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Researchers launch free online journal to encourage further study into human wellbeing

Posted by Open Polytechnic on 2 February 2011

An open access online journal devoted to the study of human wellbeing has been launched by Kiwi researchers this week to help academics and practitioners’ worldwide better understand what makes people flourish and thrive.

The International Journal of Wellbeing has been over a year in the making and involves over 50 of the top interdisciplinary wellbeing researchers and experts from New Zealand, Europe, North America, Asia and Australia who have formed an editorial team to review and contribute to the journal.

Aaron Jarden, President of the New Zealand Association of Positive Psychology, and a lecturer in psychology at the Open Polytechnic, is one of the creators of the International Journal of Wellbeing.  He is also the lead researcher of the International Wellbeing Study – one of the largest wellbeing studies in the world - and says the development of the free access online journal was a natural extension of the research he has been carrying out with over 70 international collaborators. 

"The International Journal of Wellbeing breaks down traditional academic and publishing barriers by making the very research that can change the world for the better easily available to those who will benefit most from it. Essentially this new journal provides the enabling conditions for research on wellbeing to flourish and thrive and to flow through to both practice and policy," says Mr Jarden.

Dan Weijers, an assistant lecturer in the Philosophy Department at Victoria University of Wellington, and Nattayudh Powdthavee, an Assistant Professor of Economics at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, are Mr Jarden’s co-editors, and have helped develop the journal from concept to launch. 

Mr Weijers, says the journal has been created to help researchers and practitioners learn from other disciplines to better understand and promote human wellbeing.

“Similarly, policymakers are increasingly being asked to take various aspects of wellbeing into account when making new policies and policy decision – since the journal is open access and accessibly-written, policymakers from all over the world will be able to gain deeper insight into what promotes wellbeing so that society is able to flourish”, says Mr Weijers.

The International Journal of Wellbeing has a strong focus on interdisciplinary research, including research from the field of positive psychology, a relatively new sub-discipline of psychology that focuses on what is going right with people rather than what is going wrong – their strengths, levels of engagement and happiness.

Martin Seligman, one of the founders of the field of positive psychology has contributed some of his and his colleague’s research for the first issue of the journal. An interview with Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman and articles from leaders in the fields of philosophy and economics also feature in the inaugural issue. The development of the journal has been supported by the Open Polytechnic and a generous grant from the Vic Davis Memorial Trust.

To access the first edition of this free online journal, go to www.internationaljournalofwellbeing.org


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