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American Sociological Association: Editors' Reports for 2010
Editors' Reports for 2010
|American Sociological Review||Contemporary Sociology|
|Contexts||Journal of Health and Social Behavior|
|Rose Series||Social Psychology Quarterly|
|Sociological Methodology||Sociological Theory|
|Sociology of Education||Teaching Sociology|
American Sociological Review
Review Process. During the calendar year 2010 the American Sociological Review (ASR) received a large number of high quality submissions. From January 1 through December 31, 2010, we considered a total of 587 manuscripts submitted to the journal (465 of which were new submissions and 122 of which were revisions). In addition, the journal carried 97 manuscripts over from the previous year that were still under review.
Using the traditional indicator for the acceptance rate (that is, the number of accepted manuscripts divided by the number of overall decisions), ASR's acceptance rate for the year was 6%. (Using the method of calculating the acceptance rate proposed by England [in Footnotes, March 2009], in which acceptances are divided only by final decisions, the ASR acceptance rate was 8%.)
We, as editors, conducted the review process as efficiently as possible to continue ASR's timely review process, something we believe is important to all scholars, but especially newer scholars in the discipline. The journal's mean turnaround time remained low, at 11.36 weeks (median = 11.97 weeks). We maintained the journal's low turnaround time even as the journal shifted to an editorship with four individual editors and as we implemented a new online submission system (Sagetrack).
Visibility and Successes. We have begun a number of new initiatives over the past year to increase the visibility of ASR. Specifically, we now provide an e-mail announcement to all subscribers of the journal, containing the table of contents for each issue and a direct link to the ASR Sage site (http://asr.sagepub.com/) where articles can be viewed online. This provides easy electronic access for subscribers to the journal's content. In addition, we now provide Spanish translations of article abstracts and one full article per volume. These appear on the ASR Sage website and help disseminate ASR's scholarly research to a wider, international audience.
In addition, we continue the practice of past editors of preparing press-friendly abstracts of all ASR articles. These are also available on the web-site. The ASA's press officer and authors' own university press officers are sent these media-friendly summaries for use in their own press releases, which are then brought to the attention of relevant media outlets. Such coordination, among the ASR office, authors' own university media relations experts, and the ASA press office, works well, with many ASR articles receiving high press visibility during the past year.
Articles appearing in ASR also generated excitement in the field and received awards and accolades from ASA sections. More generally, ASR is widely read in sociology and the social sciences. Journal Citation Reports gives ASR a 5-year impact factor of 5.578, one of the two highest among sociology journals (with Annual Review of Sociology receiving the only higher score at 5.953). On this same measure, ASR is among the top 50 journals in the social sciences as a whole.
Range of Submissions. The topics of manuscripts submitted to ASR, and the methodologies employed by these manuscripts, remain wide-ranging and reflect the diversity and richness of our field. Experimental research and manuscripts that are primarily methodological or exclusively theoretical in focus continue to remain underrepresented in the pages of ASR due to limited submissions. We, like past editorial teams, encourage such submissions. Over the past year, we took the step of inviting section members of both ASA Theory and Methodology sections to consider submitting their work to the journal. The submission of qualitative, historical, and mixed-methods articles continued to rise in 2010, reflecting the methodological diversity and innovation currently occurring across the discipline. We also saw numerous manuscripts of high quality that bridged multiple sub-disciplinary areas and thus that carried the potential of wide appeal within the sociological community. As the discipline's flagship journal, ASR has and continues to seek innovative manuscripts that reflect breadth of contribution to the discipline.
Editorial Board and Reviewers. During our editorship, we found that a key ingredient to ensuring that the true richness and excitement of the field makes its way into the pages of the ASR is by assembling a strong and diverse reviewer pool. We maintained diversity on the editorial board with the help of a large, theoretically and methodologically diverse group of six deputy editors, to whom we owe a great deal of thanks for their capable and careful assistance with the review process.
In addition, the 2010 ASR editorial board was composed of 67 members. Of these, 40 percent are women and 33 percent are racial and/or ethnic minorities. We thank existing board members, especially those recently rotating off the board after a three-year commitment. We also welcome new board members. In addition to maintaining an active, conscientious, and thoughtful editorial board, we also expanded the reviewer pool considerably. This expansion has been important not only to help handle the increase in manuscript submissions, but also for more effectively tapping into the strong body of scholars, including international scholars, who read ASR and are engaged in similar research. An unforeseen but very much welcome consequence of expanding the reviewer pool has been a steady rise in the number of manuscript submissions, including from non-U.S. sociologists.
Challenges. ASR underwent a transition over the past year to Sagetrack, our new online submission system. We are pleased to report that the complications posed by the transition were few in number, largely due to the careful and diligent work of the journal's coordinating editor, Laura Dossett, and our senior editorial associate, Heather Kettrey, who together spearheaded the detailed steps necessary for successful implementation. We thank both Laura and Heather as well as the staff at Sage, especially Kristen Langewisch, for their generous help in making the transition proceed smoothly.
Limited page allocations and the desire to publish as many articles as possible continue to push issues of article length to the fore. Many journals are restricting submissions to word counts as low as 8,500 words. We, as editors, recognize that publishing diverse articles and serving a diverse audience warns against rigid limits. We therefore ask authors to limit their word counts to 15,000 words or below. Most articles published in the journal are between 11,000 and 12,000 words. We constantly encourage authors to edit their articles toward the most effective lengths with the highest readability for our general sociological audience.
We, as editors, are very pleased with the articles published in the journal during 2010. They represent some of the very best sociological research in our discipline and we are delighted to have played a role in making this fine work available to a wide sociological audience. We invite you to consider sending your work to ASR, where it will receive a timely, careful, and fair consideration.
Tony Brown, Katharine Donato, Larry Isaac, and Holly McCammon, Editors
Books Considered. The editorial office of Contemporary Sociology received 1,337 books from publishers during 2010 (an increase of nearly 30% from 2010). The total number of books that the editor examined was 1,337.
Review Process. Four hundred and fifty books were screened by the editor and accepted for review for the year, and the number of reviews received for the year was 437. Three hundred and twenty-nine reviews were finished and published in Volume 39, plus 35 review essays. Five hundred and thirty were classified as "No Review," and 116 were reviewed as "Briefly Noted." There were 87 "New Books" pending triage at the time of this report. (Note: These figures do not total 1,337 because some books have not yet been assigned for review, or reviews have not yet been submitted, or the books have not yet been considered by our Editorial Board.)
Production Lag. Between the time a book arrives for review consideration and the review (if any) is published, the most time-consuming ingredient in the process is the length of time required for the designated reviewer to submit his or her review after receiving the book. The editorial office, on average, schedules reviews, articles, and review essays for publication within 14 weeks after the materials arrive, and after consultation with the Editorial Board, which occurs every two months. The journal's managing editor copyedits and formats all the work received electronically in preparation for publication. The copyedited materials are sent to Sage for typesetting, and several sets of proofs are corrected prior to publication. The production lag represents the time between receipt of the review and the publication date. The production lag averages 4 months.
Items Published. The breakdown of the items published in Volume 39 contain the following: 329 book reviews, 35 review essays, 11 comments, 4 editor's remarks, and 116 books reviewed in "Briefly Noted." The total number of items published is 495.
Editorial Board Members and Reviewers. Twenty-one women and 19 men comprised the editorial board in 2010. This included 8 minorities, and 12 foreign editorial board members, including 5 women and 7 men.
Alan Sica, Editor
Throughout 2010, Minnesota worked to create a strong volume of Contexts, interesting and accessible to both sociologists and a wider public audience. We continued to fill the pages with top notch sociologists, intriguing non-sociologists, and innovative artists. Among new efforts, we brought the popular blog "Sociological Images" into each issue; reviewed and updated the Contexts Reader for its second edition, due out from W.W. Norton in 2011; and reached out to wider audiences with new efforts including the Aging in Contexts topical bundle and our first ever "audiobook." We even celebrated our authors with the informal but highly appreciated "Claudes," handed out at this summer's editorial board meeting in Atlanta. In all of these ways, we believe we've helped close out Contexts' first decade on a high note.
In our first, and most important role as editors, we worked with our fine section editors and diverse author pool to publish 72 pieces (of which 24 were peer-reviewed feature articles) in four issues. Our total, traditional acceptance rate stood at 6.7% in 2010, while our revised (that is, only our final decisions) rate was 13.8%. Those who have worked with Contexts as authors know that we have a fairly intensive process, starting, for features, with a proposal and moving through greenlight, submission, review, acceptance (or rejection) and revision, editing, and illustration before coming to print. Often this also includes one of us reaching out to targeted authors and well-known scholars to ask for their opinions or, more audaciously, to ask them to put pen to paper on a topic we'd like to see between our covers. We have worked with our graduate board, editorial board, and many prospective authors not only to stock 2010's issues with interesting, intellectually sound, and provocative articles, but to ensure that our pipeline is on track for an equally sound 2011 volume and to ensure a smooth transition to Contexts' next editorial office.
To further explore the dissemination of our content, this year we tried out two new ventures. The first was our topical bundle of articles, Aging in Contexts. With the press release from the University of Minnesota and the support of the ASA, this ebook was downloaded 762 times in a two-week period for free use. We reached out to scholars and practitioners in fields including gerontology and public health, and, in the process, broadened the reach of our authors' sociological insight. In another experiment, we created Contexts' first "audiobook"--a reading of Jeffrey Alexander's feature "Heroes, Presidents, and Politics" from the Fall 2010 issue. While we did not work to publicize this recording, it has yielded over 300 downloads to date.
And, in what proved to be a big, but rewarding undertaking, we tackled the selection of articles and creation of teaching content for the second edition of the popular Contexts Reader. Only 22 articles from the first edition will be repeated in the second; 45 articles will be all new to the Reader. Our graduate board members worked incredibly hard on brainstorming, writing, and editing content questions and teaching exercises to accompany each of these new inclusions, and we believe the text offers an excellent sampling of Contexts' quality content to support classroom work in sociology and other disciplines.
2011 will be the final year for Contexts at Minnesota, and we believe we've laid the groundwork for both our best volume yet and for a great hand-off to our successors at the end of the year. We look forward to crafting each issue and continuing to bring sociologists' unique viewpoints to the wider world.
Doug Hartmann and Chris Uggen, Editors
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
The Journal of Health and Social Behavior (JHSB) has a long-standing reputation as the place for cutting-edge research on social aspects of health and illness. I am pleased to report that in 2010 we have published and accepted for publication papers reflecting the full range of issues in health, illness, and healing. In 2010, and forthcoming in 2011, JHSB includes theoretical as well as empirical papers, international and U.S.-based research, research on health care policy and professions, research on social networks, studies on health behaviors, life course health processes including cumulative disadvantage, and research using biomarkers and focusing on social-genetic interaction. Some of these articles use quantitative methods and some use qualitative methods. JHSB's mission statement requires that all research inform our understanding of sociological theories relevant to health, illness, and healing. Published and forthcoming articles thus use health issues to inform our understanding of inequality and the production of disparities, social-psychological consequences of adverse experiences and events, how professionals make decisions about their patients and evaluate one another, and how health care systems are shaped by political and economic processes.
In 2010 JHSB also published an extra issue specifically designed to inform policymakers and the broader public about key findings from sociological research that have shaped our understanding of health, illness, and healing and the implications of these findings for policy. Janet Hankin and Eric Wright were the guest editors of the extra issue, "What Do We Know? Key Findings from 50 Years of Medical Sociology," funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. A science writer produced an executive summary to highlight key findings and this was distributed widely to the press, policymakers, funding agencies, and other interested persons. The Indiana editorial offices also made all of the articles from the extra issue available for free on the ASA website.
Journal Operations. Journal operations ran smoothly in 2010 during the transition from the Indiana office to the Texas office, thanks in large part to our excellent team of managing editors. Most importantly, we worked very hard to continue reducing the turnaround time for manuscripts despite an increase in the number of submissions. The average turnaround time from receipt of a submission to decision in 2010 was 7.7 weeks (compared to 8.06 weeks in 2009-10). In 2010 we processed 322 papers (compared to 306 in 2009) and made decisions on 256 (compared to 247 in 2009). We published 42 papers in 2010. The "traditional" acceptance rate, which counts all decisions, was 10.8%. The "new" acceptance rate, which counts only final decisions, was 17%.
The mean production lag (i.e., the time between acceptance of a paper and its appearance in print) was 7.7 months in 2010. We expect this to lag to decrease with our transition to Sage copyediting services.
Journal operations were managed primarily by outstanding half-time managing editors. For the first part of the year at the Indiana office, the journal was run by the Managing Editor of Reviews (Joseph Wolfe) and the Managing Editor for Production (Indermohan Virk). For the second part of 2010, journal operations were managed by the Managing Editor for Reviews (Mieke Beth Thomeer) and Managing Editor for Production (Corinne Reczek). Dr. Andrew Cognard-Black, Assistant Professor of Sociology at St. Mary's College of Maryland concluded his copyediting duties in the March 2011 issue.
Editorial Board and Deputy Editors. I want to thank JHSB's outgoing Deputy Editors: Pamela Braboy Jackson, Bernice Pescosolido, Jill Quadagno, and Scott Schieman. New Deputy Editors include Ronald J. Angel, Chloe E. Bird, Mark D. Hayward, Robert A. Hummer, and Stephanie A. Robert.
At the end of 2010, fifteen editorial board members rotated off the board: Ronald J. Angel, Christopher R. Browning, Bridget K. Gorman, Pamela Herd, Karen Lutfey, Scott M. Lynch, Elizabeth G. Menaghan, Richard A. Miech, Samuel Noh, Bernice A. Pescosolido, Brian Powell, Jill Quadagno, John Reynolds, Scott Schieman, and Michael J. Shanahan. I am grateful for their extraordinary service and commitment to the journal. I also thank the continuing editorial board members and the many additional ad hoc reviewers who have contributed their time and expertise so generously to the journal. Without their contributions, we simply could not fulfill the goal of publishing the very best papers in medical sociology submitted to the journal.
The editorial board has fourteen new members whose terms run from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2013. New board members include Anne E. Barrett, Jason D. Boardman, Terrence D. Hill, Christine L. Himes, Michael Hughes, Verna M. Keith, Hui Liu, Sarah Rosenfield, Robin W. Simon, John Robert Warren, Elaine Wethington, David R. Williams, Linda A. Wray, and Eric R. Wright. I have already begun to rely heavily on the professional guidance of these new editorial board members along with our faithful continuing board members.
The editorial board in 2010 was a diverse group, not only in terms of gender (46% female) and race/ethnicity (13% minority), but also in terms of methodological skills and substantive specialties. The 2011 editorial board maintains an equivalent range in its composition demographically (40% female, 13% minority), methodologically, and substantively.
Debra Umberson, Editor
The year 2010 was our fifth year as an editorial team. The number of annual submissions has declined slightly over time, but our efforts at improving the quality of proposals have been successful. We have only accepted one proposal this year in accordance with the policy of our publisher, Russell Sage, which allows us to issue only one or two contracts a year.
Two Rose books were published this year: Divergent Social Worlds: Neighborhood Crime and the Racial-Spatial Divide by Ruth D. Peterson and Lauren J. Krivo and Counted Out: Same-Sex Relations and Americans' Definition of Family by Brian Powell, Lala Carr Steelman, Catherine Bolzendahl, and Claudi Giest. The former will be the subject of the Rose Special Session at the ASA meetings in August and the findings reported in the latter were the subject of several 2010 newspaper articles.
There are currently eleven books in the pipeline. In total, the Stony Brook editors have accepted nine books; two more (contracted by the previous editors) are still in process. Two manuscripts have been submitted, reviewed and accepted, and either are or about to be, in production: Good Jobs, Bad Jobs, No Jobs: Changing Work and Workers in America by Arne L. Kalleberg, and "They Say Cutback: We Say Fight Back!" Welfare Rights Activism in an Era of Retrenchment. Two sets of contracted authors completed drafts of their books and participated in seminars at Russell Sage this year and three other drafts have been submitted, reviewed, and are currently under revision. One other contracted manuscript was submitted this year, but based on the reviewers' reports, was rejected without possibility of resubmission.
Finally, we would like to note that all of the books published in the Rose Series over the last five years were contracted by the previous editors. The first of the books contracted by the present editorial group will only see the light in 2011!
Books currently under contract
Stony Brook Editorial Group:
University of Masschusetts Editorial Group:
Award Winners Among Recent Publications:
Diane Barthel-Bouchier, Cynthia Bogard, Michael Kimmel, Daniel Levy, Tim Moran, Naomi Rosenthal, Michael Schwartz, Gilda Zwerman, Editors
This is my final annual report. I have been honored to hold Social Psychology Quarterly (SPQ) in trust for four years. It is the wise policy of the American Sociological Association that no one person or team sets a permanent style for a journal. This keeps journals vibrant. The March 2011 issue of Social Psychology Quarterly marks a transition to new editors, Karen Hegtvedt and Cathy Johnson. As is typical, many of the articles were accepted under my watch. They will change the journal and they will keep it the same.
The journal is what it is because of the sparkly brilliance of SPQ's editorial team. Jane McLeod and Lisa Troyer have served with panache as Deputy Editors. Doug Harper and I have worked closely on the striking photos and incisive essays that have graced all 16 issues, adding visual sociology to our domain. I was delighted to learn that the new editors decided to retain Gianna Mosser as Managing Editor. Stanford University wisely hired Corey Fields, the Graduate Editorial Assistant, as an Assistant Professor of Sociology. I thank the staff at the American Sociological Association, particularly Karen Edwards, Janine McKenna, and our Executive Director Sally Hillsman for their careful attention to the journal.
When I became editor I had several goals for the journal. The first was to increase the efficiency of the editorial process. The average length of time for an article to be reviewed during my editorship is only 54 days which remained steady for three years. In four years, only one manuscript took over four months to be reviewed and we learned from that problem. No more than a handful took three months. For the full year 2010, the average editorial lag was 60.1 days, still under two months (and bound to decrease as the new editors master the learning curve). During my editorial tenure I requested reviews from 1,563 colleagues from some dozen disciplines and two dozen nations. Many agreed. I insist that reviewers take their job seriously, occasionally sending back reviews for revisions, and requesting two pages of serious, substantive comments in two weeks. We lost some reviewers as a result, but the reviews that we received were high quality. Reviews have a pedagogic purpose. My outcome letters were never form letters, but my best critique. Should the review take more than two months, I informed the author, so that no one felt that their manuscript had been lost. Our production lag in months for the publication of articles was seven months, and in 2010 we published 38 articles, comments, and essays, including the "Bridging Social Psychology" essays. We continue to be one of the most selective ASA journals, with an acceptance rate as low as 6.5% (the traditional rate) or 9.9% (the new rate, which counts only final decisions), depending on the denominator. During 2010, we received 126 new manuscripts, approximately the same level as the previous three years.
As an editor I believe that academic journals should, first and foremost, be designed for readers. To this end I tried to generate broad dialogue within social psychology and in its relationship to both sociology and psychology. We relinquished approximately one article/year in order to publish essays by Anthony Giddens, Susan Fiske, Loic Wacquant, Neil Smelser, Phil Tetlock, Hazel Markus, Eviatar Zerubavel, Deborah Tannen, Kenneth Gergen, Peter Bearman, Howard Becker, Louis Menand, Paul Dimaggio, and Randall Collins. We published debates on unconscious racism and on deception in experimental research, and several notable review essays. My continuing goal was to create discussion and debate among social psychologists.
Over the years I have continued to broaden the mandate of social psychology. When I became editor, I labeled Social Psychology Quarterly as the Journal of Microsociologies. While the two terms do not precisely overlap, as some readers reminded me, the domains are siblings. It is now routine to publish ethnography, conversation analysis, as well as survey research and experimental studies. This strengthens us. We have also started to publish historical microsociology and evolutionary psychology and we have incorporated visual sociology within our mandate. If you haven't seen our December 2010 cover, take a look. Our special sections included a seventieth anniversary assessment of our journal, a centennial assessment of the first social psychology textbooks, a symposium on the fiftieth anniversary of Erving Goffman's Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, and a symposium on bridging psychological and sociological social psychology.
During the past four years Social Psychology Quarterly has published works by economists, political scientists, linguists, psychologists, cognitive scientists, as well as sociologists. We have published articles by scholars from 10 nations. We are truly international.
Our webpage permits extensions of articles and appendices to be published. An author can, for example, publish an article in the journal and then include extensive data or analysis on the webpage. As editor, I welcomed manuscripts between 2 and 200 pages.
With Jooyoung Lee's article on Rap Cipher, published in December 2009, we now make available video, hosted by the American Sociological Association on YouTube. We have interviews from Cooley-Mead Award recipients (Jane Piliavin and Linda Molm) on our website. The interview with Jane is available as a video.
I am proud of how we have expanded the pedagogical mission of the journal. When I started SPQ Snaps, the first such venture of its kind, I had no idea how it would be received. These are shortened and lightened versions of essays that appeared in our pages, placed on our website. They are designed for upper-level undergraduates and first-year graduate students, sharing fundamental ideas without the technical details of our scholarly work. We now have seventeen Snaps available on line (as PDFs as well as HTML texts). These essays have been reprinted and used in classes. Along with these issues, we provide discussion questions and other teaching tools. If you haven't looked at these materials, visit the SPQ page on the ASA website. We started a program of translations of articles and essays. We have translations in Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew, German, and Russian. As they become available, we contact national sociological associations, so that non-Anglophone students can have access to our research. We also have teaching tools for these essays. We have just posted a video lecture. David Orzechowicz published an important article on actors, looking at them as elite emotion managers. I asked David, an actor himself, to videotape a lecture on the topic. When you teach about emotion work, you can assign David's wonderful essay, and then show his lecture in class. This is the first time it has been tried, and I hope that it will prove a success. Let me (and the new editors) know if you find David's lecture to be useful for your classes.
Finally I have instituted a Bill of Rights for Authors. It is our webpage and has been published in the pages of the journal. I offer it to all editors current and future.
I would not have exchanged this responsibility to edit our journal for any other experience that I have had as a sociologist.
Gary Alan Fine, Editor (2007-2010)
The year 2010 marked the first full year for the current editor Tim F. Liao and managing editor Lisa Savage at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The editing of Sociological Methodology Volume 40 initially began under the editorship of Yu Xie at the University of Michigan, and the University of Illinois staff took over in July 2009 to continue work on the volume. The blue-hued Volume 40, which became available in its entirety online in late November and was published on paper in December 2010, features eight articles in three important areas: methods for life-course data analysis, casual inference and multivariate data analysis, and methods for the analysis of social network data.
For the entire year of 2010, 56 submissions and resubmissions were considered, and 45 of these were new submissions. Most of the considered submissions went into the review process, although six submissions were rejected without reviewing. Of the 50 submissions or resubmissions accepted for review in 2010, 14 were rejected outright, 22 were given a revise and resubmit, and 1 was given conditional acceptance. The traditional acceptance rate was 10.7% and the new acceptance rate (which only counts final decisions) was 23.1%. Half of these manuscripts considered took 9.4 or fewer weeks in the review process. The remaining manuscripts are still under review. We project that volume 41 will come out sometime in fall 2011.
Tim Futing Liao, Editor
The year 2010 was a good, if busy, one for Sociological Theory. We received 120 new submissions and 56 resubmissions. While the volume of manuscripts coming in kept us from bringing editorial lag times down as much as I had initially hoped, our editorial system continued to operate in fairly efficient manner, thanks to the hard work of Joe Wiebe, ST's managing editor, and the many conscientious reviewers on whom we relied. With only a few regrettable exceptions, we were able to render decisions on most papers in a timely fashion. With the average length of published articles and the page allotment from ASA unchanged from previous years (except for 2009, when ASA gave us additional pages), the increase in submissions pushed our rejection rate higher, but I would hope this would not be seen as a deterrent to future submission: papers that either initially or after a round or two of revision received high praise from most reviewers continued to find a home in ST in 2010, and will find a home in the years to come. The peer-review process is hardly infallible, but as Michèle Lamont might say generally speaking the cream rises—and there remains ample room in the cream jar.
In last year's editorial report I wrote with excitement about the quality of papers the journal was receiving. In 2010 that quality remained high. We received submissions on an incredibly wide range of topics, written from an enormous variety of theoretical perspectives. Although most inevitably fell below the publication bar, I was impressed overall by the originality and even daring nature of many of these papers, and by the level of scholarly engagement they displayed.
There is no one feature or characteristic shared by all the papers that were eventually accepted for publication, but two points of commonality stand out. In last year's report I expressed special interest in manuscripts aimed not at a limited subset of theorists, but at the theoretical community as a whole—or even the discipline as a whole. Some of the most exciting papers to come across my desk in 2010 did exactly that, such as Doug McAdam and Neil Fligstein's terrific piece in the most recent issue of the journal developing a general theory of "strategic action fields," or Gary Fine's piece in an earlier issue urging a "sociology of the local," or the long piece we published by Margaret Archer (re)introducing her theoretical framework to American sociology and responding to a number of recent criticisms.
The other quality displayed by many of the accepted papers is eclecticism and undeniable interestingness. Anna Paretskya's "The Soviet Communist Party and the Other Spirit of Capitalism" and Benjamin Dicicco-Bloom and David Gibson's "More than a Game: Sociological Theory from the Theories of Games," certainly fit this bill; so did many others. Whether written by self-described theorists or not, whether written from the vantage point of one's armchair or based on careful empirical research, whether integrative or paradigmatic in focus, these pieces endeavored to push the theoretical enterprise, and sociology, in new, promising directions. They deserve a wide readership. My sense is that many more equally ambitious and developed papers will be coming down the pike in 2011.
Thanks to all of you—authors, editorial board members, reviewers, and administrative personnel—who worked together this past year to keep ST heading in the good direction toward which its previous editors steered it. Some administrative challenges lie ahead, such as the transition from Wiley-Blackwell to Sage as our publisher, dealing with requests by members of the editorial board that I screen out more papers in advance of review, and grappling with the question of whether there are any potential special issues intellectually meritorious enough to force me to reconsider my earlier stance that the journal should be devoted entirely to regular articles. I will continue to look forward to the support and guidance of the theory community as these issues arise.
Neil Gross, Editor
The year 2010 was an active and vibrant one for Sociology of Education. We completed the transition from JournalBuilder to SageTrack, steadily if sometimes painfully working out any remaining kinks. SageTrack is a versatile and powerful system, and we are continually looking for ways to use it to better keep in touch with authors and reviewers. We have continued to develop a strong and engaged editorial board, maintained and even increased our flow of manuscripts, and gained a bit of ground on the number of weeks between receiving a manuscript and making a decision.
As always, I thank the American Sociological Association for giving me the opportunity to contribute to its scholarly mission by being part of its talented and committed team of editors. Journal editors come to rely a great deal on each other, and I routinely benefit from my interactions with these individuals.
Editorial Team. I am grateful for the ongoing service of Steve Morgan of Cornell University and Stefanie DeLuca of Johns Hopkins University as Deputy Editors. As Steve wrote in the Sociology of Education Section newsletter recently, readers might be surprised at "just how frequently we email each other on topics only tangentially related to submissions to the journal." That's true enough, but Steve and Stefanie routinely provide me with a sounding board and enough good advice to prevent me from making any especially egregious mistakes.
I wish to acknowledge the important contributions of the outgoing board members: Hanna Ayalon, Elizabeth C. Cooksey, Susan A. Dumais, Eric Grodsky, Angel Luis Harris, Kevin T. Leicht, Lynn M. Mulkey, Sean F. Reardon, John R. Schwille, Edward E. Telles, Marta Tienda, Sarah Turner, and Karolyn Tyson. I hope none of these people has the mistaken belief that I am going to stop calling on them as reviewers just because they are no longer on the board. I also appreciate the service of continuing board members: Richard Arum, Carl L. Bankston, III, Mark A. Berends, Prudence L. Carter, Robert Crosnoe, Scott Davies, Regina Deil-Amen, John B. Diamond, Thomas A. DiPrete, Danielle Cireno Fernandes, Sean Kelly, Spyros Konstantopoulos, Freda B. Lynn, Vida Maralani, Hugh Mehan, Chandra Muller, Stephen B. Plank, Alejandro Portes, Josipa Roksa, Evan Schofer, Tricia Seifert, Mitchell L. Stevens, Tony Tam, Ruth N. Lopez Turley, and Herman G. Van De Werfhorst.
I invited 19 people to join the SOE editorial board. The new board members, who began their terms on January 1, 2011, are: Megan Andrew, Fabrizio Bernardi, Amy Binder, Simon Cheng, Thomas Espenshade, Kim Goyette, David Harding, Holly Heard, Melissa Herman, Takehiko Kariya, Hiroshi Ono, Sal Oropesa, Hyunjoon Park, C.J. Pascoe, Maria Rendon, Keith Robinson, Lisa Stulberg, David Suarez, and Will Tyson. This is an exceptional assortment of sociologists, and I am looking forward to working with them.
My graduate assistant Chris Swanson has assumed the day-to-day tasks of running the journal, and he has proven himself to be a conscientious and skilled colleague,
Manuscript Flow. This report covers the manuscript activity of the journal from January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2010. The total number of manuscripts considered during the 2010 calendar year was 184, with 11 percent of those being invited as revise and resubmit manuscripts. Consistent with past years, 16 papers were published in Sociology of Education in 2010. The acceptance rate for SoE, calculated in the "old" manner (the one with which most sociologists are familiar), was 8.15 percent. Using the "new" method of calculation, our acceptance rate was 13.04 percent. Both of these figures are in line with past trends. During 2010 the journal review process averaged about 15 weeks, a considerable improvement over the 18 weeks that we achieved in 2009. Our production lag (the time it takes for an accepted manuscript to actually appear in the journal) edged up a bit, from about four months to about four and a half. Our "OnLineFirst" feature is now in full swing, affording readers much quicker access to the articles
Reviewers and Reviewing. The scientific community depends on peer review. There is very simply no substitute for it. The demands on faculty, students, and sociological practitioners are of course increasing all the time. Reviewer fatigue is a real problem. Given these constraints, the participation of the sociology of education community in the review process is remarkable. Some of my best moments as editor come when authors whose work I have rejected tell me how much they learned from the reviews.
David Bills, Editor
The year 2010 marked the first complete year of my editorship. During this year, one significant change occurred: the journal transitioned fully to online submissions, using Sagetrack, the ASA's new publishing partner's software. This process is working well, for the most part, for authors, reviewers, and the editorial office. The few issues which have arisen, Sage's staff and I have been able to solve for authors and reviewers within a day or two. This system—and its gentle reminders—has helped to shorten the time to first decision to just over one month.
I have enjoyed the wisdom and advice of several people, whom I want to thank publicly. Elizabeth Grauerholz, the past editor of Teaching Sociology, has continued to be a support to me and has answered all my questions. Glenn Muschert, my Deputy Editor, enthusiastically took over administration of the book, film, and website reviews and has provided excellent advice. I think I was especially blessed to have Sage staff members Allison Leung assigned as Project Editor for most of the year and then Juliette Amsden. Kristen Marchetti has been my go-to person about software issues and has always been able to resolve problems. Susan Nebel was my Managing Editor for most of the year while she was a graduate student in our department, and now Roseanne (Rosie) Ponce fills that position. Both were quick to learn the Sagetrack software and our systems for managing manuscripts. Karen Edwards and Janine Chiappa McKenna at the ASA have also been supportive in this year of transition. But most of all, I want to thank the reviewers – the unsung heroes of academic publishing. I can count on one hand the number of people who turned down a request to review. People are so very willing to not only do the work of reviewing, but to do it well.
In this first year of my editorship, I implemented several changes. First, I shifted the Editorial Board to a more "working board." Board members served as one of the three reviewers for 90 percent of the manuscript this year. I appreciate that the Board members wholeheartedly supported this change. I think that seeing more of the submitted manuscripts helps Board members to understand more about the journal. The second change involved an initiative that I proposed in my application for this position – a series of reviews of books for courses that are in many sociology curricula. In October, we published the first of these invited reviews of textbooks and monographs. The review, by Chris Wellin, focused on books for use in Aging and Gerontology courses. Look for such reviews to appear every so often. We want to help those faculty who are looking for ideas about books to use in courses and have several of these reviews in the pipeline.
Teaching Sociology, Volume 39 (2010) published 65 works, including 20 articles, 4 notes, 36 film and book reviews, and 4 Conversations pieces.
Manuscript Flow. In 2010, 163 manuscripts were submitted. Of these, 94 were new manuscripts, 40 were revised manuscripts, and 29 were still in review from the previous year. At the end of 2010, there were 3 manuscripts still in review. Among the remaining manuscripts processed, 9.4 percent were rejected without review, 28 percent were rejected after review, 28.8 percent were invited to revise and resubmit, 3.8 percent were withdrawn by the authors, and the remaining 30 percent were either accepted or conditionally accepted.
Looking at the manuscript decision rate from another perspective—counting only the last decision (usually, but not always a final decision) for manuscripts submitted in and decided on in 2010, 26 percent were accepted, 2 percent were conditional accepts, 15 percent were to revise and resubmit, 36 percent were rejected, 14 percent were rejected without review, and the rest were either withdrawn by the author or were still under review.
Editorial Board. There were 36 members on the Editorial Board. Fifty-eight percent were female and forty-two percent were male, and nineteen percent were minorities. I want to express my gratitude to those members who transitioned off in December 2010: Rebecca Bordt, Tracy L. Dietz, Lauren Dundes, Angela J. Hattery, David D. Jaffee, Diane Elizabeth Johnson, Donna King, Monica A. Snowden, Heather Sullivan-Catlin, Jan E. Thomas, Jean L. Van Delinder, Leslie T. C. Wang, and Morrison G. Wong.
This first eighteen months have been an interesting adventure and I want to thank each and every author. I know my own teaching has improved from exposure to a wealth of intriguing pedagogical ideas.
Kathleen S. Lowney, Editor