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Scholarly Journal Publishing Guide

Resources for McGill journal editors

Description

Chapter 3 in the book Developing an Open Access Journal, covers the issues of planning an editorial board well (see p. 53-55). 

Checklist for planning an editorial board

[ ] Board structure Who sits on the board? What titles/roles are included (e.g. copyeditor, editor-in-chief etc.)? Example
[ ] Member Responsibilities

What are the responsibilities for each member of the editorial board? Example 

See Editorial responsibilities form. 

] Term lengths How long do board members sit on the editorial board? 
] Recruitment and application methods How are board members recruited? Is there an application process? What are the selection criteria? Example
] Meeting frequency How often will the editorial board meet?
] Succession planning

Is the board structured so that new members can learn from past members? 

See our Checklist for outgoing editorial teams

Sample terms of reference

See also : What exactly does an editor do?

Editorial responsibilities and workload commitments 

Note: 

Commitments and responsibilities vary greatly by journal. See also PKP's Journal Administration Toolkit

Position 

Hours/week 

Common tasks 

Editor-in-Chief 

3+ 

General oversight and responsibility for the journal. May include reviewing manuscripts, suggesting reviewers, publishing the journal, promotion etc.  

Editor (Associate, Section) 

1-3 

Reviews manuscripts, makes recommendations. Locates peer reviewers. 

Copyeditor 

1-3 

Edits papers for clarity, adherence to style guide.  

Layout Editor 

1-3 

Formats paper for publication (e.g. typesetting, different formats, HTML etc.) 

Managing Editor 

3+ 

Oversees the journal’s daily activities. Ensures submissions stay on track.  

Editorial assistant 

Varies greatly according to tasks assigned. 

Tasks as needed.  

Webmaster 

1-3 

Maintains website, updates with changes etc.  

Proofreader 

1-3 

Checks the final article for errors before publication.  

Advisory Board 

Less than 1 

Consulted as needed by journal on policies, etc. 

 

Further reading: 

Aguinis, Herman, Gideon P. de Bruin, Danielle Cunningham, Nicole L. Hall, Steven A. Culpepper, and Ryan K. Gottfredson. 2010. “What Does Not Kill You (Sometimes) Makes You Stronger: Productivity Fluctuations of Journal Editors.” Academy of Management Learning & Education 9 (4): 683–95. https://doi.org/10.5465/amle.9.4.zqr683

Edgar, Brian D., and John Willinsky. 2010. “A Survey of Scholarly Journals Using Open Journal Systems.” Scholarly and Research Communication 1 (2). https://doi.org/10.22230/src.2010v1n2a24

Lange, Jessica, and Sarah Severson. 2021. “Work It: Looking at Labour and Compensation in Independent, Scholarly, Canadian Journals.” SocArXiv. April 28. Preprint. https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/542n3 

SSHRC Evaluation Division Ference & Company Consulting Ltd. 2021. Evaluation of Aid to Scholarly Journals (ASJ). https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/about-au_sujet/publications/evaluations/2020/evaluation_report_asj-rapport_evaluation_aide-revues-savantes-eng.aspx

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