Editors' Reports for 2008
Review Process: The American Sociological Review continues to receive a large volume of first rate submissions. The calendar year of 2008 witnessed another increase in the number of submissions, resulting in an acceptance rate under 10 percent. We have worked hard to keep the average turnaround time low (mean = 10.6; median = 10.7 weeks) and to ensure timely feedback for authors. We remain very sensitive to the fact that a timely review time is important to the field and especially to advanced graduate students and assistant professors.
Visibility and Successes: In concert with the ASA Committee on Publications and ASA Council, the ASR staff is working hard to give the discipline’s best research greater public visibility. Many ASR articles received high press visibility this year, including discussions on CNN and coverage in major newspapers nationwide. With the help of authors, we continue to prepare press-friendly abstracts of all ASR articles (available on the ASR). 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 outletsa. Such coordination—between the ASR office, authors’ own university media relations experts, and the ASA press office—is working. We are and remain encouraged by the enthusiasm that the public holds for sociological topics, especially when they are packaged in a publicly consumable manner. Articles appearing in ASR also generated excitement in the field and received awards and accolades from, but not limited to, the ASA’s sections on Mathematical Sociology, Political Sociology, Sociology of Education, Animals and Society, Medical Sociology, and Sociology of Culture. More generally, ASR is widely read in the social sciences, being cited this year as one of the top 100 downloaded journals relative to the approximately 10,000 titles available through Ingenta.
Range of Submissions: The topics of the articles submitted to ASR are increasingly diverse, and this speaks volumes about the discipline’s range and appeal. Areas in which only very small pools of submissions continue to be received include experimental research and manuscripts that are primarily methodological or exclusively theoretical in focus. We reiterate our openness to such submissions, which will be peer reviewed like all others. The submission of qualitative, historical, and multi-methodological articles continues to steadily increase, reflecting the methodological richness and innovation currently occurring across the discipline and, perhaps, the publication by ASR of exemplary articles using these methods in 2007 and 2008. As the discipline’s flagship journal we continue to seek innovative manuscripts from all substantive and methodological approaches that reflect breadth of contribution to the discipline. We thus encourage submissions that fully reflect that diversity, and we committed to providing a fair and timely review for all articles received.
Editorial Board and Reviewers: We have come to find 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 have maintained diversity on the editorial board with the help of a large and theoretically/methodologically diverse group of eight deputies. The ASR total board is now composed of 61 members. Of these, 43 percent are women and 26 percent are racial/ethnic minority. We thank existing board members, especially those recently rotating off the board after a three-year commitment. We also welcome our new board members. Beyond ensuring an active, conscientious, and thoughtful editorial board, we have expanded our reviewer pool considerably. This expansion has been important not only for helping us handle the increase in manuscript submissions, but also for more effectively tapping into the strong body of international scholars who read ASR and are engaged in similar research. One unforeseen but very much welcome consequence has been the steady rise in the number of manuscript submissions from non-U.S. sociologists.
Challenges: Limited page allocations and the desire to publish as many articles as possible continue to push issues of length to the fore. Many journals are restricting submissions to set limits, as low as 8,500 words. We recognize that publishing diverse articles and serving a diverse audience warns against rigid limits. However, we constantly have to encourage reluctant authors to edit their articles toward more reasonable lengths. And, truly, a significant number would be better, tighter, and more effective at two-thirds the length they are initially submitted. We hope that what many experience as negative pressures for shortening articles will end up having positive consequences for creating tighter arguments and more readable prose.
Vincent Roscigno and Randy Hodson, Editors
Books Considered: The editorial office of Contemporary Sociology received 859 books. The total number of books that the editors examined was 859.
Review Process: Four hundred and seventeen books were screened by editors and accepted for review for the year, and the number of reviews received for the year was 341. Three hundred and sixty-seven reviews were finished and published for Volume 37. One hundred forty-six were classified as No Review and 165 were classified as Take Note. There were 33 New Books pending triage at the time of this report.
Production Lag: The editorial office, on average, schedules reviews, articles, symposia, and review essays for publication within 18 weeks after the materials arrive. The journal’s managing editor, Anne Sica, copyedits and formats all the work received in preparation for publication. Contributors send electronic copies of their work. The production lag represents the time between receipt of the review and the publication date. The production lag averages 6 months.
Items Published: The breakdown of the items published in Volume 37 contains the following: 289 book reviews, 23 symposium essays, 21 review essays, 6 comments, and 180 books noted as "Take Note." The total number of items published is 519.
Editorial Board Members and Reviewers: Ten women and 18 men compose the editorial board. This includes 9 minorities. Approximately 114 women and 159 men compose the reviewers.
Valerie Jenness, David A. Smith, and Judith Stepan-Norris, Editors
Looking back over 2008, we’re thrilled we were able to introduce successfully so many of the innovations we proposed when taking the reins of Contexts.
With a commitment to innovative content and compelling writing, last year we published 73 articles while maintaining and enhancing scholarly quality with revamped submission guidelines, a rigorous review process, and intensive editing with our unqiue, non-sociologist target audience in mind. We’ve expanded the range of feature contributions and included the work of sociologists from a wide array of backgrounds and institutions as well.
We’re sure you’ve noticed the “refreshed” design of the magazine—we now boast a sharper layout and typesetting, improved visuals, and a new table of contents page. We’ve consolidated the review and commentary sections and have a new approach to book reviews that’s designed to complement, rather than replicate, Contemporary Sociology. And as you may have also noticed when you received your Winter 2009 issue, we’ve tinkered with the cover and it now looks better than ever—and will be, at least according to focus groups conducted by a marketing class here at Minnesota, much more appealing on the newsstand.
While the success of these efforts is difficult to quantify, a number of early indicators suggest we’re on the right track. We’ve received a plethora of supportive and passionate communications from a range of readers, contributors, and media professionals. The Midwest Sociological Society devoted a special “Plenary Townhall Meeting” to Contexts at its annual conference in St. Louis in March. (With ASA support, each attendee also received a free issue of the publication.) Each of the articles we’ve made available on the website has received national media attention: Rob Sampson’s piece on crime and immigration, for example, was highlighted in Time; Andrew Linder’s contribution on the effects of embedded media policies appeared on the Huffington Post; and Robin Simon’s work on parenting was featured in Newsweek and excerpted in the Utne Reader. (We’re grateful to ASA’s media relations office for their hard work to help make those media hits happen).
Yet another extraordinary achievement has been Contexts.org. Web Editor Jon Smajda built the site from scratch over six months and launched it when we mailed our first issue in February. The design looks fantastic, it’s easy to navigate, and everything—from past issues to author guidelines—is at your fingertips. In addition to this achievement, Jon has been instrumental in bringing 14 blogs to Contexts.org, which is now home to a vibrant and growing community of sociology blogs including homegrown blogs like the Contexts Crawler, Contexts Discoveries and the Contexts Podcast, as well as the wildly popular Sociological Images, the multidisciplinary ThickCulture, and many others. You can now access a wide variety of sociological content at both Contexts.org and Contexts.org/blogs. Perhaps most important and impressive is the traffic we have seen on Contexts.org as a result of all these changes. We’re now averaging more than 4,000 visitors each day to our website. This is roughly four times as many hits as the old website attracted in one month, making Contexts.org one of the most visited sociology sites on the web. In February alone we saw 216,000 hits at Contexts.org.
Last semester we also worked here on campus at the University of Minnesota with a marketing research class. Some 50 students spent an entire semester learning about Contexts and the magazine market in general, and coming up with new ways to get Contexts into hands outside academia. Their ideas were just fantastic, and we’ve begun to share them with folks at ASA and are hoping they will be useful and stimulating to those on the long-range planning committee that’s developing a new five-year business plan for the magazine. We are also hoping that in 2009 we will be able to conduct marketing experiments that will help us evaluate how to increase subscription and distribution numbers. This would build on the fact that in the last part of 2008 and first part of 2009, we’ve seen Contexts become available in select Borders and Barnes & Noble bookstores across the country (usually in larger cities). Contexts is now available to its target audience—the educated lay reader with no special training in sociology.
There are two things to look forward to in 2009. The first is submissions. We’re committed to publishing all kinds of sociology from all kinds of sociologists, but we can’t do that unless we hear from our sociologist readership. Our author guidelines are online at Contexts.org/submissions, and our continuation of founding editor Claude Fischer’s innovative proposal process has proven successful in sussing out the best articles on sociologists’ best work that resonates with Contexts’ unique readership. This means more often than not, the work that goes into a well-conceived Contexts article results in publication.
We also eagerly anticipate the proposals of the long-range planning group and their reception by the ASA Council and Executive Office. We have many big, long-term ideas and aspirations for Contexts, and having that plan in place will help us better understand our options and priorities as we move ahead.
Doug Hartmann and Chris Uggen, Editors
Personnel: During 2008 our editorial offices had several personnel changes. The current managing editor for production, Indermohan Virk, could not begin until January 2008, so the UNC managing editor for production, Brent Winter, continued working for the journal through January. We were able to phase in the transition over several weeks, thus allowing no slowdown in production. Indermohan Virk, MA, brings a number of skills to the job: she has worked as managing editor of Sociological Theory and as a newspaper copyeditor and she has extensive knowledge of sociology. The managing editor for production handles manuscripts from the time of acceptance until publication. We were able to adopt most of the procedures for journal production and have been able to maintain a 6-month schedule for acceptance to publication. Dr. Andrew Cognard-Black, Assistant Professor of Sociology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, continues as the long-term copyeditor for the journal.
Council approved our request to add an editorial assistant to the office staff and we hired an editorial assistant for 10 hours per week in March. The editorial assistant, Ross Cantor, has responsibility for logging in manuscripts, maintaining and updating reviewer lists, processing incoming and outgoing mail and other office tasks. The addition of editorial assistant has decreased the front-end processing time for submitted manuscripts and has helped reduce the mean decision time by an average of 1 week from the previous year.
In August, Joseph (JD) Wolfe, an advanced graduate student at Indiana University, took over the position of managing editor for reviews from Sibyl Kleiner. JD’s expertise is in medical sociology and he had recently taken his qualifying exam in this area. His extensive knowledge of the field has been an asset for identifying potential new reviewers.
Overall Operations and Manuscript Flow: JHSB published 30 articles in 2008. In general, the volume of manuscript submissions (both new and revised) and the number of decisions is consistent with previous years. We did have a slight drop in the number of new submissions in 2008. There were 135 new submissions in 2008, compared to 2007 (N=147) and 2006 (N=159). This drop may reflect JHSB’s requirement for a paper copy submission as more of our competitors move to online submission. However, we expect the number of new submissions will rebound in 2009 as we have submissions for the extra issue that will come out in 2010. In 2008, 271 manuscripts were considered. Editorial decisions were made on 226 papers (83%); the remaining papers were still out under review. Of the 226 decisions, 49% were rejected (34% rejected after review, 15% rejected without review), 23% were invited to revise and resubmit, 14% were conditionally accepted, and 15% were accepted. We have worked hard to reduce the mean time lag between manuscript submission and editorial decision and have been successful doing so. The average lag time for 2008 was 9.6 weeks, well below the ASA guidelines of 12 weeks, or three months, to decision. The mean production lag (i.e., the time between acceptance of a paper and its appearance in print) was 6 months in 2008, again consistent with ASA editorial guidelines which recommend a six-month lag. We have sustained this recommended lag for the past three years.
Special Projects: The December 2008 issue of JHSB included a special section on comparative health and health care. This was the result of a June 2006 call for papers for a special section. Six papers were initially submitted in response to that call, two were invited to revise and resubmit, and both were published in the December 2008 issue. In 2009/2010 we mark the 50th anniversary of JHSB. We have received funding from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for an extra issue of the journal to celebrate 50 years of medical sociology, to appear in late 2010. Guest editors for the extra issue are Janet Hankin, Wayne State University, and Eric Wright, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. The extra issue will include approximately 12 invited but peer-reviewed articles summarizing key findings in subareas, designed to be of interest to medical sociologists and policymakers. An advisory board has been established to define the relevant subareas and recommend potential authors. We will hire a science writer to produce an executive summary from the extra issue, which will be distributed to policymakers and other stakeholders outside of sociology.
Editorial Board and Deputy Editors: Eleven editorial board members rotated off the board at the end of 2008: Angelo Alonzo (Yale), Carol Aneshensel (UCLA), Jason Boardman (Colorado), Deborah Carr (Rutgers), Ruth Cronkite (Palo Alto Veterans Hospital), Mary Fennell (Brown), Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good (Harvard), Mark Hayward (Texas), Allan Horwitz (Rutgers), Felicia LeClere (Michigan), and Eric Wright (IUPUI). I am deeply grateful for their extraordinary service and commitment to the journal. I also thank the continuing editorial board members and the many, 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 11 new members whose terms run from January 1, 2009, to December 31, 2011. New board members include Clifford Broman (Michigan State), Gil Gee (UCLA), Steven Haas (Arizona State), Fred Markowitz (Northern Illinois), Ilan Meyer (Columbia), Melissa Milkie (Maryland), Deborah Padgett (NYU), Jo Phelan (Columbia), Stefan Timmermans (UCLA), Kristi Williams (OSU) and Andrea Willson (Western Ontario). 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 2007 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 2008 editorial board maintains an equivalent range in its composition demographically (44% female, 15% minority), methodologically, and substantively. Current Problems and Issues: I am happy to say that there are no new problems to report.
Eliza K. Pavalko, Editor
2008 was our third year as an editorial team. We lost one of the group, Javier Auyero, when he moved to University of Texas at Austin this fall and added Gilda Zwerman from SUNY Old Westbury to our collective. We’ve now stabilized in the number of manuscripts accepted annually—about three to four each year. Although the number of submissions decreased this year, we think that the quality of proposals improved dramatically. We now have eight books under contract (in total) as SBU editors. We can, at last, report that we have reestablished the productive momentum of the previous editors. We would like to add that a number of recent Rose publications have been very well received in the field, winning several awards (see below). Most notably, Passing the Torch, by Paul Attewell and David Lavin, won the 2009 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Education, worth $200,000! There are 14 books currently under contract.
Stony Brook Editorial Group:
- Joachim J. Savelsberg and Ryan D. King. Atrocities, Law and Collective Memory
- Dennis Hogan. Exceptional Children, Challenged Families: Raising Children with Disabilities
- Mohammed A. Bamyeh. Islam and Society: Movements, Structures, Critique
- George Farkas and Katerina Bodovski. Early Inequality
- Judith A. Seltzer and Suzanne M. Bianchi. Family Relationships Across the Generations
- Jeff Goodwin. The Logic of Terrorism: A Comparative Study
- Dawn Wiest, Jackie Smith, and Kiyoteru Tsutsui. Networked for Change: Transnational and Social Movements in a Global Era
- Ellen Reese. “They Say Cutback; We Say Fight Back!” Welfare Rights Activism in an Era of Retrenchment
University of Massachusetts Editorial Group:
- Arne L. Kalleberg. Good Jobs, Bad Jobs, No Jobs: Changing Work and Workers in America
- Rebecca Emigh, Dylan Riley, and Patricia Ahmed. The Production of Demographic Knowledge: States, Societies, and Census Taking in Comparative and Historical Perspective
- Ruth D. Peterson and Lauren J. Krivo. Race, Place, and Crime: Structural Inequality, Criminal Inequality
- Pamela E. Oliver and James E. Yocum. Repressive Injustice: Political and Social Processes in the Massive Incarceration of African Americans
- Seán Ó Riain and Chris Benner. Re-Working Silicon Valley: Politics, Power and the Informational Labor Process
- Brian Powell, Lala Carr Steelman, Catherine Bolzendahl, Danielle Fettes, and Claudi Giest. Who Counts as Kin: How Americans Define the Family
Award Winners Among Recent Publications:
- 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
- Market Friendly or Family Friendly? The State and Gender Inequality in Old Age
Madonna Harrington Meyer and Pamela Herd. 2007. New York: Russell Sage.
2008 Richard Kalish Innovative Publication Award from the Gerontological Society of America
- 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
- Changing Rhythms of the American Family
Suzanne M. Bianchi, John Robinson, and Melissa Milkie. 2006. New York: Russell Sage.
2008 William Goode Book Award
2007 Otis Dudley Duncan Award
Diane Barthel-Bouchier, Cynthia J. Bogard, Michael Kimmel, Daniel Levy, Timothy Moran, Naomi Rosenthal, Michael Schwartz, and Gilda Zwerman, Editors
My blustery goal upon assuming the helm of Social Psychology Quarterly was to reshape what readers should expect from their journals and their editors. For the past year I have made changes that, perhaps, you can believe it. I no longer trumpet our turnabout time for manuscripts. In 2008, the average time to outcome for fully reviewed manuscripts dropped from 54 days to 52 days (7.4 weeks). Do not consider these numbers odd or idiosyncratic; demand that they are normative. The number of new manuscripts submitted has remained steady at 120 in 2008. Depending on how you construct acceptance rates—an odd ASA-sponsored statistic that counts revise-and-resubmits and even conditional acceptances as rejections (!)—our acceptance rate is 8.9%, comparable to that of the American Sociological Review. (Many other scholarly organizations use the same statistic to deflate both acceptance rates and the dreams of authors). However one counts, acceptance rates are still low. Editors are obligated to write personal, respectful, detailed, and supportive letters to all authors with a minimum of boilerplate. After advice from subscribers I established a bill of rights for authors at Social Psychology Quarterly:
1. Papers should be immediately acknowledged upon arrival and reviewers should be selected within a week.
2. Editors should provide outcomes for submissions within three months.
3. Authors have a right to be informed about the status of their article after two months. Should the process take three months or longer authors should receive monthly updates. Editors should respond promptly to author inquiries.
4. Editors should review incoming manuscripts within a week to ensure that any paper has a reasonable potential of success before sending the manuscript out for review and should inform authors if the manuscript is not deemed appropriate for the journal.
5. Editors should ensure that reviewers provide detailed comments and be respectful to authors. Except under usual circumstances reviews should be competed within a month.
6. Outcome letters should be clear, civil, and candid. Editors should read every manuscript on which they are deciding and this should be evident in the outcome letter.
7. Under revise-and-resubmit, authors should expect a reasonable likelihood of success if they follow the editor’s and reviewers’ comments.
8. Editors should clarify their expectations and their plans for subsequent reviews when offering options for revisions. If new reviewers will evaluate the manuscript, authors should be aware of this.
9. Editors should clarify changes necessary for manuscripts conditionally accepted, and should work with authors to achieve that end.
10. Authors should expect that editors regularly inform them of the progress of their accepted manuscript as it moves through the publication process.
11. Authors have a right to thorough and proactive copyediting.
12. During editorial transitions, the incoming editor should respect the commitments of the outgoing editor.
These are the rules that I will live by during my editorial term. They are what authors have a right to expect. During this past year, Social Psychology Quarterly has established SPQ Snaps. Like many editors, I worry that our subscribers do not read widely in the journal, focusing on those articles are in their specialty areas. Most articles are not assigned in graduate seminars and still less in undergraduate classes. This speaks to the high technical gloss of the papers that we publish and this sophistication is desirable. However, we need to be a journal for readers: generalists, trainees, and undergraduates. We meet this challenge though SPQ Snaps. These are shortened, lightened, and focused versions of the papers that SPQ publishes that are available on our website. Each article is ten to twenty pages of manuscript text (about half the length of the published article) with only the most central tables and figures included, and with the major theoretical and substantive points emphasized. All the good stuff. We start by making available one article each issue, but hope to expand. We have placed articles on our website. I hope that you will read these manuscripts and then assign them to your graduate seminars and to undergraduate classes. We have edited these essays to be teaching tools, suitable for advanced undergraduates. Our journal continued with the editorial same team, the gold standard: Jane McLeod and Lisa Troyer, deputy editors; Robert Marczak, our typesetter; Corey Fields, graduate editorial assistant; Kasia Kadela, undergraduate editorial assistant and webmistress; and, as always, Gianna Mosser, managing editor and copyeditor.
Gary Alan Fine, Editor
Sociology of Education welcomes David Bills as the new editor, who will assume this position July 1, 2009. Joining David will be two outstanding deputy editors, Stephen Morgan and Stephanie De Luca. Robert Warren, the current deputy editor, and I are thrilled with this new editorial team and know that we leave our editorship in excellent hands.
Reviewing our tenure at the journal, we have tried to broaden the scope of the journal’s focus by publishing work that explores the interrelationships between sociology and education, not only in relation to social stratification, but also in relation to health, deviance, and job training and advancement, particularly for minorities and underrepresented groups. In keeping with our vision for the journal we have published articles by junior and senior authors that represent a variety of methodological approaches from both the U.S. and international perspectives.
Manuscript Flow: The journal continues to have a steady stream of manuscripts and from January 1, 2008, through December 31, 2008, 236 manuscripts were considered. Of these manuscripts, 66 were invited to revise and resubmit, 72 were rejected, and 16 were accepted. The numbers do not add to 100% as some of the revise-and-resubmit manuscripts are carried over from year to year and are counted by the electronic program as new each time they are resubmitted. The editorial lag time averages about 17 weeks; a time that despite our prodding and follow-up we have been unable to substantially reduce. We place partial responsibility on this to our policy of ensuring that all manuscripts have a minimum of three reviewers, at least one who is an expert on the methodological approach.
Editorial Board: The 2008 editorial board consisted of 28 members; 15 are women (44%) and 10 (31%) are members of racial/ethnic minority groups. We thank all of our board for their help in the review of manuscripts, especially those pieces where the decisions are not as straightforward as the editors would hope. Many of these individuals reviewed well over the amount of manuscripts they were originally recruited to review. A third of these members will have their terms end by the time the new editorial team is in place. We also thank several hundred outside reviewers who also participated in the review process.
Acknowledgments: We would like to thank Karen Edwards, the ASA publications director, and Wendy Almeleh, our managing editor, for her careful editorial assistance especially given the demands of the empirical work that represents the corpus of the journal’s content. At the editorial office at Michigan State University, we also thank the hard work of Jeffrey Keesler, the editorial assistant who manages the everyday work of the journal and Nathan Jones, the graduate student editor who has been a tremendous help in identifying reviewers and following up with late reviews.
A special thanks to the Deputy Editor, Robert Warren, whose professional, dedicated commitment to quality has raised the bar on the work published in the journal. He has been fully responsible for many of the article decisions and has always been there when faced with a problematic decision. It has been a true joy to work with Rob and much of the journal’s successes can be attributed to his involvement. Thank you Rob, our team, and most importantly, to the authors and potential authors who choose Sociology of Education as the outlet for their work.
Barbara Schneider, Editor
The year 2008 was my second full year as editor of Sociological Methodology, during which volume 38 was published. This second maize-colored volume contains nine articles and six comments. The issue opens with a “Symposium on Implication Analysis” that features an article by Stanley Lieberson and Joel Horwich, titled “Implication Analysis: A Pragmatic Proposal for Linking Theory and Data in the Social Sciences”; comments on the article by Glenn Firebaugh, Jack A. Goldstone, Mark S. Mizruchi, Burton Singer, and the late Charles Tilly; and the authors’ response to the comments. The volume also includes articles in three important areas: data collection/data quality, methods for analyzing social network data, and statistical methods. Feedback about the volume has been overwhelmingly positive, and we wish to thank all those who submitted or reviewed articles. We now have accepted almost enough articles for volume 39—seven so far, with several revise-and-resubmit articles under review—and expect this volume to appear on schedule. My term as editor of Sociological Methodology will end in June after my third year, when Tim Liao of the University of Illinois will take over the editorship. Editing this journal has been a great privilege, and I, along with my editorial staff, have found the experience highly rewarding. I want to thank ASA for giving us this opportunity.
Yu Xie, Editor
This past year was, we believe, a continuing success for Sociological Theory. Article submissions continued to increase, this past year by a factor of 21%, their quality undiminished.
We continue to strive for a high-quality, intellectually ecumenical journal with international reach. Over the past years we noted the broad range of styles of theory reflected in the journal—deductive and inductive, general and middle range, formalistic and interpretive, scientific and normative—and the many different fields and subfields represented. We are delighted to report that this continues to be the case. We also saw the journal as a site for exploring the links between sociological and non- or extra-sociological theorizing on social matters, for example with articles canvassing the interface between genetics and social life, and a symposium on feminist political theory and sociological analysis. As in past years, we have also sought to increase our submissions from abroad, recruiting authors from outside the United States, including not simply those who are foreign born and work at U.S. universities but those who work outside this country. We continue to see dividends from this effort. Now, given the articles that we have published this year and those in the queue, we can testify to the expanded internationalization of the journal. That is a matter not just of demographics, we think, but of wider ways of thinking that benefit us all.
Even as this is our last term as editors, the day-to-day operations of the journal continue to run well, due mainly to our managing editor, Jason Mast, and his assistant, Caroline Gray, both whom we would like to thank one final time. One of the routine challenges has been recruiting reviewers. This is a problem faced by all professional journals, and in this regard we owe special thanks to our editorial board and outside reviewers, past and present. In consideration of our hard copy page limitations, we take this opportunity to thank them here. Our board members not only review for ST but also came together at last year’s ASA meeting for an intellectually stimulating and productive meeting that continues to guide us in our work. We do face one remaining problem in this, our final, year. The growing number of high-quality submissions has strained our established page numbers, leaving us a longer than optimal queue to hand over to the incoming editor, Neil Gross. We are exploring various solutions to this problem.
In conclusion, it has been a pleasure having had a ringside seat on the robust development of sociological theory these past five years. We hope that we have in some way contributed to this process.
Julia Adams, Jeffrey Alexander, Ronald Eyerman, and Philip Gorski, Editors
Manuscript Flow and Editorial Decisions: During 2008, Teaching Sociology considered 167 manuscripts. Of these, 88 were new manuscripts, 48 had been revised and resubmitted, and 131 were still under review from the previous year. Overall, there were 145 editorial decisions made, including 6 to reject the manuscript without peer review (typically these manuscripts are not appropriate for the journal), 57 to reject after review, 42 to revise and resubmit, 16 to accept conditionally, and 24 to accept for publication. The overall acceptance rate was 16.33%. The mean and median editorial lags (period of time, in weeks, between submission of a manuscript and decision) were 12.52 and 13.00, respectively.
Editorial Board: The editorial board in 2008 consisted of 32 members. Of these, 66% were women and 22% were racial/ethnic minorities. The journal also tries to maintain a diverse representation of faculty from different types of academic institutions, ranging from Research I to community colleges. The editorial board has been a tremendous help to me and I would like to thank outgoing members of the board for their wonderful support over the past three years: Maxine Atkinson, Kevin Dougherty, Morten Ender, Catherine Fobes, Angela Teresa Haddad, Wava Haney, Karen Hossfeld, Glenn Muschert, Michael Polgar, Katherine Rowell, and Marcia Segal. Their assistance is greatly appreciated. I also welcome the incoming members: Peter Callero, Marisol Clark-Ibanez, Michael DeCesare, Anne Eisenberg, Chad Hanson, Mark Israel, Matthew Lee, Wendy Ng, Shireen Rajaram, Stephen Sweet, and Susan Takata, and I look forward to working with each of them in the coming year.
Special Issue and Themes: The January 2008 issue of TS was devoted to “Lessons Learned at the 2007 ASA Annual Meetings: Insights from the Teaching-Related Workshops.” My interest in creating a special issue on this topic stemmed from my own and others’ expressed frustration over not being able to attend the many valuable workshops offered at the ASA annual meeting each year. Unlike research presented in research sessions and roundtables, which often appear in print down the road, workshop materials are seldom shared in a broader forum and thus remain inaccessible to those who could not attend the sessions. The eleven synopses of workshops ranged from teaching specific topics (e.g., family and work, transgender) to guidelines to teaching with particular tools (e.g., ICPSR) or methods (online, inquiry-based) to professional development (publishing SoTL). I would like to remind readers that ASA has a forum for all journals in which members can discuss ideas related to the journal or continue conversations about manuscripts published. I encourage you to visit the forum website and share your thoughts about the research and ideas published in TS and in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning area more generally.
Liz Grauerholz, Editor