Posted by: cjlortie | March 19, 2012

Models of journal management

I was wondering how important the communication and management between editors for a journal might be in ensuring effective and fair dissemination. I imagine that most are top down with the Editor in Chief(s) managing the bulk of the decisions. However, I suspect that some journals have significantly expanded their boards with many more EiC positions and have moved reviewing submissions to more as a panel (like many granting agencies). This seems like a pretty good idea to me but perhaps not as efficient in handling exceptionally high volumes of manuscripts.

Importantly, the flow of communication and information between editors is important (whether the EiC does the bulf of processing or not). It is possible that many ecology journals do not have significant communication between the editorial board of 50+ subject/associate editors. This is unfortunate. These individuals share a common interest and handle reviews, interactions with referees, and feedback to authors with the common goal of publishing the specialty of the journal. If the board functions more like a community with active discussion, then these individuals could collectively solve problems, discuss frequent occurrences of certain sets of papers, identify hot trends, and calibrate their estimations of publishable material. This is not a set up at all, but a preamble to the fact that the editorial board of Oikos engages in frequent discussions via email – sometimes very extensively and always collectively.  I see this as a very positive avenue for change and an opportunity for more networked science occurring not just in experimentation but in review.

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