Vol. XXXI, Issue 4
Fall 2019
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In This Issue
Editor's column
Presidentís message
International Committee update
What's happening in Italy?
Registration and disclosure: Lessons learned or same old song and dance?
International members survey 2018 part 1: Practitioner knowledge, training and experience
International members survey 2018 part 2: Practitioners attitudes to and understandings of community integration
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): Exploring a new avenue for sex offender treatment
Incel inside: Understanding involuntary celibates through dating app experiences
International Perspectives on the Assessment and Treatment of Sexual Offenders
Learning Difficulties and Sexual Vulnerability: A Social Approach
ATSA Board of Directors election results
Journal updates for membership
Forum Newsletter Editorial Board
New Membership Coordinator message
Welcome ATSA's newest members
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Contact the editor or submit articles to:

Heather M. Moulden, Ph.D.
Forensic Program
St. Joseph's Healthcare
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
E: hmoulden@stjoes.ca
P: (905) 522-1155 ext. 35539
Journal updates for membership
Michael C. Seto

I am very pleased to have an opportunity to share an update with ATSA members early in my second term as Editor-in-Chief of Sexual Abuse. The official journal of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers is in excellent shape, marking the 30th anniversary of its first issue last year (Seto & Wilson, 2018). Our latest two-year impact factor – a measure of impact based on how often articles that were published in the journal in the past two years are cited by other journal articles – was 3.433 in 2018, almost unchanged from the high mark of 3.444 set in 2017. This compares very well with other journals, for example, placing Sexual Abuse, a specialist journal focusing on research regarding perpetration of sexual exploitation and abuse, 20th out of 130 journals listed as “Clinical Psychology” titles. Similarly, Sexual Abuse ranked 5th out of 65 journals listed under “Criminology & Penology.”

In addition to the major revision of our submission guidelines to improve research reporting practices during my first term as Editor-in-Chief of the journal, a number of other changes have been made in the past two years.

First, in August 2018, we published a new person-first language guideline, reflecting a shift in language that can be more precise yet respectful of the dignity of all persons, consistent with the ethical codes of major helping professional organizations (e.g., American Psychological Association; see Seto, 2018a; Willis & Letourneau, 2018). The guideline is not mandatory, but we hope it encourages authors and readers to consider the impact of their language choices in describing individuals or groups.

Next, we have instituted a formal policy for the review and potential publication of submissions involving proprietary information, as I discussed in an editorial (Seto, 2019) accompanying an article by Abel, Jordan, Harlow, and Hsu (2019), describing the development of a screening measure for youth-serving job candidates. Understandably, authors are concerned about protecting the details of the proprietary information, both for practical (e.g., to prevent assessees from trying to “game” a measure) and commercial reasons. At the same time, the standards of scientific publication require independent scrutiny by peer reviewers and by readers who may wish to check for data and analysis accuracy. For the specific manuscript submitted by Abel et al., the authors agreed to provide a copy of their data set and syntax to the editors and peer reviewers. The authors also agreed that they would provide reasonable access to these data and syntax to readers willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement regarding the specific details of the commercially available measure.

In June 2019, we instituted the next phase in Sexual Abuse’s evolution in social scientific publishing, with the introduction of open science badging to recognize research that is more transparent and accountable (Seto, 2019). There are three types of badges that authors can request: (1) pre-registration of research, which allows readers to know which hypotheses, study design features, and analysis choices were made before data were collected; (2) open materials, which means study measures and other materials regarding the research are publicly available to anyone interested; and (3) open data, which means study data are publicly available for verification analyses or other re-analysis.

Last, but certainly not least, I would like to take this opportunity to thank several graduate student volunteers who helped clean up the journal’s reviewer database, a mundane but greatly needed task because our database contained many duplicate or outdated entries. I want to express my appreciation to Krystyn Margeotes, Carissa Toop, and Farron Wielinga, from Mark Olver’s lab at the University of Saskatchewan for their contribution to the journal in this way.


Abel, G. G., Jordan, A., Harlow, N., & Hsu, Y.-S. (2019). Preventing Child Sexual Abuse: Screening for hidden child molesters seeking jobs in organizations that care for children. Sexual Abuse, 31(6), 662–683. https://doi.org/10.1177/1079063218793634Seto, M. C. (2018a). Sexual Abuse’s new person first guideline. Sexual Abuse, 30(5), 479–479. https://doi.org/10.1177/1079063218783798

Seto, M. C. (2019). Negotiating the intersection of science and commerce. Sexual Abuse, 31(6), 684–685. https://doi.org/10.1177/1079063218794697Seto, M. C., & Wilson, R. J. (2018). Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of this journal. Sexual Abuse, 30(6), 619–621. https://doi.org/10.1177/1079063218792645

Willis, G. M., & Letourneau, E. J. (2018). Promoting accurate and respectful language to describe individuals and groups. Sexual Abuse, 30(5), 480–483. https://doi.org/10.1177/1079063218783799

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