Editors' Reports for 2009
Review Process. The American Sociological Review received a very high number of first-rate submissions in the last year. The calendar year of 2009 witnessed a steady increase in the number of submissions. We considered 650 manuscripts this year, 440 of which were new, 85 of which were revisions, and 125 of which were still under review from the prior year. The resulting acceptance rate, using the traditional ASA indicator number of accepted manuscripts divided by the number of overall decisions, was 7%. If we exclude from consideration manuscripts carried over from the prior year and only look at final decisions (see England, March 2009 Footnotes), the rate of acceptance was 8.8%. We also continued to work hard this year to maintain the timely review process under our editorship—something that we continue to believe is important to the field and especially to advanced graduate students and assistant professors. The mean turnaround time remained comparatively low, at 11.8 weeks (median = 12 weeks).
Visibility and Successes. In concert with the ASA Committee on Publications and ASA Council, the ASR staff continued its hard work at giving the discipline's best research greater public visibility. With the help of authors, we prepared press-friendly abstracts of all ASR articles (available at www.asanet.org/ASR/index.html). The ASA's press officer and authors' own university press officers were sent these media-friendly summaries for use in their own press releases, which were then brought to the attention of relevant media outlets. Such coordination—between the ASR office, authors' own university media relations experts, and the ASA press office—is working. Many ASR articles received high press visibility this year. 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 many of ASA's sections. More generally, ASR is widely read in the social sciences, being cited this year as one of the top 100 downloaded journals of the approximately 10,000 titles available through Ingenta. It also now rates highest in impact among general sociology outlets according to the Social Science Citation Index.
Range of Submissions. The topics of manuscripts submitted to ASR, and the methodologies employed within, remain wide-ranging and reflect the diversity and richness of our field. Experimental research and manuscripts that are primarily methodological or exclusively theoretical in focus continue to remain underrepresented in the pages of ASR due largely to limited submissions. We, like the new editorial team at Vanderbilt, remained open to such submissions. The submission of qualitative, historical, and multi-methodological articles continued to rise in 2009, reflecting the methodological richness and innovation currently occurring across the discipline. As the discipline's flagship journal, ASR has and continues to seek innovative manuscripts that reflect breadth of contribution to the discipline.
Editorial Board and Reviewers. During our editorship, we found that a key ingredient to ensuring that the true richness and excitement of the field makes its way into the pages of the ASR is by assembling a strong and diverse reviewer pool. We maintained diversity on the editorial board with the help of a large and theoretically/methodologically diverse group of eight deputies, to whom we owe a great deal of thanks. The 2009 ASR total board was composed of 61 members. Of these, 43 percent are women and 28 percent are racial/ethnic minority. We thank existing board members, especially those recently rotating off the board after a three-year commitment. We and the new Editors at Vanderbilt also welcome new board members. In addition to maintaining an active, conscientious, and thoughtful editorial board, we also expanded the reviewer pool considerably. This expansion has been important not only to help handle the increase in manuscript submissions, but also for more effectively tapping into the strong body of scholars, including international scholars, who read ASR and are engaged in similar research. An unforeseen but very much welcome consequence of expanding the reviewer pool has been a steady rise in the number of manuscript submissions, including from non-U.S. sociologists, over the last three years.
Persistent 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. The Editors of ASR recognize that publishing diverse articles and serving a diverse audience warns against rigid limits. However, we constantly encourage authors to edit their articles toward the most effective lengths. And, truly, a significant number would be better, tighter, and more effective at two-thirds the length they are initially submitted.
Editorial Transition to Vanderbilt. We, along with OSU graduate students and ASR office staff, worked closely with the incoming editors this year to insure a seamless transition between the ASR office at Ohio State University and the new ASR office at Vanderbilt. This included several meetings, many phone and e-mail conversations, and an on-site visit by the Vanderbilt editorial team. Along the way, we have tried to be diligent in keeping authors informed of the status of their papers, and replying to correspondence from prospective authors who were uncertain as to which office their manuscript should be submitted. We are extremely pleased with how the entire transition went, and are enthusiastic about handing the journal to Tony Brown, Katherine Donato, Larry Isaac and Holy McCammon. We have no doubt that, as a collective, this team will carry ASR forward in the best possible way.
Vincent Roscigno and Randy Hodson, Editors
Books Considered. The editorial office of Contemporary Sociologyreceived 1,032 books during 2009. The total number of books that the editor examined was 1,032.
Review Process. Four hundred and forty-nine books were screened by the editor and accepted for review for the year, and the number of reviews received for the year was 441. Three hundred and twenty-six reviews were finished and published in Volume 38, plus 20 review-essays. Four hundred and eleven were classified as "No Review," and 114 were reviewed as "Briefly Noted." There were 40 New Books pending triage at the time of this report.
Production Lag. The editorial office, on average, schedules reviews, articles, and review-essays for publication within 14 weeks after the materials arrive, and after consultation with the Editorial Board, which occurs every two months. The journal's managing editor copyedits and formats all the work received electronically in preparation for publication. The copyedited materials are sent to Sage for typesetting, and several sets of proofs are corrected prior to publication. The production lag represents the time between receipt of the review and the publication date. The production lag averages 4 months.
Items Published. The breakdown of the items published in Volume 38 contain the following: 438 book reviews, 20 review essays, 9 comments, 4 editor's remarks, and 114 books reviewed in "Briefly Noted." The total number of items published is 585.
Editorial Board Members and Reviewers. Nineteen women and 20 men comprised the editorial board in 2009. This included 9 minorities. (For 2010, 12 foreign editorial board members have been appointed, including 5 women and 7 men.)
Alan Sica, Editor
The year 2009 brought growth, innovation, and unexpected change to the Contexts editorial office. Over the course of the year, we maintained and enhanced the quality of our products, even while weathering an unexpected staffing change in the fall. We also held long-term visioning meetings to provide thoughtful and useful input into the RFP process that's expected to yield a new publishing partner—and new possibilities—in late 2010.
This year, we expanded Contexts submission and development pipeline. We received more proposals and submissions than ever before, and have managed the more active review process so that we have a well-stocked stable of works-in-progress. To bolster our submissions and help shape the themes of upcoming issues, we've held development meetings and reached out to our graduate board, editorial board, and to prospective authors. These meetings have yielded many promising conversations and given us direction as we more actively seek out authors and topics for the magazine.
Contexts occasionally solicits and accepts article proposals from targeted authors; all regular feature articles must still go through the review process before publication. More generally, each proposal is vetted, the editors either reject it or greenlight it for a full submission, and then the submission is sent out for review. At that point, the editors use the information supplied by reviewers to decide whether to reject or accept the piece, and we move to revision and editing for accepted pieces. Our total, traditional acceptance rate stood at 9.4% in 2009, while our revised (that is, only our final decisions) rate was 13.6%.
In 2009, we also worked on our "look," both in print and online. We worked with the ASA and ThinkDesign to develop and implement a full-page cover layout and a more accessible, expanded layout for Discoveries (still one of our most popular, talked-about departments). We brought student voices into the magazine by starting the essay column, "What I Learned." And we laid the ground work to bring the wildly popular online feature "Sociological Images" into the print magazine, beginning with the 2010 volume issues.
In the virtual world, web editor Jon Smajda undertook an extensive redesign of Contexts.org, launching the new look in August 2009. The launch was so successful that it was featured by blogging powerhouse WordPress in theirThe website's dramatic growth has continued, with the most recent statistics boasting nearly 800,000 pageviews in a month, and we've added several more high-profile blogs to our roster. We also began a podcasting series, resulting in over 30 episodes in 2009. These included guests such as sociologists Michele Lamont, Alan Wolfe, and Theda Skocpol, along with non-sociologists like author Chuck Klosterman, graphic novelist Harvey Pekar, and psychologist Thomas Bouchard. Finally, as we begin exploring social media, we've joined Facebook and Twitter.
All of this positions Contexts for an incredible set of issues in 2010 and beyond. We are proud that this year has continued to support our mission of bringing sociological insights to the broader public. We remain committed to expanding our reach and strengthening our voice as Contexts transitions to a fruitful new publishing partnership.
Doug Hartmann and Chris Uggen, Editors
The Journal of Health and Social Behavior has a long-standing reputation as the place for cutting edge research on individual health. Even as we continue this tradition, I am pleased to report that in 2009 we have published and accepted for publication papers reflecting the full range of issues in health, illness, and healing. In 2009, and forthcoming in 2010, JHSB includes theoretical as well as empirical papers, international and U.S.-based research, research on health care policy and professions, research on social networks, and research using biomarkers and focusing on social-genetic interaction. Some of these articles use quantitative methods, some use qualitative methods, and some use both. JHSB's mission statement requires that all research inform our understanding of sociological theories relevant to health, illness and healing. Published and forthcoming articles thus use health issues to inform our understanding of inequality and the production of disparities, social-psychological consequences of adverse experiences and events, how professionals make decisions about their patients and evaluate one another, and how health care systems are shaped by political and economic processes.
JHSB will also publish an extra issue in 2010 specifically designed to inform policymakers and the broader public about key findings from sociological research that have shaped our understanding of health, illness, and healing and the implications of these findings for policy. Janet Hankin and Eric Wright are the guest editors of the extra issue, "What Do We Know? Key Findings from 50 Years of Medical Sociology" funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. A science writer will produce an executive summary to highlight key findings in an executive summary, to be distributed widely to the press, policymakers, funding agencies and other interested persons. We will also make all of the articles from the extra issue available for free on the ASA website.
Journal Operations. Journal operations ran smoothly in 2009, thanks in large part to our excellent team of managing editors. Most importantly, we worked very hard to continue reducing the turnaround time for manuscripts despite a substantial increase in the number of submissions. The average turnaround time from receipt of a submission to decision in 2009 was 8.06 weeks, or 56 days. JHSB experienced a significant increase in the number of submissions in 2009 compared to the previous year. In 2009 we processed 306 papers and made decisions on 247. We received 178 new submissions in 2009, compared with 135 in 2008. We published 30 papers in 2009, for an acceptance rate of 12.5%. The acceptance rate of accepts per all final decisions is 19.3%.
The mean production lag (i.e., the time between acceptance of a paper and its appearance in print) was 5.7 months in 2009, again consistent with ASA editorial guidelines which recommend a six-month lag. We have sustained this recommended lag for the past 4 years.
Journal operations are managed primarily by two outstanding half-time managing editors, the Managing Editor of Reviews (Joseph Wolfe) and the Managing Editor for Production (Indermohan Virk). We also added a 10-hour per week editorial assistant in 2008, which has helped reduce the turnaround time for manuscript processing. The current Editorial Assistant is Deidre Redmond. Dr. Andrew Cognard-Black, Assistant Professor of Sociology at St. Mary's College of Maryland, continues to do an outstanding job as the long-time copyeditor for the journal.
Editorial Board and Deputy Editors. I want to give special thanks to JHSB's continuing Deputy Editors: Pamela Braboy Jackson, Bernice Pescosolido, Jill Quadagno and Scott Schieman. Scott and Jill have both stepped in and made decisions on papers when I had a conflict of interest. Bernice and Pam have weighed in on numerous papers with split reviews or to give an independent judgment if an author asked a decision to be reconsidered. In 2009, the ASA Committee on Publications approved the addition of Brian Powell as an additional Deputy Editor to provide an additional resource to weigh in on difficult decisions. Brian's expertise in family, education, and health has been particularly valuable because of the large number of submissions on these topics.
At the end of 2009, thirteen editorial board members rotated off the board: Ralph A Catalano, Brian Karl Finch, Susan L. Gore, Joseph G. Grzywacz, Kara Joyner, Donald A. Lloyd, Peggy A. McDonough, Fred C. Pampel, Christian Ritter, Stephanie A. Robert, Susan Roxburgh, Teresa L. Scheid, and Mark Tausig. 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 12 new members whose terms run from January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2012. New board members include 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 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 2009 was a diverse group, not only in terms of gender (45% female) and race/ethnicity (15% minority), but also in terms of methodological skills and substantive specialties. The 2010 editorial board maintains an equivalent range in its composition demographically (46% female, 13% minority), methodologically, and substantively.
Transition to Sage. We have begun the transition to Sage with the publication of the March 2010 issue. The Managing Editors and I are training on SageTrack and plan to "go live" with the new system this spring so that it will be in place before the transition to the new editorial team this summer.
Eliza K. Pavalko, Editor
The year 2009 was our fourth year as an editorial team. Although the number of submissions decreased this year, the quality of proposals continues to improve. However, in accordance with the new policy of our publisher, Russell Sage, allowing us to issue no more than two book contracts a year, we have only accepted one proposal out of those submitted.
In total, the Stony Brook editors have accepted nine books; six more (contracted by the previous editors) are still in process. Two sets of contracted authors completed drafts of their books and participated in seminars at Russell Sage this year and three others have been submitted, reviewed, and are undergoing final revisions.
Books currently under contract
Stony Brook Editorial Group:
- Joachim J. Savelsberg and Ryan D. King. Atrocities, Law and Collective Memory
- George Farkas and Katerina Bodovski. Early Inequality
- Dennis Hogan. Exceptional Children, Challenged Families: Raising Children With Disabilities
- Judith A. Seltzer and Suzanne M. Bianchi. Family Relationships Across the Generations
- William Marsiglio and Kevin Roy. Fatherhood: Public/Private Initiatives to Engage Men
- Mohammed A. Bamyeh. Islam and Society: Movements, Structures, Critique
- Dawn Wiest and Jackie Smith. Networked for Change: Transnational and Social Movements in a Global Era
- Jeff Goodwin. The Logic of Terrorism: A Comparative Study
- 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
- 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
- Rebecca Emigh, Dylan Riley, and Patricia Ahmed. The Production of Demographic Knowledge: States, Societies, and Census Taking in Comparative and Historical Perspective
- 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
By the time of the 2010 annual report, I will have passed into the great team of Social Psychology Quarterly ex-editors. I am looking forward to that passage and to handing off the baton to a new editorial team.
We have had a striking and successful year: an examination of our cover photographs should indicate that. We started the year in the March issue with a cover photo that was selected by subscribers. We have put our Bill of Rights into effect, and have extended it by asking members of the Editorial Board to serve authors as points of complaint, ensuring that our colleagues feel well-treated.
We have also extended the website by making cover photos permanently available, since they are not available through the electronic viewing of articles. We have expanded SPQ Snaps, so that we currently have a dozen shortened articles available online, available for generalist readers and for training graduate students and advanced undergraduates. We have extended the online supplements, creating what we term "SPQ Lagniappe," a label inspired by ASA Committee on Publications Chair Christine Williams, where we place supplements, appendices, and extensions of printed articles. We have started ESPQ, a location on the website for audio and video supplements. Finally we are beginning a new innovation, SPQ Global, in which articles published in SPQ are translated, so as to reach our international students and colleagues. This, too, is part of our pedagogic mission. These translations will become available in the next few months. Other changes and additions will be coming during this year.
The number of new manuscripts submitted has increased from 2008 to 2009 to 127 regular articles. As a result, our acceptance rate remains frighteningly selective at 8.0%, using the ASA metric for computing acceptance rates, but we attempt to treat each other with respect, even when publication cannot be offered. However, using a newer calculation format, we see a slightly more hopeful rise to 12.5% acceptance in our manuscripts. We have kept the average time to a decision to 54 days, well within my goal of under two months. This is another way of treating authors with respect.
Our journal continued with the editorial same team, the gold standard: Jane McLeod and Lisa Troyer, deputy editors; Corey Fields, graduate editorial assistant; Kasia Kadela, undergraduate editorial assistant and webmistress; and, as always, Gianna Mosser, managing editor and copy editor.
Gary Alan Fine, Editor
The year 2009 marked the editorial transition of Sociological Methodology from the University of Michigan office to the University of Illinois office. Current editor Tim F. Liao and managing editor Lisa Savage traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the beginning of July 2009 for a one-day meeting with former editor Yu Xie and managing editor Cindy Glovinsky. It was a productive meeting, and we received useful information as well as good tips about running the journal. We received all the computer files from the Michigan office, and six boxes of paper files arrived about a month later in the Illinois office of the journal. The transition was practically seamless, and we started the second half of the year with three accepted manuscripts held over from the Michigan office. These manuscripts will be published in volume 40 (2010) of the journal. We appreciate all the help that Yu Xie and Cindy Glovinsky have given us.
For the entire year of 2009, 53 manuscripts were considered (29 by the Michigan office and 24 by the Illinois office), and 35 of these were new submissions (13 received at Michigan and 22 at Illinois). Most of the considered manuscripts went into the review process although 8 manuscripts were rejected without reviewing (5 by the Michigan office and 3 by the Illinois office). Of the 48 manuscripts accepted for review in 2009, 17 were rejected outright (5 by the Michigan office and 12 by the Illinois office), 9 were given a revise and resubmit (6 by the Michigan office and 3 by the Illinois office), and 3 were conditional acceptances (2 by the Michigan office and 1 by the Illinois office). The remaining manuscripts are still under review. The resulting acceptance rate, using the traditional ASA indicator number of accepted manuscripts divided by the number of overall decisions, was 20%. If we exclude from consideration manuscripts carried over from the prior year and only look at final decisions, the rate of acceptance was 28.6%. Altogether we have so far 4 accepted manuscripts for volume 40, with several revise-and-resubmit manuscripts that are currently under review, including a potential symposium piece. We expect to have more manuscripts accepted for publication within the next few months. We project that volume 40 will likely come out sometime in mid-fall.
Tim F. Liao, Editor
Sociological Theory moved to the University of British Columbia in July 2009. Thanks in large part to the hard work of the journal's new managing editor, Joe Wiebe, and its outgoing managing editor, Jason Mast, the transition was a smooth one. For some time ST has been an all-electronic operation, so in terms of mechanics the transition entailed little more than a movement of files across cyberspace. More complex was coordinating decision-making on a large number of in-process papers, especially papers that had bunched up at the end of the previous editors' term and on which, by mutual agreement, it seemed the decision should lay in my hands. In August I rendered decisions on nearly 50 such manuscripts, and by mid- September we were all caught up. Thanks to an efficient processing system implemented by Wiebe, new manuscripts received since that time have typically gone out for review within a week, and I've been able to make decisions on most within a couple of weeks of receiving reviews. My long-term goal is to bring editorial lag times in line with those of other ASA journals. ST received about the same number of submissions this reporting cycle as last. Our acceptance rate stands at 6.6% according traditional ASA standards, and 10.5% according to the new, modified standards.
In terms of editorial policy, ST remains committed to its longstanding tradition of publishing outstanding scholarly contributions on a wide variety of topics and from a wide variety of theoretical perspectives. However, as someone who worries about the gulf between theory and empirical research, and about fragmentation and balkanization within the community of theorists, I find myself particularly sympathetic to papers that speak to as broad a disciplinary audience as possible, and that advance theory in service of the larger goal of social-scientific explanation. That does not mean I am partial to formal theory, or middle-range theory, or papers that combine theoretical and empirical content. Nor does it mean that manuscripts will find favor if they assume the validity of or argue for a particular understanding of explanation. What it means is simply that I'd prefer papers accepted under my watch to be theoretically oriented interventions in intellectual conversations happening in the discipline at large, and that have the potential to reshape those conversations. There is room under this broad umbrella for works of conceptual elaboration, epistemology, histories of theory with contemporary relevance, formal hypothesis development, theoretical critiques of the discipline, and so on. But the standard does suggest a reorientation. Beyond this, it puts a premium on accessibility. While papers may, on occasion, have good reason for employing conceptual frameworks and specialized language understandable only to those in the theory community, or to subsets of theorists, my general preference is for manuscripts that can be understood by all sociologists with theoretical interests and inclinations. This is the minimum semantic requirement for fostering theoretical dialogue in Donald Levine's sense of the term.
I do not think I am alone in having these preferences. While some theorists continue to maintain that the theoretical enterprise should be largely autonomous from the discipline as a whole, most scholars I've communicated with since taking over the editorship favor a more integrative view.
One of the biggest challenges confronting the journal is space. By their nature theoretical articles tend to be long. Although the ASA's Committee on Publications has occasionally granted ST extra pages, the normal allotment is such that we can only publish 4-5 articles per issue. This means two things. First, we receive many more excellent manuscripts than we have space to publish. And second, there isn't room to run special issues or book reviews.
Having done the job for nine months now, I can say that overall I have been quite impressed by the quality and originality of the manuscripts we've been receiving. More often than not sociologists submit papers to ST when they have a theoretical idea that strikes them as truly interesting and innovative. Those ideas that seem to me, and to ST's outstanding reviewers, to be the most promising and significant for the discipline will appear in our pages in the months and years to come.
Neil Gross, Editor
Please let me begin my first annual report by thanking the American Sociological Association for entrusting me with the stewardship of Sociology of Education for the next three years. SOE has been my favorite journal since my grad school days. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to try to move it forward.
I owe a great thanks to my predecessor at SOE Barbara Schneider and her Deputy Editor Rob Warren. Maintaining continuity from one editorial team to the next does not happen by chance. There is an enormous amount of work and collegiality involved in transferring journal operations across institutions. Barbara and Rob made this particular transition as close to seamless as it is possible to be.
Editorial Team. I am fortunate (as is ASA) that Steven Morgan of Cornell University and Stefanie DeLuca of Johns Hopkins University accepted my invitation to serve as Deputy Editors. Working with them has been exactly what I anticipated it would be. They're both highly analytic and judicious, with great work ethics.
I wish to acknowledge the excellent service provided to the profession by outgoing Board members Pamela Bennett, William Carbonaro, Wade Cole, Sara Goldrick-Rab, Joseph Hermanowicz, Charles Hirschman, Sylvia Hurtado, Douglas Lee Lauen, Daniel McFarland, Kelly Raley, Salvatore Saporito, Christopher Swanson, John Robert Warren, and Julia Wrigley. While these individuals are no longer on the Board, I have continued to call on them as reviewers. I also appreciate the contributions of continuing Board members Richard Arum, Hannah Ayalon, Mark Berends, Elizabeth Cooksey, John Diamond, Thomas DiPrete, Susan Dumais, Eric Grodsky, Angel Luis Harris, Spyros Konstantopolous, Kevin Leicht, Freda Lynn, Hugh Mehan, Lynn Mulkey, Chandra Muller, Stephen Plank, Sean Reardon, Josipa Roksa, John Schwille, Mitchell Stevens, Tony Tam, Edward Telles, Marta Tienda, Sarah Turner, and Karolyn Tyson.
I invited 13 people to join the SOE Editorial Board. In selecting these people, I followed the tradition established by the last several SOE editors of seeking strong representation across gender and racial/ethnic lines. I tried to build an editorial team whose expertise spans the theoretical and epistemological range of the sociology of education community. I also added two international scholars to the Board. The new Board members, who began their terms on January 1, 2010, are Carl Bankston, Prudence Carter, Robert Crosnoe, Scott Davies, Regina Deil-Amen, Danielle Fernandes, Sean Kelly, Ruth Lopez Turley, Vida Maralani, Alejandro Portes, Evan Schofer, Tricia Seifert, and Herman van de Werfhorst.
The bulk of the correspondence between authors and reviewers and my office, as well as most of the fine points of keeping the operation running, are being capably handled by my graduate assistant, Megan Johnson. I am grateful for her high standards and professionalism.
Manuscript Flow. I began receiving manuscript submissions on July 1, 2009. The transfer of the journal from Michigan State to Iowa was followed almost immediately by the even more demanding transfer of the journal production from ASA to Sage Publications. The staff of both ASA and Sage worked hard to make this move a successful one. The Iowa office brought Sage's ScholarOne program online January 1, 2010. This program has permitted our operations to become nearly paperless. (At least authors and reviewers never have to actually process paper.) We remain straddling, as we will for some time, ASA's JournalBuilder manuscript management software and Sage's ScholarOne program. As Megan reported to me with some dismay after learning the new procedures, "these two systems don't talk to each other." Manuscripts submitted before January 1, 2010 will flow through to their completion in JournalBuilder. Since the cycle of submission/decision/resubmission/decision for some manuscripts can extend for many months (or more), we anticipate having to keep JournalBuilder alive for some time before everything has finally worked through the system and we will be able to keep all of our records solely in ScholarOne.
This report covers the manuscript activity of the journal from January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2009. It thus represents both the final six months of activity of Schneider's editorship and the first six months of mine. The total number of manuscripts submitted during the 2009 calendar year was 232, with 13 percent of those being invited as revise and resubmit manuscripts. Of these, 118 were rejected after review and 14 were rejected without review. All accepted manuscripts have been drawn from resubmissions, and this is reflected in the 2009 acceptance figures: 19 resubmitted manuscripts were either accepted outright or accepted pending minor revisions. The journal had an acceptance rate of 7.82% using the standard calculation; taking into account only final decisions, the acceptance rate is 9.7%. During 2009 the journal review process averaged about 18 weeks with a production lag of about 4 months (this is the time it takes for an accepted manuscript to actually appear in the journal).
Maintaining, albeit temporarily, two electronic managements systems is going to complicate the calculation of these various rates for at least the next several months as we continue to adapt the new system to accommodate the needs of authors and reviewers. Some authors who had received "revise and resubmits" under the old system, for example, were uncertain about where and how to submit their revised manuscript, and we have had to develop procedures to manage this. The ScholarOne learning curve, however, seems a manageable one that should provide greater efficiencies down the road.
Reviewers and Reviewing. When I applied for the editorship of SOE, I wrote that an editor "should be cautious about trying to put his or her own stamp on a journal." I still believe that, and am aware that signals from editors can send potential authors scurrying in all sorts of directions they might not otherwise go. So while I will not try to influence the topics that authors want to study, I will note that the manuscripts most likely to catch my eye (and those of reviewers) are those that lead with a sociologically interesting and well-articulated research question and that have the potential to nudge the field forward a bit. Manuscripts that do this are as likely to use qualitative as quantitative methodologies (or, increasingly, mixed-methods approaches), and SOE wishes to publish good work of any appropriate methodological vintage.
Reviewers, of course, are crucial to the success of scholarly publishing, and I am grateful for the careful, detailed, and often even brilliant reviews that regularly come in to my office. I have received some extraordinary reviews from senior scholars and some equally valuable reviews from newly minted PhDs. I admire the efforts of many sociology programs to mentor their graduate students on how to write peer reviews, an effort that is essential to producing the next generation of reviewers.
David Bills, Editor
The journal moved to Valdosta State University in July, where Kathleen Lowney, the journal's new editor, assumed leadership. Her office began receiving new submissions last July, while the offices at University of Central Florida continued with manuscripts under review and in production. The transition has been remarkably smooth, no doubt due to Kathleen's expert organizational skills and professional wisdom. The journal is in able hands, indeed.
Several people deserve special recognition for their invaluable assistance. Three individuals have been with me for the entire six years of my editorship and have played key roles in keeping the journal going—Jay Howard served as Deputy Editor and managed all the book and film reviews; Pauline Pavlakos, who served as typesetter and Web site coordinator, was responsible for making the journal and Web site look so professional; and Karen Edwards at ASA provided the administrative support and guidance throughout. Special thanks are also owed to Janine Chiappa McKenna at ASA, who has been invaluable over the past two years in answering questions and helping navigate the "business" end of the journal. Three doctoral students—Jori Sechrist, Monica Mendez and Deborah Barr—served as managing editors at various times over the past six years. Finally, the many editorial members and ad hoc reviewers provided invaluable assistance. My sincere appreciation to all who played big and small roles in building and maintaining Teaching Sociology's reputation as a premier Scholarship of Teaching and Learning journal.
There were two special issues published in 2009. In January, Stephan Scanlan joined me as guest-editor to produce a special issue to mark the 50th year since C. Wright Mills published The Sociological Imagination. The eight articles in this issue explored ways to teach about the sociological imagination and to use it to improve our teaching. In July, Maxine Atkinson, Sarah Rusche and Kris Macomber guest edited a volume on "The Sociology of the Classroom." The manuscripts published in this issue challenge sociologists to apply theoretical and conceptual sociological insights to (in their words) the social space we often neglect, yet most share—our college classrooms. Between these and the other two issues, Teaching Sociology published 75 works, including 29 articles and notes, 45 book and film reviews, and 1 film review essay.
Manuscript Flow. In 2009, 156 manuscripts were submitted; of these, 88 were new manuscripts, 50 were revised manuscripts, and 18 were still in review from the previous period. At the end of 2009, there were 14 manuscripts still in review. Among the remaining manuscripts processed, 12 percent were reject without review, 35 percent were rejected after review, 28 percent were invited to revise and resubmit, and the remaining 25 percent were either accepted or conditionally accepted. The resulting acceptance rate, using the traditional ASA indicator number of accepted manuscripts divided by the number of overall decisions, was 16.2%. If we exclude from consideration manuscripts carried over from the prior year and only look at final decisions, the rate of acceptance was 25.6%. As a result of publishing two special issues, for which timing was critical, the editorial lag time (between submission and decision) was very short: the median lag was 6.64 weeks.
Editorial Board. The editorial board consisted of 34 members—13 men and 21 women, 10 of whom were minorities. Special thanks go to outgoing board members Jeffrey Chin, Nancy Greenwood, Chigon Kim, Betsy Lucal, Laura Nichols, Anne Nurse, Matthew Oware, and Robyn Ryle. Their continual support and advice has been greatly appreciation.
Final Comment. As I noted in my final comment from the editor (October), I have learned more about SoTL, teaching, and the profession from my experience as editor than any other professional endeavor I have undertaken. It has been a great privilege and honor to serve as editor, and I wish the new editor all the best in her term.
Liz Grauerholz, Editor