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American Sociological Association: Committee on Publications August 2013
Executive Session: 9:30-10:00 a.m., 3:30-4:10 p.m.
Open Session with Editors: 10:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Elected members present were Catherine White Berheide (ASA Secretary), Karen Cerulo (Chair), James Jasper, Erin Kelly, Peggy Levitt, Mary Romero (ASA Secretary-Elect), Vincent Roscigno, and Steven Vallas. Past President Erik Olin Wright and incoming elected member Jennifer Barber also attended as observers.
Editors present for the open session were David Bills, Lee Clarke, Gibert Gee, Judith Gerson, Neil Gross, Karen Hegtvedt, Larry Isaac, Cathryn Johnson, Tim Futing Liao, Kathleen Lowney, Holly McCammon, Jodi O’Brien, Alan Sica, Arlene Stein, and Rob Warren.
Present from the Executive Office were Sally T. Hillsman (Executive Officer), Karen Gray Edwards (Director of Publications and Membership), and Janine Chiappa McKenna (Journals and Publications Manager). Erica Howard, Thomas Mankowski, and Eric Moran from SAGE were also present.
The Committee voted to:
Proposed Open Access Journal.
The Committee discussed a proposal to create an open access general sociology journal to be published in collaboration with SAGE. The Committee discussed possible options of who will pay for publication (e.g., government, foundations, universities) and it was noted that the author-pay model appears to be the future of open access. There was also discussion on post-publication review and making a requirement for authors to submit their data for replication. The Committee was asked to create a list of questions regarding the new journal that the Executive Office could address, such as the language on the mission of the journal (e.g., make it the top tier in open access), the peer review language (i.e., "light" peer review), and the financial plan.
Proposed Editorial Office Restructuring.
A brief summary of the proposal to restructure editorial office funding was provided. The underlying issues are: How much staff does each journal need? How much funding does it need? There is a huge disparity in how much staffing the journals get. The editors were reminded that the goal is not to save money by standardizing journal budgets, instead the plan is to make it more equitable across all journals.
SAGE Production Issues.
Liao led the discussion on issues he experienced in working with SAGE on the 2012 and 2013 issues of Sociological Methodology, bringing up points he mentioned in the December 2012 meeting (e.g., lack of substantive copyediting). Liao also noted that converting figures from color to grayscale causes information to be lost. There is only about one paper (with multiple color figures) every two years that would need to be published in color and the author could pay for it. The Committee discussed other ways authors could pay for color figures if institutional funding is an issue.
Report from the Archives Subcommittee.
Cerulo discussed the questionnaire that the subcommittee created at Council’s request regarding retaining rejected manuscript and review files for archiving. They recommended taking a sample of membership (10–20 percent of authors and reviewers) and working with the ASA Research Department to survey members.
Report on Change in Term Limits for American Sociological Review Editors.
The Committee discussed offering a three-year term plus a one-year extension rather than changing the term to a flat four-year term. However, it was noted that it could be cumbersome to change the standards for just ASR and why term limits would not change for all of the journals.
Temporary Page Allocation Increases for Sociology of Education and Social Psychology Quarterly.
In 2011, the Committee recommended and Council approved 30-page increases for Sociology of Education and Social Psychology Quarterly for two years (2012 and 2013) to help alleviate manuscript backlogs. The Committee discussed if these should be made permanent or if the temporary increase helped eliminate some of the backlog.
Proposal for ASA Blog(s).
The proposal suggested that ASA could partner with an existing blog or create something in conjunction with the ASA Sections. The subcommittee wants guidance from the Committee and the ASA Executive Office to figure out how to make a presence with a plan to make a proposal in December.
The Committee decided to form a subcommittee to work on standards for manuscript submission principles after discussing two problematic submissions (one appeared to be submitted elsewhere, another appeared to be plagiarized). The Committee discussed updating the Code of Ethics and working with COPE to create standards.
The meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m. The Committee will meet next on December 14-15, 2013, in Washington, DC.