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Editors' Reports for 2012

 

For further details on the information presented below, please see the View in PDF Summary of Editorial Activity table (PDF). For previous reports, click here.

 

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 ProcessThe American Sociological Review (ASR) continued to receive a large number of high-quality submissions during the 2012 calendar year. From January 1 through December 31, 2012, we considered a total of 764 manuscripts submitted to the journal. Once again we attribute the journal’s high number of submissions to ASR’s status as the flagship journal of our discipline, its high-ranking impact score by Journal Citation Reports, and the ease of the journal’s electronic submission system. Of the 764 manuscripts submitted in 2012, 570 were new submissions and 194 were revisions. This is a 5 percent increase in new submissions compared with the previous calendar year. In addition, the journal carried over 141 manuscripts from the previous year, which were manuscripts still under review.

Using the traditional ASA 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 5 percent. (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 percent.)

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 12.3 weeks, and we maintained the journal’s low turnaround time even as the editorship shifted from four to three editors.

Visibility and Successes: We continue a number of new initiatives introduced with our editorship to increase the visibility of ASR. For instance, we 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 website (http://asr.sagepub.com/) where articles can be viewed online. This provides easy electronic access for subscribers to the journal’s content.

We also provide Spanish translations of article abstracts and a translation of one full article per volume. These appear on the ASR SAGE website and help disseminate ASR’s scholarly research to a wider, international audience.

ASR now invites authors to provide a podcast in which they discuss their published work. Links to these podcasts can be found on the ASR SAGE website. We believe that students, in particular, but faculty and others as well, will find these discussions by authors highly accessible and interesting. Faculty can also use these podcasts to augment class discussion of cutting-edge sociological research.

We continue the practice of past editors of preparing press-friendly abstracts of all ASR articles. These are also available on the website. The ASA’s press officer and authors’ university press officers are sent 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’ university media relations experts, and the ASA press office, works well, with many ASR articles receiving high press visibility during the past year, including in ABCNews.com, CBSNews.com, Chicago Tribune, CNN.com, Forbes.com, Fortune.com, HuffingtonPost.com, Los Angeles Times, MSNBC.com, NBCNews.com, New York Times, NPR.org, Reuters.com, U.S. News and World Report, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Agence France-Presse, Telegraph (UK), and Toronto Star, to name just some of the outlets.

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 an impact factor of 4.422 and the highest article influence score in our discipline.

We are pleased that the ASA Council and Publications Committee have granted ASR a 100-page increase in annual page length for the journal (from 998 to 1,098 pages per year). This will allow ASR to include longer articles as well as additional articles.

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. Ethnographic and 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. The submission of qualitative, historical, and mixed-methods articles continued to rise in 2012, reflecting the methodological diversity and innovation currently occurring across the discipline. We also continued to see numerous manuscripts of high quality that bridged multiple sub-disciplinary areas and thus 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 ReviewersDuring our editorship, we have 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 theoretically and methodologically diverse group of deputy editors, to whom we owe a great deal of thanks for their capable and careful assistance with the review process. We welcome five new deputy editors, Robert Boyd (Mississippi State University), Melissa Milkie (University of Maryland), John Reynolds (Florida State University), Jason Schnittker (University of Pennsylvania), and Sandra Smith (University of California-Berkeley). We also thank our outgoing deputy editors (Nicki Beisel, Claudia Buchmann, Karen Cook, Dan Cornfield, and Guang Guo) for their skillful and expert assistance over the preceding 3 years.

In addition, the 2012 ASR editorial board was composed of 69 members. Of these, 45 percent were women and 35 percent were racial and/or ethnic minorities. We thank existing board members, especially those recently rotating off the board after a 3-year commitment. We also welcome new board members. In addition to maintaining an active, conscientious, and thoughtful editorial board, we also continue to expand the reviewer pool. This expansion has been important not only to help handle the substantial increase in manuscript submissions in recent years, but also for more effectively tapping into the strong body of scholars, including new scholars and international scholars, who read ASR and are active researchers. We believe this expansion of the reviewer pool also helps contribute to the rise in the number of manuscript submissions, including from non-U.S. sociologists.

Staff: ASR benefits enormously from the dedication, skill, and hard work of its editorial staff, Laura Dossett, our editorial coordinator, and Mara Grynaviski, our managing editor. Additionally, the journal continues to be served by an energetic and committed group of Vanderbilt graduate students who assist the editors in identifying potential reviewers for manuscripts.

Challenges: Even with the journal’s recent page-allocation increase, limited space 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 as a guideline 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 excited about the research published in ASR during 2012. You will find some of the very best scholarship in our discipline among the journal’s pages, and we are delighted to have played a role in making this stellar 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.

Katharine Donato, Larry Isaac, and Holly McCammon, Editors

 

Contemporary Sociology

Books Considered: The editorial office of Contemporary Sociology received 1,342 books from publishers during the year 2012. The total number of books that the editor examined was 1,342.

Review Process: Five hundred and eighty-five books were screened by the editor and accepted for review for the year. Of those, 105 were reviewed and accepted as "Briefly Noted." Six hundred and sixty-six books were classified as "No Review," There were 79 “Undecided” and "New Books" pending triage at the time of this report. Additionally, 12 books were deemed copies of books already received.

The number of reviews received for the year was 501. Two hundred and forty-two regular reviews were finished and published in Volume 41, plus 57 review-essays and 7 Critical Retrospective Essays. In addition, 120 “Briefly Noted” reviews (250-500 words) were also published.

Production Lag: Between the moment a book arrives for review consideration and the review (if any) is published, the lengthiest component in the process is the 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 2 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 41 contain the following: 242 book reviews, 57 review-essays, 7 critical retrospective essays, 7 comments, 6 editor's remarks, and 120 books reviewed in "Briefly Noted." The total number of items published is 439 and covers a total of 488 books.

Editorial Board Members and Reviewers: Seventeen women and 21 men comprised the editorial board in 2012. This included 13 minorities and 13 foreign editorial board members, including 13 women and 8 men.

Alan Sica, Editor

 

Contexts

The year 2012 marked our first year as editors of Contexts. We thank our colleagues at ASA and the ASA Committee on Publications for their support. We are particularly grateful to former editors Doug Hartman and Chris Uggen and the Minnesota editorial team for helping us navigate a smooth editorial transition. During the past year, we have enhanced and broadened the reach of Contexts, making it more visually attractive and reader-friendly—truly the public face of sociology.

The previous editors passed on a well-managed editorial process. In our first year as editors, we faced the challenge of adapting day-to-day operations to a bi-coastal editorial process. We now have a well-oiled operation, thanks largely to the highly informed and professional work of our managing editor, graduate managing editor, and webmaster. We have also continued to work with the Minnesota design company ThinkDesign with excellent results. Increased funding from ASA for images has enabled us to incorporate more high-quality, original photographs and graphic images. These enhancements have sharpened the unique hybrid style of Contexts; we’ve received many positive comments about its appearance.

We’ve also worked to maintain the appeal and readability of Contexts by updating some of the departments (InBrief, Mediations, and Unplugged) and by adding a few new ones: Pedagogies, Jargon, and Viewpoints. We also regularly run a “What They’re Reading,” or “What They’re Watching,” or “Breakthrough Books” column, soliciting participation from an array of sociologists. These changes reflect our desire to broaden the publication’s appeal by incorporating a wide range of voices and perspectives, including material that is somewhat more personal in tone.

Those who are familiar with Contexts know that we have a fairly intensive revision and review process. For features, this starts with a proposal, which we then “green-light” or return, submission of a full-length manuscript, peer review, acceptance or rejection, and rewriting and revision, editing, and layout/design. During the past year, we accepted a total of 24 manuscripts for final publication, based on submission of 101 new proposals (and 17 manuscripts carried over from the previous editors). In total, last year we published 98 pieces, 20 of which were peer-reviewed feature articles.  The others were a combination of invited and submitted essays and analyses for the various departments. We also published a special issue on higher education, for which we received very positive feedback.

Attracting high-quality submissions continues to be one of our biggest challenges. Few sociologists are trained to write in the tone and style required for publication in Contexts. The proposal-review process gives us the opportunity to work with potential authors on their writing, but we’re finding this process of the editorship to be especially labor intensive. To address this, we held workshops at last year’s annual meetings of the PSA, the ESS, and the ASA to provide outreach and to educate potential authors on how to write for Contexts and the public generally. These workshops were well-attended (80+ at the ASA meetings) and we were encouraged to learn that sociologists are eager to write for wider audiences and appreciative of the opportunity to develop this skill.

The response to these workshops, and the unsolicited feedback we’re received, suggests that people look forward to receiving Contexts, sharing it, and writing for it. We hope to continue providing thought-provoking, engaging, high-quality material written for both sociologists and general readers. This year we plan to continue following up on previous editors’ goal of expanding online outreach and reaching larger audiences. We’re experimenting with social media such as Facebook and Twitter. We’re working with a professional magazine editor to sharpen the quality of our feature articles. We’re also working with the ASA to consider forms of bundled articles that can used for particular topics in teaching, and we’re introducing more podcasts and related instructional tools on the website.

Jodi O’Brien and Arlene Stein, 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 2012 we have published and accepted for publication papers reflecting a broad range of issues in health, illness, and healing. In 2012, and forthcoming in 2013, JHSB included theoretical as well as empirical papers, international and U.S.-based studies, and research on medical settings and the medical profession, same-sex relationships and health, gene-environment interactions and health, the relationship between health, social networks and social capital, health, well-being and health behaviors throughout the life course, psychological distress and mental health, stigma, and life course health processes including cumulative disadvantage. Many of the articles in 2012 emphasized minority and immigrant health, gender and health, health disparities, and the social context of health including schools, neighborhoods, workplaces, prisons and families. These articles used a wide range of quantitative as well as qualitative methods. A number of articles used innovative methods, proposing new solutions to existing methodological problems. Keeping with JHSB’s mission statement, published and forthcoming articles use health issues to inform our understanding of many sociological topics, including inequality and the production of disparities, the impacts of social ties and contexts on individual and group well-being, social-psychological consequences of adverse experiences and events, and how health care systems are shaped by political and economic processes with important consequences for access to and quality of care.

Journal Operations: Journal operations ran smoothly in 2012. Most importantly, we worked very hard to continue reducing the turnaround time for manuscripts despite a slight increase in the number of submissions. The average turnaround time from receipt of a submission to decision in 2012 was 5.93 weeks (compared with 6.43 weeks in 2011). In 2012 we processed 351 papers (compared with 330 in 2011). The “traditional” acceptance rate, which counts all decisions, was 9.12%, up from 8.42% in 2011. The “new” acceptance rate, which counts only final decisions, was 11.79%, up from 11.17% in 2011. The mean production lag (i.e., the time between acceptance of a paper and its appearance in print) was 4.2 months, compared with 6.3 months in 2011.

We published 31 papers in 2012, as well as four policy briefs. In 2012, JHSB continued the policy brief series, for which I select one article from each issue that has significant policy implications to showcase in a one-page brief directed at policymakers, media outlets, and the general public. With this policy brief series, we aim to promote press awareness and wider dissemination of JHSB articles that are directly relevant to policy concerns. The editorial office works closely with the author(s) to develop the brief in a way that illustrates the relevance of rigorous medical sociological research to health in the “real world.” The brief is included in the front-end of the issue and on the journal home page and distributed to media outlets and non-profit and governmental organizations across the country.

Journal operations were managed primarily by outstanding half-time managing editors, the Managing Editor for Reviews (Mieke Beth Thomeer) and Managing Editors for Production (Amy Lodge and Christine Wheatley), as well as a Graduate Editorial Assistant (Kristine Kilanski) from January through May 2012.

Editorial Board and Deputy Editors: I want to thank JHSB's continuing Deputy Editors: Ronald J. Angel, Chloe E. Bird, Mark D. Hayward, Robert A. Hummer, and Stephanie A. Robert. New Deputy Editors include Gilbert Gee and Michael Hughes.

At the end of 2012, 12 editorial board members rotated off the board: William Avison, Sarah Burgard, Carol Caronna, Peter Conrad, Patricia Drentea, Brian Goesling, Jeanne Hurlbert, Bruce Link, Peter Marsden, Cynthia Robbins, Jill Suitor, and John Taylor. 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 10 new members whose terms run from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2015. New board members include Jason Beckfield, Jenifer Bratter, Noreen Goldman, Ellen Idler, David Johnson, Jessica Kelley-Moore, Sarah Meadows, Patricia Rieker, Kammi Schmeer, and Linda Waite. 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 2012 was a diverse group, not only in terms of gender (52 percent female) and race/ethnicity (23 percent minority), but also in terms of research methodology and substantive specialties. The 2013 editorial board now has more women (58 percent female) and is slightly more diverse in terms of race/ethnicity (now 26 percent minority). The articles we publish in 2013 continue to represent a range of methodological approaches and substantive specialties. 

Debra Umberson, Editor

 

Rose Series in Sociology

The Rutgers University editorial group concluded its first full year as an editorial team in 2012. The Rose Series is recognized as one of the premier publishing outlets available for scholarly books and we seek to continue bringing the best sociological research to a broad range of academic and non-academic audiences. Each manuscript is evaluated through a meticulous review process and is chosen for its quality, sophistication, and policy relevance. Only a few select volumes are added each year. Five of the books published in the last four years have collectively won eight awards. Russell Sage Foundation continues to publish the Series and our working relationship with the Foundation and Suzanne Nichols, Director of Publications, continues to be strong and productive. 

In 2012, the Rose Series published three books. In addition, two sets of authors completed drafts of their books and participated in seminars at the Russell Sage Foundation. These books (published and under revision) cover diverse topics such as family, social movements, labor and occupations, education, and law. At ASA’s 2012 Annual Meeting, Good Jobs, Bad Jobs: The Rise of Polarized and Precarious Employment Systems in the United States, 1970s to 2000s by Arne Kalleberg was featured at the Rose Series Author-Meets-Critics Special Session with a lively panel and discussion.

For the Rose Series to remain successful, our group of editors relies on potential author recommendations through professional networks. During our first year, we learned the importance of our Editorial Board for generating author suggestions. Rather than review manuscripts, our board members suggest potential authors and project ideas that fit with the mission of Rose. To better use the board, we expanded their responsibilities based on suggestions proposed, discussed, and supported by our board members. At our annual ASA editorial board meeting, members made several suggestions that we will follow during our term. Board members will now also: 1) review proposals if the substance of the project is far from the expertise of the Rose Editors (The decision to recommend publication remains with the Rose Editors.); 2) read manuscripts and provide feedback during the process of manuscript development if the editors deem this to be useful; 3) receive timely information about recent Rose publications to encourage invitations for colloquia and lectures at board members’ institutions; and 4) at their own expense, be invited to attend seminars on manuscripts held at the Russell Sage Foundation if space permits. We all agreed that everyone benefits from having the editors stay in better communication with the board through these initiatives.

Much of our editorial energies focus on finding established scholars who are interested in writing books that have the potential to reach audiences across fields and disciplines. Our aim remains to have highly visible, accessible books that integrate specific substantive areas in sociology. These books are designed to offer synthetic analyses, challenge prevailing paradigms, and/or offer fresh views of enduring controversies. At the annual editorial board meeting we achieved greater clarity on the Russell Sage Foundation’s interest in maintaining a focus on the United States. Discussions with Suzanne Nichols concluded with a mutual understanding that a concentration on the United States is also compatible with a comparative approach and/or global perspective.

Over the course of the year, we approached 39 carefully selected potential authors. Of these individuals, 21 expressed interest in possibly publishing with Rose in the future, 7 agreed to submit proposals within the next several months, 4 submitted proposals, and 7 declined. Of the four proposals that we received, one was accepted, one was invited to revise and resubmit, and two were rejected. We also received two unsolicited proposals that were ultimately rejected. All of these proposals were reviewed within 6 weeks or less. Additionally, along with the previous editorial group, the Rutgers editors continue to “co-shepherd” six manuscripts currently under contract. All of the co-shepherded titles listed below have been assigned an editor at both Rutgers and Stony Brook who work together to see the manuscript through to production.

Considering the proposals we have in the pipeline and the books that we have under contract, we hope to continue the progress we made this past year and look forward to a successful 2013.

NEW PUBLICATIONS:

Family Consequences of Children’s Disabilities
Dennis
Hogan. 2012 PB. New York: Russell Sage.

Nurturing Dads: Social Initiatives for Contemporary Fatherhood
William Marsiglio and Kevin Roy. 2012 PB. New York: Russell Sage.

Social Movements in the World-System: The Politics of Crisis and Transformation
Jackie Smith and Dawn Wiest. 2012 PB. New York: Russell Sage.

Good Jobs, Bad Jobs: The Rise of Polarized and Precarious Employment Systems in the United States, 1970s to 2000s
Arne L. Kalleberg. 2011 HB. New York: Russell Sage.

American Memories: Atrocities and the Law
Joachim J. Savelsberg and Ryan D. King. 2011 HB. New York: Russell Sage.

“They Say Cutback; We Say Fight Back!” Welfare Rights Activism in An Era of Retrenchment
Ellen
Reese. 2011 HB. New York: Russell Sage.

BOOKS CURRENTLY UNDER CONTRACT:

Rutgers University Editorial Group:

A Pound of Flesh: The Use of Monetary Sanctions as a Permanent Punishment for Poor People
Alexes Harris 

Rutgers Co-Shepherding with Stony Brook Editorial Group:

The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth and the Transition to Adulthood
Karl Alexander, Doris Entwisle and Linda Olson

Islam and Society: Movements, Structures, Critique
Mohammed A. Bamyeh

The Logic of Terrorism: A Comparative Study
Jeff
Goodwin 

Embedded Dependency
Deirdre Royster

Family Relationships Across the Generations
Judith A. Seltzer and Suzanne M. Bianchi

Repressive Injustice: Political and Social Processes in the Massive Incarceration of African Americans
Pamela E. Oliver and James E. Yocum (withdrawn in early 2013)

AWARD WINNERS AMONG RECENT PUBLICATIONS:

American Memories: Atrocities and the Law
Joachim J. Savelsberg and Ryan D. King. 2011. New York: Russell Sage.
2012 Society for the Study of Social Problems Theory Section Outstanding Book Award

Good Jobs, Bad Jobs: The Rise of Polarized and Precarious Employment Systems in the United States, 1970s to 2000s
Arne L. Kalleberg. 2011. New York: Russell Sage.
2012 Academy of Management’s George R. Terry Book Award 

Counted Out: Same-Sex Relations and Americans' Definitions of Family
Brian Powell, Catherine Bolzendahl, Claudia Geist, and Lala Carr Steelman. 2010. New York: Russell Sage.
2011 American Sociological Association’s William J. Goode Award for outstanding book, Section on Sociology of Family
2011 North Central Sociological Association’s Scholarly Achievement Award
2011 Midwest Sociological Society’s Distinguished Book Award 

Passing the Torch: Does Higher Education for the Disadvantaged Pay Off Across the Generations?
Paul Attewell and David Lavin. 2007. New York: Russell Sage.
2009 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Education
2009 American Educational Research Association Best Book of the Year Award

Beyond the Boycott: Labor Rights, Human Rights, and Transnational Activism
Gay W. Seidman. 2007. New York: Russell Sage.
2008 honorable mention from the ASA’s Section on Labor and Labor Movements

Lee Clarke, Judith Gerson, Lauren Krivo, Paul McLean, Patricia Roos, Editors

  

Social Psychology Quarterly

Social Psychology Quarterly (SPQ) continues to publish innovative research that represents a wide array of both substantive issues and methodological approaches that shape directions in sociological social psychology. During 2012 (with 17 manuscripts, including the Cooley-Mead Award Address) and forthcoming in 2013, articles cover diverse topics such as life course social psychology; racial attitudes; whiteness; intergroup attitudes and relations; collective action; social identity; social dilemmas; work values; identity and stigma processes; mental and physical health; leadership; emotions; exchange and status processes; conversational analysis; culture; education; prejudice and discrimination; social inequality issues pertaining to race, gender, and sexuality; and work/family issues. In addition, published articles represent a range of methodologies, including survey, qualitative, experimental, computer simulations, and conversation analysis. And, importantly, within each issue we provide readers with a variety of offerings.

We attempt to reach our readers in various ways. In our quarterly subscriber letters, we highlight how the articles in each issue represent core theoretical domains within social psychology and sometimes linkages between those domains. We also provide information on new developments affecting the journal, including our decision to retract a 2011 article coauthored by Diederik Stapel, who a Dutch review committee found had manipulated and faked the data set used in the analysis. Beyond these letters, we are attempting to construct communiqués appropriate to various sections of ASA and other professional organizations indicating which SPQ articles would be especially relevant to the members of particular sections or organizations with particular substantive foci. In addition, we encourage our authors to join in SAGE Publications’ efforts to create podcasts pertaining to particular articles. The podcasts include, in the author’s own voice, what motivated the study and the implications of the results. We hope to see more podcasts in 2013, allowing authors to publicize their work within this social medium.

We continue wholeheartedly with our Snaps feature started by our predecessor, Gary Fine. Snaps offer shortened, lightened, and focused versions of some of the papers that SPQ publishes. Each SPQ Snap is about half the length of the published article yet emphasizes the major theoretical and substantive points and includes the most central tables and figures. We appreciate the extra effort and time our Snaps authors take to make their pieces available to students, especially undergraduates, in ways that are clear and usable. Snaps promote wide readership and ensure that an article transcends its scholarly purpose to also become a valuable teaching tool.

To extend the value of SPQ to enhance undergraduate teaching, we have begun construction of “teaching tools,” which offer collections of SPQ articles, compiled by faculty and graduate students, within explicit areas, including identity and identity processes; group processes (power, status, networks, justice, legitimacy); social cognition (stereotypes, attitudes); intergroup processes (prejudice, discrimination); and social support and well-being (stress, health). These collections are not intended as comprehensive overviews of all the recent articles in the area, but rather as groupings that are likely to be particularly engaging or appropriate for undergraduate audiences. The description of each article in a collection will consist of the abstract, ways the piece is appropriate for undergraduate teaching, and suggestions for how to use the material in class discussions and activities. We hope that these tools will prove useful to social psychologists as they create and revise their syllabi. Recently, our editorial graduate assistant, Lesley Watson, constructed the “Identity” teaching tool. We will use this as an example or template for others who we will invite in 2013 to create collections appropriate to their expertise.

One of our goals has been and continues to be making the contents of each issue of the journal known to a broad range of audiences. In addition, we are working to continue to increase submissions from scholars who draw upon social psychological literature to address issues and patterns in a variety of areas in sociology. In 2012, and forthcoming in 2013, we have seen more articles that use social psychological mechanisms and processes to explain important topics in the areas of education, culture, race/ethnicity , health, social movements, and criminology. In addition, in consultation with the board, we decided to create a special issue entitled, “Social Psychology and Culture: Advancing Connections.” We invited Jessica Collett, one of our board members, and Omar Lizardo of Notre Dame, both of whom have expertise in social psychology and culture, to guest edit the issue. We have publicized this special issue via the e-mail lists of a number of sections of the ASA, including social psychology, culture, and emotions. Moreover, the guest editors have activated their networks to alert their colleagues of the opportunity to submit for this special issue.

We have been able to achieve the goals of our editorship in large part due to the efficient functioning of the review and production process. Despite changes in production personnel at SAGE, they have largely responded quickly to our problems.

Review Process: During the calendar year 2012 Social Psychology Quarterly (SPQ) once again received a healthy number of high quality submissions. From January 1 through December 31, 2012, we considered a total of 171 manuscripts submitted to the journal. Of these, 11 carried over from the previous year and 160 were submitted in 2012 (including 120 new submissions).

Using the new acceptance rate in which acceptances are divided only by final decisions, SPQ’s acceptance rate for the year was 14.42 percent. Using the traditional indicator for the acceptance rate in which acceptances are divided by the number of overall decisions, SPQ’s acceptance rate was 9.93 percent.

We, as coeditors, continue to be strongly committed to conducting the review process in an efficient, fair, and timely manner, similar to SPQ editors of the past. We know the importance of timeliness for all scholars, but particularly newer scholars in the discipline. The journal’s mean turnaround time was slightly longer in 2012 than in the previous year, but still within a respectable time frame of 10.6 weeks.

Editorial Team, Board, and Reviewers: Once again we are indebted to our deputy editors, Deborah Carr and Timothy Hallett, who augmented our expertise and provided wise counsel. Each Deputy Editor handles a handful of manuscripts each year and shares with us reviewers’ comments and their editorial decisions prior to informing authors. Graduate editorial assistant Lesley Watson (January–December) provided invaluable assistance in locating reviewers, maintaining the website, providing constructive reviews, and organizing the journal office. And, of course, SPQ remains in the good hands of our long-standing SPQ managing editor, Gianna Mosser. She continues to make sure that we are all on track and that production runs smoothly. Given the limited nature of the Sage copy-editing, Ms. Mosser also worked hourly to copy edit manuscripts that lacked the quality of writing that we desired.

The breadth of expertise on our editorial board ensures that we have access to experts who are active and frequent reviewers. The composition of the board strikes a balance in terms of the representation of subspecialties/topics and methodological approaches within social psychology. We also have good international representation and a nearly equal number of males and females serving. We wish to acknowledge the dedication and critical guidance of the outgoing board members. Finally, given our recognition of the lack of diversity in terms of race and ethnicity on our board, we invited two African Americans and one Asian American to serve on the board (23 percent of the 13 new members). Overall, the 2013 board is about 14 percent minority. We continue to seek out reviewers of diverse ethnic/racial backgrounds to examine manuscripts during 2013 as a basis for soliciting them as future board members. 

We invite sociologists, psychologists, and scholars from other cognate areas such as political science, criminal justice, organizational behavior and management, public health, and communications to review for the journal. We also continue to have a healthy number of international scholars who act as reviewers. In addition, our reviewer base remains healthy: In 2010, 186 scholars reviewed for the journal; this number increased to 273 scholars in 2011, but dropped slightly to 253 scholars in 2012. We are sincerely grateful to our board members and reviewers for their invaluable service in ensuring that we publish the very best papers demonstrating cutting-edge in a variety of areas within social psychology. 

Karen A. Hegtvedt and Cathryn Johnson, Editors

  

Sociological Methodology

The year 2012 marked the third full year for Sociological Methodology editor Tim F. Liao and managing editor Lisa Savage at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Volume 42, which became available in its entirety online and in print in mid-November 2012, features eight articles in three important areas: neighborhoods and structures, inference and causality, and measurement as well as a symposium of two papers on narrative and text analyses, accompanied by six commentaries and two rejoinders.

For the entire year of 2012, 56 submissions and resubmissions were considered, and 34 of these were new submissions. Of the 56 submissions or resubmissions accepted for review in 2012, 22 were rejected outright, 12 were given a revise and resubmit, and 8 were given conditional acceptance. The traditional acceptance rate was 20.75 percent and the new acceptance rate was 33.33 percent (by not counting resubmissions separately). The manuscripts considered took 10.4 (8.67 median) or fewer weeks in the review process. On January 1, Sociological Methodology made the transfer over to SAGE and the ScholarOne online manuscript tracking system. Now we take all new submissions through the online system, though we are still processing several manuscripts in the traditional manner because they originated outside of ScholarOne. We currently have a healthy stream of new submissions and resubmissions, as well as several manuscripts already accepted for volume 43. We project that volume 43 will come out in early fall 2013, slightly earlier than the publication date in 2012.

Tim Futing Liao, Editor

 

Sociological Theory

Things continued to run smoothly at Sociological Theory (ST) in 2012, the fourth year the journal has been housed at the University of British Columbia. I was somewhat concerned at the end of 2011 because there had been a modest decline in the number of submissions, but in 2012 submissions rebounded to their earlier high levels. We received 118 new papers last year, and processed an additional 51 that were carry-overs from the year before. Due to space limitations, ST, like the other ASA journals, can publish only a small number of the papers we receive—our acceptance rate in 2012, calculated according to the ASA’s “new” method, stood at just under 14%. Yet the health and vitality of theory remained evident to me this year even from the papers on which the journal had to pass, so varied were these in subject matter and approach, and so generally rich with sociological insight.

The pieces that eventually made their way into publication also ran the gamut. Christian von Scheve kicked off our first issue of 2012 with a fascinating paper on emotional expression and social order. The same issue contained a wonderful piece by Paul Lichterman on religion and public action, a thought-provoking manuscript by Chares Demetriou on Charles Tilly, and an illuminating exchange in which Jack Goldstone and Bert Useem responded to Neil Fligstein and Doug McAdam’s paper from the year before on strategic action fields.

Our June issue contained a paper on race and genomics by Jiannbin Shiao and his student coauthors Thomas Bode, Amber Bayer, and Daniel Selvig; a piece by Jeff Manza and Clem Brooks that makes a case for restoring public opinion to a central place in political sociology; a very original paper by Bin Xu on political performance in China; and a paper on civic production by Peter Hart-Brinson.

The September issue was equally intriguing, with Brent Simpson, Robb Willer, and Cecilia Ridgeway writing on status hierarchies, Stefan Timmermans and Iddo Tavory on Charles S. Peirce’s notion of “abduction” and its relevance to theorization and qualitative research, and Jaakko Kuorikoski and Samuli Pöyhönen on social kinds.

In the most recent issue (December), Daniel Silver and Monica Lee build on Simmel to develop a theory of the relational self and Ari Adut argues for a broadened concept of the public sphere. Omar Lizardo and Sara Skiles offer a theory of the development of cultural omnivorousness as a disposition, while Dustin Avent-Holt highlights some of the cultural dynamics that underlie the organization and reorganization of markets.

In short: some innovative pieces that will advance the theoretical conversation.

Thanks to the hard work put in by our reviewers, and by our managing editor Joe Wiebe, ST continues to make decisions on manuscripts fairly quickly, with an average editorial lag of 9 weeks. Once accepted, papers appear in print in about 5.5 months.

The only change to our operating procedure of note is that in the coming months we’ll experiment with hiring a copyeditor to supplement the work that Joe and I do to manuscripts once they’re accepted for publication. (Our publisher, SAGE, doesn’t currently provide substantive copy editing.) We’re hoping this will lighten our workload around the office, and improve the readability of our articles.

The year 2013 is looking like it will be another good year for us—and for the field of theory. Stay tuned!

Neil Gross, Editor

 

Sociology of Education 

To judge by the commonly accepted metrics, Sociology of Education (SOE) made significant strides in 2012. The 2011 ranking of the journal rose from 26th to 16th among sociology journals (out of 129 in 2010 and 138 in 2011). Among education and educational research journals, SOE moved from 36th to 18th (out of 177 and 206). The journal’s Impact Factor is 1.750. To provide some context for that abstracted number, it puts SOE in the same neighborhood as Economy and Society, Socio-Economic Review, and Work and Occupations. SOE scores well on other measures as well, including such esoterica as the Immediacy Index, the Cited Half-Life, and the Eigenfactor Score. One of the more appealing distractions afforded by journal editing is the chance to spend guiltless hours rummaging through the “Journal Citation Reports,” a data source that any moderately curious sociologists will find fascinating.

These numbers are encouraging, but only go so far in showing the vitality and depth of Sociology of Education. We were fortunate in 2012 to publish groundbreaking papers on a wide range of topics using a wide range of theoretical and methodological frameworks and designs. One particular issue ranged from suburban PTOs to South Korea to Bologna to American prisons and back to American high schools. 

Editorial Team: I am grateful to my good friends and colleagues Steve Morgan of Cornell University and Stefanie DeLuca of Johns Hopkins University for their service as Deputy Editors. Each has the rare ability to identify small but significant aspects of a manuscript while never losing sight of how that manuscript might fit into the broader scholarly literature. They’re also diplomatic enough to point out both strengths and weaknesses in manuscripts that I was too dim to detect. Their contributions to SOE have been invaluable.

Many thanks to the outgoing Board members, all of whom delivered (almost) without fail: They are Carl L. Bankston, III, Prudence L. Carter, Scott Davies, Regina Deil-Amen, Danielle Cireno Fernandes, Sean Kelly, Vida Maralani, Alejandro Portes, Evan Schofer, Tricia Seifert, Ruth N. Lopez Turley, and Herman G. Van De Werfhorst.

Thanks too for the service of the equally skilled continuing Board members: Brian An, Megan Andrew, Fabrizio Bernardi, Amy Binder, Christian Brzinsky-Fay, Simon Cheng, Wade Cole, Thomas Espenshade, George Farkas, Michelle Frisco, Ruben Gaztambine-Fernandez, Kim Goyette, David Harding, Holly Heard, Melissa Herman, Takehiko Kariya, Hiroshi Ono, Sal Oropesa, Hyunjoon Park, C.J. Pascoe, Maria Rendon, Linda Renzulli, Catherine Riegle-Crumb, Keith Robinson, Maryellen Schaub, Lisa Stulberg, David Suarez, Laura Tach, and Will Tyson.

Finally, SOE welcomes several new members to the Board in 2013. I am grateful to the following for accepting my invitation: Irenee Beattie, Karen Bradley, Soo-Yong Byun, Sin Yi Cheung, Thad Domina, Kevin Dougherty, Michelle Jackson, Jennifer Jennings, Leticia Marteleto, Amy Orr, Justin Powell, Francisco Ramirez, Arthur Sakamoto, and Tony Tam. The Board includes 24 men, 20 women, and 16 minorities.

Finally, my graduate assistant Chris Swanson gave SOE another great year, while juggling a demanding academic and professional life of his own.

Manuscript Flow: This report covers the manuscript activity of the journal from January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2012. The total number of manuscripts considered during the 2012 calendar year was 226, up considerably from last year’s 194 (as my grad assistant, Chris, pointed out to me, if we standardize on 2011 months, we worked 14 months in 2012). Most of these manuscripts (179) of course were new submissions. SOE published 20 papers in 2012. The acceptance rate for SOE, calculated in the “old” manner (the one with which most sociologists are familiar) was 8.82 percent (down from 12.03 percent in 2011). Using the “new” method of calculation, our acceptance rate was 9.20 percent (from 2011’s 12.93 percent).

During 2012 the journal review process averaged about 11.62 weeks, a modest improvement from last year’s 12.45, but a considerable gain since the 18 weeks we achieved in 2009. However much I would like to take personal credit for this enhanced efficiency, I suspect it has more to do with SAGEtrack and my learning which persistently unresponsive reviewers to avoid.

Our production lag (the time it takes for an accepted manuscript to actually appear in the journal) edged up a bit, from about 4.5 months to about 5.

Reviewers and Reviewing: Much like writing papers, delivering lectures, and running STATA, good reviewing has to be learned. Many sociology departments are doing commendable things to teach their graduate students how to write effective reviews, a practice that should be fostered and expanded. At the same time, contemporary university life is not always conducive to an editor’s efforts to solicit timely and useful reviews. As Robinson Davies once portrayed the work of the professorate:

Whatever people outside universities may think, professors are busy people, made even more busy by the fact that they are often unbusinesslike by nature and thus complicate small matters, and by the fact that they either do not have secretaries or share an overdriven and not always very competent secretary with several others, so that they are involved in a lot of record-keeping, and filing and hunting for things they have lost. They are daily asked for information they never had or have thrown away, and for reports on students they have not seen for five years and have forgotten. They have a reputation for being absent-minded because they are torn between the work they are paid for—which is teaching what they know and enlarging what they know—and the work they never expected to come their way—which is sitting on committees under the direction of chairmen who do not know how to make their colleagues come to a decision. They are required to be business-like in a profession which is not a business, lacks the apparatus of a business, and deals in intangibles.

I’m mindful of this and I’m grateful for the superb work done by the people on whom I call to review. The work of reviewers is rarely acknowledged in public and expressive ways. Again this year, Sociology of Education would like to honor five of its many fine reviewers with the “Revise and Resubmit Reviewer of the Year Awards.” The 2012 recipients of this award, with my gratitude and I am sure that of their scholarly community, are Carl Bankston, Amy Binder, Kim Goyette, Eric Grodsky, and Josipa Roksa.

SOE welcomes submissions from across the broad substantive concerns of the field, and is receptive to any appropriate methodology.

David Bills, Editor

 

Teaching Sociology

The journal continues to be at the forefront of the scholarship of teaching and learning in sociology. Manuscripts continue to flow into the journal and there are exciting plans for special editions to come in the next two years. For example, in 2013 we will have a special edition on the role of writing in the teaching of sociology. Suzanne Hudd will be the guest editor for that edition. We are also accepting manuscripts until June 30, 2013 for a special edition on graduate students and teaching, and David Blouin and Alison Moss will be the guest editors for that edition. 

Teaching Sociology, Volume 40 (2012) published 57 works, including 21 articles, 5 notes, 22 book and film reviews, and one invited review essay about aging and gerontology texts for use in classes.

Manuscript Flow. In 2012, 173 manuscripts were submitted. Of these, 113 were new manuscripts, 60 were revised manuscripts, and 10 had not yet received a decision from the previous year. Thanks to the special edition on writing, the journal saw 13 percent increase in manuscript submissions—nearly 30 manuscripts were submitted for consideration in that edition. The manuscript statistics are: 33 percent were either accepted or conditionally accepted; 26 percent were invited to revise and resubmit, 22 percent were rejected, 12.7 percent were rejected without review, less than 1 percent were withdrawn by the authors, and 5.8 percent were still out for review at the end of the year.

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 2012, 35 percent were accepted, 40 percent were rejected, 1 percent was withdrawn by the author, and 24 percent were rejected without review.

Thanks to a wonderful set of reviewers, I have been able to have an average time-to-first decision of about 4 weeks and a 14 week time to final decision. I am so grateful that nearly all of the scholars I ask say ‘yes’ to my request to review—and then faithfully complete their reviews, often sooner than required! In most cases, I write decision letters within 48 hours of receiving the last reviewer’s comments. Thanks to Sue Hudd’s hard work as guest editor, manuscripts submitted for the special edition on writing had only a 3-5 day additional time to first decision.

Editorial Board. There were 32 members on the Editorial Board. Twenty-two were female and 10 were male, and 12 percent were minorities. I want to express my gratitude to those members of the Editorial Board who transitioned off in December 2012: Erin K. Anderson, Kevin J. Delaney, Jeffrey C. Dixon, Theodore Fuller, Patti A. Guiffre, Kathy Livingston, Suzanne B. Maurer, Miriam Michelle Newton-Francis, Diane Pike, Christopher Prendergast, and Stephen J. Scanlan.

The year 2013 was my third full year as editor and each day I remind myself how lucky I am. Not only do I have a wonderful Editorial Board and reviewers, but each manuscript I read gives me ideas for my own teaching. Being editor has been an amazing gift in my own career as a teacher. I am excited to know that I have two more years in this position.

I am always seeking new reviewers. If you are interested, please email me and let me know the topical areas for which you would prefer to review. And of course, I am always in search of new submissions. So if you have an idea for an article or a note but are not quite sure if it is appropriate for Teaching Sociology or if you are not sure how to turn it into an article – please e-mail me. I would be happy to talk with you and give some suggestions about what strategies you might want to try as you begin to write up your thoughts. Authors and potential authors are never a bother; so please do not hesitate to contact me.

I also want to thank several people. First, is Glenn Muschert, my Deputy Editor. Glenn handles all film, book, and web reviews quietly and efficiently. And when I need a fast review or someone to help me think through an issue, I know that Glenn will be there for me, and for the journal. Glenn’s term was up this year and he has decided to pursue other professional opportunities. I wish him well and want to again say thank you to him. In 2013, Chris Wellin will join the journal as the Deputy Editor.

Second, I also want to thank my Managing Editor, Roseanne Ponce. Rosie is a graduate student here at Valdosta State University and balances grad school classes and her social work practicum, her work with Teaching Sociology, a private life with her husband, her political involvements, and a long commute with grace, dignity, and a great sense of humor. Third, I want to thank publicly Karen Edwards and Janine Chiappa McKenna—both from the ASA— they too are wonderful sources of advice. And last, but not least, I want to thank Julianne Amsden at Sage, with whom I worked for most of this year. She is a wonderful copyeditor/production editor and I will miss our interactions. And I look forward to working with Jesse Stoll, the new SAGE staff member who is assigned to the journal.

I also want to acknowledge all the authors who submit their manuscripts to Teaching Sociology. It is not easy to risk rejection. Thank you for being brave and for sharing your pedagogical theories and techniques with readers.

Kathleen S. Lowney, Editor