Selection Process of Editors

What are the typical criteria for an Editor position?
These would be:

  • Candidate should have minimum of Ph.D. degree.
  • Expertise and experience in the specialist field related to the journal.
  • Publication record of a number of articles and /or books (usually in / related to the specialist field).
  • Being a reviewer for an international peer reviewed journal.
  • Enthusiasm to undertake the Editor role , but ensuring recognition of all aspects of the reality of the role and the work involved

What is the main role and responsibility of a journal Editor?
The key role of a journal editor is to promote scholarship in the specialist field associated with the journal, whilst also promoting the journal as the best journal to publish in. For any journal the editor will need to encourage new and established authors to submit articles and set up a reliable panel of expert reviewers. Editors are also responsible for offering feedback to reviewers when required and ensure that any feedback to authors is constructive.
In terms of responsibilities:

  • An editor should endeavor to be a leader in the specific field of practice underpinning journal content as it helps the journal development, presence and standing within the international community.
  • An editor should also familiarize themselves with the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) ‘Code of Conduct and Best PracticeGuidelines for Journal Editors’. This has a large resource on the topic of ethical conduct of journal editors, authors and reviewers.
  • Depending on how the journal is managed and how it is structured, an Editor may have to make all the decisions regarding which articles to accept or reject for publication. However many journals will have Associate Editors, Assistant Editors or Section Editors to help them with making those important decisions. For example, any decision involving unethical practice, will often involve the publisher or their representative alongside the Editor and a Section Editor who has discovered the issue.
  • As an editor, you will have three or four groups of people to contact on a regular basis: a) the publisher, b) the authors c) the reviewers and d) in some journals direct contact with the production team who manage the publication side of the journal. This latter group will work with the editor to agree which articles to place in each edition, ensure that the Editor does not use more than the agreed number of pages per issue (especially if paper based ) and send editor information concerning all articles in their various stages of the editorial process. The Production team member dedicated to that Editor may also be responsible for communicating with authors and reviewers directly.

What is an Editorial Board?
An Editorial Board is primarily made up of a team of individuals that work directly with the Editor to develop the journal and promote new initiatives. Members of the Board may also take responsibility for key activities linked to the journal, for example the Book review editor or Section Editor (such as Section Editor for Systematic Reviews ) . The Editorial Board normally appoints a Chairperson, who could be one of the board members or could also be the Publisher. When there are meetings, either face to face, teleconferences or Skype, the Chairperson would manage the agenda and the meeting of the Editorial Board. Editorial Board members are chosen for their expertise in key areas related to the journal or chosen for their international presence in the field. There are instances where excellent long standing reviewers can also be asked to join the Editorial Board. They are normally also from the same expert field as the journal topic. Depending on the roles and responsibilities set by the publisher, the Editor typically reports directly to the Editorial Board. A journal’s Editorial Board normally undergoes a complete renewal after a set period determined by the Editor and Publisher (three years is an average time).This will involve removing some individuals, inviting others, and renewing some existing members for another term. It is important when inviting a Board member that this issue of term of office is included in the invitation letter to avoid any misunderstandings that can arise.