The Editor-in-Chief (EiC) holds ultimate responsibility for the journal practices and publications. Even for low volume journals, the EiC will depend on a small editorial team (like for example editorial assistants, section editors, communications/promotion editors etc). The size of the Editorial Team can vary depending on the scope of the journal.
When working within a team, the EiC holds overall responsibility for major decisions and has ultimate responsibility for the quality of peer reviews and publications. The EiC is the official representative of the journal in relation to the Stockholm University Press Publishing Committee.
The EiC should be familiar with the academic field in general and should preferably be an active researcher within the specific field of the journal. It is recommended that the EiC act as the main point of contact for (non-technical) correspondence regarding the journal, although for larger journals this responsibility may be delegated to another member of the editorial team.
The EiC is responsible for appointing members of the Editorial Team and Board, keeping the list of people involved up-to-date, as well as creating an active working environment in the processing of article submissions and reviews. The team roles may vary depending on the preferences of the team, however common examples would be appointing section/handling editors, copy-editors, communication editors, editorial coordinators/assistants etc.
Having an active and suitably skilled/qualified team in place will greatly enhance the likelihood of the journal being a success. It is recommended that members of the Editorial Team and Board is selected due to their academic excellence in the field, and that the group covers all aspects of the journal scope. The EiC and the Editorial Team and Board will follow the strict editorial and peer review standards.
The EiC should ensure that the entire editorial team, as well as reviewers and authors, follow COPE guidelines regarding publication ethics and good editorial practice. These can be found here.
The publisher will provide support to the EiC so that all editorial and technical questions can be resolved as quickly as possible. The publisher will also provide an online editorial system which the EiC, as well as authors, reviewers and co-editors, must use to process submissions and invitations.
The EiC position will be contractually agreed with SUP by a written statement. Stockholm University Press will hold ownership of the journal, to ensure that all legal and general administrative tasks are well taken care of. The licensing and copyright of the published material will belong to the author and the Creative Commons realm.
The main role of each Board member is to act as an advocate or ambassador for the journal, and to assist the editorial team solicit and advance submissions, as well as to safeguard the journal’s reputation.
An Editorial Board member is also expected to review a number of manuscripts each year, being an expert on the topic and familiar with the journal’s routine and rigor. Having an active Editorial Board is vital for the success of a journal.
Membership of the Editorial Board should preferably be reviewed at least every few years, to ensure that all members are active and still willing to complete the tasks listed below. Members can be added or removed at any time, upon request or need.
Although members do not have a maximum tenure on the Board, the editorial team should consider their length of membership during the review: the journal does not want to become stagnant and have the same viewpoints projected over long periods of time, or to not keep up with new academic opinion.
Whilst Board members can suggest additions to the membership, the editorial team should be wary of only accepting established 'friendship' groups, or one predominant opinion, as the Board must be seen as representing the subject as a whole, rather than one perspective/institution.
The regular review should therefore involve removal of some of the existing members, extending some memberships and also inviting new members to the Board. The Boards should be seen as a flexible grouping, with the editorial team looking to develop and revise membership continually. For example, if a high profile member might be available, asking them if they would like to join is a positive action. Similarly, if members are not performing their duties then they can be removed at any time.
The number of members on an Editorial Board can of course vary from anything between 5 and 30. These numbers are flexible, but a larger Board is generally better due to the flexibility of a larger network, although this does depend on the journal and the members in question - e.g. if the journal has a very narrow focus and/or is a niche subject, then there may be fewer available Board members.
Area and extent of specialisation - is it within the scope of the journal? Is this already covered by existing Board members? Are they known for specific viewpoints/opinions? Are they established researchers or at an early point in their career?
Reputation - how well known is the applicant to the journal's community? Would they enhance the reputation of the journal by association?
Affiliation - are they affiliated with a recognised academic institution? How well respected is this for the subject? Are key institutions represented? Where is the affiliation and is this region already well covered by other Board members?
Journal experience - are they/have they been on many other Editorial Boards?
Personal aspects - gender, age, background etc can be considered but should not be a deciding factor - i.e. it is good to have a diverse membership to reflect as many opinions as possible, however they must all be qualified to do so.
Availability – are they likely to be available to carry out the required tasks? (The more active the Board members the less work for the editorial team.)
Conflicting interests – are any of their other positions or responsibilities likely to conflict with the journal?