The development and eventual inauguration of the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology (JCCP) was part of increasing activity in the cross-cultural area that gained momentum in the mid- to late-1960s. Two members of the Department of Psychology of Western Washington University (then Western Washington State College) -- Robert D. Meade and Walter J. Lonner -- took the initiative in 1968 and 1969 to establish the Center for Cross-Cultural Research. Meade became Director, Lonner was appointed Associate Director. After Meade's retirement in 1993, Lonner assumed the directorship. The original intent was for the Center to serve as a resource center within the Department of Psychology, as well as a proponent and supporter of various scholarly activities. JCCP became the major part of part this plan. A 1968-1969 survey conducted by the Center of numerous psychologists throughout the world indicated that there is a growing need for such a specialized publication. In 1969 the groundwork was laid for JCCP, culminating in its inauguration in March 1970. Thus JCCP became the first psychology journal in the world that was exclusively committed to the publication of cross-cultural research reports. Lonner was Founding Editor and continues to serve, as Professor Emeritus, in the role of Founding and Special Issues Editor. In that position, he maintains overall stewardship of JCCP and also focuses on the development and publication of special issues and special sections (see comments on this elsewhere in this website).
For its first three years, the entire JCCP operation was on Western Washington University's campus with the exception of using a local printing company in the city of Bellingham, Washington. This meant receiving manuscripts, sending them to reviewers for evaluation, making editorial decisions, typing and editing accepted manuscripts, printing them both on campus and in local printing shops, mailing them, and so on. In addition, all subscriptions and financial matters were handled on campus. In 1972, two major events changed the face of cross-cultural psychology and, with it, significantly affected the nature and future of JCCP. First, Sage Publications, a small and relatively new publishing company in California, inquired about becoming JCCP's publisher. Thus, Sage and the Center (Western Washington University) entered into what became a series of 10-year contracts. Second, in March of 1972 the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology was formed. IACCP held its inaugural conference at the University of Hong Kong in August of that year. Because the Center (and JCCP) and IACCP had essentially the same goals, visions, and aspirations, an informal union was formed. Thus, in the middle of 1972 an alliance that has remained intact for nearly 35 years was formed: IACCP became affiliated with JCCP, with the Center granting the association permission to call JCCP one of its "official" publications, and Sage became publisher of the flagship publication of the modern movement in cross-cultural psychology. Beginning with Volume 4 in 1973, the new alliance was in place. Among other things, this meant that JCCP enjoyed an improvement in its appearance and the beginnings of a more standard publication format and procedure.
The Journal continued with its quarterly publication schedule. In the meantime, IACCP attracted more members, all of whom from the beginning have enjoyed a substantial reduction in subscription rates to JCCP. Since the initial contract was signed, IACCP members have received JCCP essentially at cost. This three-way relationship between publisher, copyright holder, and international organization has worked remarkably well.
After completing the initial 12 years as Founding Editor, Lonner decided it best for JCCP to get "new blood" into the editorial hot seat, and this tradition of changing editors periodically has become standard procedure. Thus, beginning with Volume 13 in 1982, there has been a succession of six editors. The immediate past-editor is Fons van de Vijver of The Netherlands (who continues as a consulting editor). The current editor is David Matsumoto of San Francisco State University. In the meantime, and continuing, Lonner retained his role as Founding and Special Issues Editor. In 1994 he successfully negotiated a 50% increase in available publication space. Effective with Volume 26 in 1995, JCCP began bimonthly publication.
In 2004 Sage Publications purchased the copyright to JCCP from Western Washingto University. Thus, the main coalition at present is between IACCP and Sage, with Western playing primarily an historical role. Royalties derived from the IACCP/Sage publication agreement benefit both IACCP and the Center.
From the beginning of this alliance, the masthead policy of JCCP has been "fine-tuned" by select members of IACCP who consider current trends and changing needs. At present, this is the Communications and Publications Committee. Publication and editorial policies, however, are maintained and monitored by the Editorial Advisory Board. Thus, the current masthead policy reads (in part) as follows: "(JCCP) publishes papers that focus on the interrelationships between culture and psychological processes. Submitted manuscripts may report results from either cross-cultural comparative research or results from other types of research concerning the ways in which culture (and related concepts such as ethnicity) affect the thinking and behavior or individuals as well as how individual thought and behavior define and reflect aspects of culture."
There are three components to JCCP's overall publication policy. First and foremost is the timely publication of unsolicited manuscripts. These manuscripts are subjected to routine peer reviews that are coordinated by the Editor, Associate Editors, and approximately 45 Consulting Editors (as well as many ad hoc reviewers). The second component is the publication of special issues or special sections. Topics featured in special issues (or special sections of regular issues) are identified either by members of the Editorial Advisory Board or by scholars in the field who submit interesting ideas or comprehensive proposals. Special issues are published in response to current needs, emerging trends, and readership interest. Numerous topics have been featured in JCCP's special issues. Some earlier examples are: Culture and Self; The Cross-Cultural Generalizeability of Social Psychological Laws and Theories; Conceptions of Culture; Culture and Risk; Television and the Developing World; Personality and its Measurement in Cross-Cultural Perspective; and Perspectives on Cultural Transmission. (See Special Statement on Special Issues for more recent special issues and special sections.) The third component is the publication of brief reports.
Because of increasing interest and demand, JCCP has expanded several times since its inception. In 1996 JCCP increased from a quarterly journal to a bimonthly publication. In 2001 the trim size was expanded to its present dimensions, thus further increasing the available space for an ever-increasing submission of manuscripts, most of which are carefully considered for publication. Beginning in 2011, publication frequency increased from 6 to 8 issues per year.