a new issue of Monographs is released.  

Why Monograph Matters?

The Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development (Monographs) is a quarterly journal which publishes conceptually rich and empirically distinguished work in support of the SRCD mission—advancing developmental science and promoting its use to improve human lives. The first issue of Monographs was published in 1936. That issue—and many issues published during the subsequent 80+ years—have had powerful impacts on scholarship and practice in developmental science.

Fast forward to today, when students and even senior scholars remark, “TL;DR“—too long, didn’t read. Short articles can do a wonderful job in communicating new findings about basic processes or applications, but they are less well-suited for reviewing the historical and theoretical foundations of that new work, or for explaining detailed methodologies or analyses, or covering and discussing the complexity of data gathered across decades or across geographically or culturally diverse settings.  Monographs can accommodate all these and more.

Although Monographs are not tomes, they may nevertheless seem daunting to SRCD members who do not work in an area closely aligned with the topic of the Monograph. They are likely to seem even more daunting to non-members who are simply curious about child development research or who want to use new research to inform their personal or professional lives (e.g., as parents, teachers, health providers, or policy makers).

MM is intended to harness more contemporary (less TL;DR-provoking!) communication channels to give readers a quick sense of why they might be interested in the latest Monograph, to provide a brief and accessible introduction to the scope of the full Monograph, to offer ideas and resources for teaching about the substance of the Monograph in undergraduate or graduate courses, and to suggest how the contributions of the Monograph may be used in settings outside the ivory tower (e.g., in family interactions, schools, museums, healthcare facilities, or town halls).

Marrying tradition and innovation

In brief, this inaugural issue of MM marks the start of an effort to join tradition and innovation. The former involves the publication, distribution, and archiving of individual Monographs—a series that has been thriving for over eight decades. The latter embraces contemporary communication technologies to promote more immediate, more varied, and more interactive exchanges, for example, between authors and readers or between researchers and practitioners. Unlike the printed words of the archived issues, the content and structure of what appears on the MM website and in social media will evolve interactively, and thus I urge you to send me your ideas (liben@psu.edu). I anticipate a happy marriage between tradition and innovation!