Editors' Reports for 2013
Review Process: The American Sociological Review (ASR) continued to receive a large number of high-quality submissions during calendar year 2013. From January 1 through December 31, 2013, we considered a total of 741 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 741 manuscripts submitted in 2013, 544 were new submissions and 197 were revisions. This is a small (4 percent) decrease in new submissions compared to the previous calendar year. In addition, the journal carried over 136 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 7 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 8.8 percent.)
We, as editors, conducted the review process as efficiently as possible to continue ASR’s timely turnaround of decisions on manuscripts, something we believe is important to all scholars, but especially newer scholars in the discipline. The journal’s mean turnaround time remained low, at 10.5 weeks, and we maintained the journal’s low turnaround time even as the editorship shifted from three to two editors. The production lag (time from acceptance to publication) was 5.3 months, very close to last year’s 5 month lag.
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 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 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.
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 more broadly. Journal Citation Reports gives ASR an impact factor of 4.077, the highest article influence score in our discipline.
We are pleased that the ASA Council and Committee on Publications have granted ASR a 200-page increase in annual page length for the journal (from 1,098 to 1,298 pages per year). This will allow ASR to include longer articles when appropriate as well as additional articles in upcoming volumes.
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, continue to encourage such submissions. The submission of qualitative, historical, and mixed-methods articles are well represented in 2013, reflecting the methodological diversity and innovation currently occurring across the discipline. We also continue to see numerous manuscripts of high quality that bridge multiple sub-disciplinary areas and thus carry the potential of wide appeal within the sociological community. We note, too, that the distribution of substantive areas published closely reflects that of the distribution of manuscripts submitted. 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 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 maintain 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 onboard one new deputy editor, Yang Claire Yang (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), who joins our outstanding team of 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).
In addition, the 2013 ASR editorial board was composed of 76 members. Of these, 47 percent were women and 28 percent were racial and/or ethnic minorities. We thank existing board members, especially those recently rotating off the board after a three-year commitment. We also welcome new board members. In addition to maintaining an active, conscientious, and thoughtful editorial board, we also continue to expand the overall 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 increases, 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 2013. 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.
Larry Isaac and Holly McCammon, Editors
Books Considered: The editorial office of Contemporary Sociology received 1,319 books from publishers during the year 2013. The total number of books that the editor examined was 1,319.
Review Process: Five hundred and nine books (509) were screened by the editor and accepted for review for the year. Of those, 121 were classified as suitable for "Briefly Noted." Seven hundred and seventy-one (771) books were classified as "No Review." There were 32 “Undecided” and "New Books" pending triage at the time of this report. Additionally, 7 books were deemed copies of books already received.
The number of reviews received for the year was 422. Two hundred and fifty-seven regular reviews were finished and published in Volume 42, plus 24 review-essays and 18 Critical Retrospective Essays. In addition, 90 “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 42 contain the following: 257 book reviews, 24 review-essays, 18 critical retrospective essays, 7 comments, 6 editor's remarks, and 90 books reviewed in "Briefly Noted." The total number of items published is 402 and covers a total of 571 books.
Editorial Board Members and Reviewers: Fifteen women and 21 men comprised the editorial board in 2013. This included 14 minorities and 5 foreign editorial board members, including 2 women and 3 men.
Alan Sica, Editor
In our 2012 report we noted that Contexts has become an essential part of the sociological conversation: people look forward to receiving it, to sharing it, and to writing for it. In 2013 we have worked to attract high quality submissions and continued to instruct authors in the craft of writing public sociology. In 2012 we held the first in a series of “Writing for Contexts” workshops at regional sociology meetings (ESS and PSA) and at the annual ASA meetings; a similar workshop was held at the 2013 ASA annual meetings. These events have been well attended and participation was enthusiastic. One thing we’ve learned from conversations with colleagues at these events is that our discipline offers little formal training in writing for general audiences and conveying sociology in a clear and compelling manner. Scholars want to share their work beyond traditional journals, but they’re not sure how to go about it doing so. We spend a significant amount of our editorial energy shepherding authors through the writing process. It’s a labor-intensive process, but we think the results speak for themselves in the excellent material we published in the last year.
Those who are familiar with Contexts know that we have a fairly intensive revision and review process; for feature article, the process begins with a proposal, which we then “green-light” or reject; submission of a full-length manuscript, peer review, acceptance or rejection, and rewriting and revision, editing, and layout/design. This past year, we accepted a total of 20 manuscripts for final publication based on submission of 110 new proposals (and 6 manuscripts carried over from the previous year).
Last year we published a total of 93 items, 20 of which were peer-reviewed feature articles. The others are a combination of invited and submitted essays and analyses for the various departments, including: Viewpoints, Trends, Mediations, Pedagogies, Book Reviews, Jargon, and Unplugged. In addition to enlivening the look and content of Contexts, these departments enable us to showcase cutting edge sociology through a variety of lenses and formats.
We have also continued our focus on publishing original art, photography, and related images. We receive many positive comments about Contexts’ appearance and appreciate the ASA’s willingness to expand the budget to support the unique style of the magazine. The feedback we receive indicates that our intent to broaden reader appeal through incorporating a wide range of voices, perspectives, and presentational styles is working.
In 2013 we have also expanded online outreach to broaden our audience. Last December the ASA executive office, in collaboration with SAGE Publications, approved a 30-day full access policy for each new issue of Contexts. We are very excited about this development and encourage readers to invite their colleagues, students, and friends to visit the Contexts website and see what each new issue has to offer. We intend to continue to enhance the features of the website, including podcasts, author bios, and links to related material in a way that both sharpens that appeal of the print version and enables general readers to learn more about sociology through online connections.
Editing and publishing Contexts takes a village. We have a skilled and dedicated staff in our managing editor, Carly Chillmon, graduate associate editor, Jess Streeter, and webmaster, Jon Smadja. Together, they tend the many hidden, but essential networks that keep Contexts humming, including ongoing work with authors, reviewers, editorial board members, the design company, ThinkDesign, and SAGE. Our department editors, Syed Ali (Viewpoints), Katie Hyde (Photo Essays), Tom Linneman (Trends), Gary Perry (Pedagogies), Karen Sternheimer (Meditations), and Matt Wray (Book reviews), are also highly valued members of the team. The quality of the material we publish reflects the thoughtful engagement of peer reviewers and our editorial board. We are especially grateful for these constructive reviews. In a writing—intensive enterprise such as Contexts the typically unsung service of reviewing is especially important. We also appreciate the support of the ASA offices and their commitment to Contexts.
As a team, we have hit our stride in the past year and we look forward to another year of providing thought-provoking, engaging, high-quality material written for both sociologists and general readers.
Jodi O’Brien and Arlene Stein, Editors
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 2013 we have published and accepted for publication papers reflecting a broad range of issues in health, illness, and healing. In 2013, and forthcoming in 2014, JHSB included theoretical as well as empirical papers, international and U.S.-based studies; 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; health and mental health stigma; and life course health processes including cumulative disadvantage. Additionally, many of the articles in 2013 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. Keeping with JHSB’s commitment to publishing innovative methods, a number of these articles used new solutions to existing methodological problems. Reflecting 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 all of which have important consequences for access to and quality of care.
Journal Operations: In 2013, JHSB was managed by Debra Umberson’s office at the University of Texas-Austin (UT-Austin) from January to June. June to August represented a transition period as the journal’s operations moved to UCLA, and the journal was managed by two offices. During this period, UT-Austin staff trained UCLA staff on the procedures, software, and other managerial issues related to day-to-day journal functioning. Editor Umberson oversaw editorial decisions for existing manuscripts, while the incoming Editor, Gilbert Gee, oversaw all new submissions. Starting in August 2013, all JHSB functions were managed by UCLA. Editor Umberson and UT-staff were available for consultation, but assumed no formal role with the journal’s operations (both the September and December issues had UT-Austin’s name; the September issue was primarily managed by UT-Austin whereas the December issue was managed by UCLA).
The journal’s operations ran smoothly in 2013 despite these transitions. The average turnaround time from receipt of submission to decision was unchanged from 5.93 weeks in 2012 to 5.92 weeks in 2013. The production lag time (time between acceptance of a paper to its appearance in print) decreased from 4.2 weeks in 2012 to 2.98 weeks in 2013.
The number of manuscripts processed increased slightly, from 351 in 2012 to 360 in 2013. The “traditional” acceptance rate, which counts all decisions, went from 9.12% in 2012 to 8.31 in 2013. Similarly, the “new” acceptance rate, which counts only final decisions, went from 11.79% in 2012 to 10.76% in 2013.
In 2013, we published 27 articles, 4 commentaries and 4 policy briefs. The editor selects one paper from each issue that has significant policy implications and asks the authors to craft a 1-page brief directed at policymakers, media outlets and the general public. 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 at UT-Austin and Brittany Morey at UCLA) and Managing Editors for Production (Amy Lodge at UT-Austin and Alanna Hirz at UCLA), as well as an Editorial Assistant (Kathleen Manimtim at UCLA).
Editorial Board and Deputy Editors: I want to welcome JHSB’s new Deputy Editors, who began their term at the start of 2014: Carol S. Aneshensel, Pamela Herd, Anne Pebley, David T. Takeuchi, Stefan Timmermans, and Andrea E. Willson. I also want to thank the former Deputy Editors, whose terms ended in 2013, for their invaluable dedication to the journal’s success: Ronald J. Angel, Chloe E. Bird, Mark D. Hayward, Michael Hughes, Robert A. Hummer, and Stephanie A. Robert.
At the end of 2013, twelve editorial board members rotated off the board: Anne E. Barrett, Jason D. Boardman, Chrstine L. Himes, Verna M. Keith, Hui Liu, Sarah Rosenfield, Robin W. Simon, John Robert Warren, Elaine Wethington, David R. Williams, Linda A. Wray, and Eric R. Wright. I 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 thirteen new members whose terms run from January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2016. New board members include Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, Renee R. Anspach, Richard M. Carpiano, Virginia W. Chang, Margaret E. Ensminger, Jeremy Freese, Mark Louis Hatzenbuehler, Patrick Heuveline, Pamela Braboy Jackson, Neal M. Krause, Bruce G. Link, Jenna Nobles, and Katrina M. Walsemann. 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 2013 was a diverse group, not only in terms of gender (58 percent female) and race/ethnicity (29 percent minority), but also in terms of research methodology and substantive specialties. The 2014 editorial board remains diverse in terms of gender (now 61 percent female) and race/ethnicity (now 25 percent minority). The articles we publish continue to represent a range of methodological approaches and substantive specialties.
Gilbert C. Gee, Editor
The Rose Series is recognized as one of the premier publishing outlets available for scholarly books and brings 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 selected volumes are added each year. Russell Sage Foundation continues to publish the Series and our editors work closely with RSF's Director of Publications, Suzanne Nichols. The Rose Series and Russell Sage Foundation provide a unique opportunity for each of our contracted authors to revise and refine their work at a day-long seminar before publication.
Our editors solicited 31 carefully selected scholars and contacted chairs from top 40 departments to inquire if anyone on their faculty might have potential authors. We reviewed seven manuscript proposals and extended contracts to two: Interracial Romance and Friendship in Adolescence and Adulthood by Grace Kao, Kara Joyner, and Kelly Stamper Balisteri and Urbanization's Changing Nature: Industrial Hazards, Systemic Risk, and the Remaking of American Cities by Scott Frickel and James R. Elliot. Three books published by the Rose Series won awards in 2013 and at last year's ASA Annual Meeting, one recent publication, Social Movements in the World System: The Politics of Crisis and Transformation by Jackie Smith and Dawn Wiest, was featured as the Rose Series Author-Meets-Critics Special Session with a lively panel and discussion. We have at least five authors who have agreed to send a proposal in the near future.
The Rose Series features a rotating lead editorship. In 2013, Judith Gerson concluded her term as lead editor and Lee Clarke began this position. Judith Gerson continued to serve as a co-editor, along with Lauren Krivo, Paul McLean, and Patricia Roos.
At the end of the year, the Rose Series bid farewell to our Managing Editor, Alexis Merdjanoff, who was hired as Research Coordinator at Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness. Since January 1, 2014, Lindsay Stevens has served as managing editor.
Finally, in 2013 we had 28 vibrant members of our editorial board. We are grateful to our editorial board and would like to thank our outgoing members (Lisa Bush, Joshua Gamson, Naomi Gerstel, Michael Hout, David Jacobson, Kelly Moore, Beth Schneider, Amy Elizabeth Traver, and Amy Wharton) and welcome Kathleen Blee, Steven Gold, Arne Kalleberg, Jennifer Lee, and Vicki Smith to the board.
The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth and the Transition to Adulthood
Karl Alexander, Doris Entwisle and Linda Olson
“They Say Cutback; We Say Fight Back!” Welfare Rights Activism in an Era of Retrenchment
Ellen Reese. 2011 HB, 2013 PB. 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
Interracial Romance and Friendship in Adolescence and Adulthood
Grace Kao, Kara Joyner, and Kelly Stamper Balistreri
Urbanization's Changing Nature: Industrial Hazards, Systemic Risk & the Remaking of American Cities
Scott Frickel and James R. Elliott
Rutgers Co-Shepherding with Stony Brook Editorial Group
Islam and Society: Movements, Structures, Critique
Mohammed A. Bamyeh
The Logic of Terrorism: A Comparative Study
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
Award Winners among Recent Publications
Family Consequences of Children's Disabilities
Dennis Hogan. 2012 PB. New York: Russell Sage.
2013 Otis Dudley Duncan Book Award
Social Movements in the World-System: The Politics of Crisis and Transformation
Jackie Smith and Dawn Wiest. 2012 PB. New York: Russell Sage.
Honorable Mention, 2013 Political Economy of the World-System Section Best Book Award
Honorable Mention, 2013 Global and Transnational Sociology Section Best 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.
2013 Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility Section Best Book Award
Lee Clarke, Judith Gerson, Lauren Krivo, Paul McLean, and Patricia Roos, Editors
For Social Psychology Quarterly (SPQ), 2013 was a notable year. In addition to publishing innovative sociologically oriented research in social psychology that represents a wide array of both substantive issues and methodological approaches, the journal handled more submissions than in each of the preceding six years, as described further below. We also launched the process for the development of a special issue on social psychology and culture, which will appear in June 2014. The year saw the conclusion of the coeditorship of Drs. Hegtvedt and Johnson and the departure of deputy editor Dr. Timothy Hallett; while Dr. Hegtvedt remained as editor, the editorial team shifted some, as noted below.
The 16 articles published in 2013 cover diverse topics such as collective action; social exchange; interactions in small groups; identity, labeling, and stigma processes; norm regulation; fairness and legitimacy; race; stress processes; social networks; emotions and affective structures; stereotype; and conversational analysis. Such topics pertained to the understanding of interactional dynamics within domains of adolescents, police officers, workers, volunteers, athletes, and religious adherents, to name a few. 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. The volume, however, does not include the Cooley-Mead address for 2012; should the winner eventually provide his written version, it will be published at a later date.
We attempt to reach our readers in many 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. Plus, we encourage our authors to join in SAGE Publications’ efforts to create podcasts on individual article topics. The podcasts include, in the author’s own voice, what motivated the study and the implications of the results. Despite our encouragement, however, only two authors created podcasts in 2013. And, for each issue our website features a “Snap,” an innovation of our predecessor, Gary Fine. Snaps offer shortened, lightened, and focused versions of one article from every issue that SPQ publishes, which should be useful in teaching undergraduate courses. Each SPQ Snap is about half the length of the published article, yet it 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 and podcast creators take to make their pieces more accessible.
In 2012 we attempted to extend the value of SPQ to enhance undergraduate teaching by constructing “teaching tools,” which offer collections of SPQ articles, compiled by faculty or graduate students, within explicit areas. These collections were not intended as comprehensive overviews of all the recent articles in the area, but rather as groupings that might be particularly engaging or appropriate for undergraduate audiences. Given the time necessary to develop such materials, our website only boasts one to date on identity and identity processes (created by former editorial assistant, Lesley Watson). We would like to have other topics covered (e.g., group processes, social cognition, intergroup processes, and social support and well-being), but volunteers have not been forthcoming and it is beyond the scope of what the editors could take on and still manage manuscript flow.
To help cultivate good reviews, we developed a set of guidelines for scholars we invite to review. These guidelines, a compilation from various sources, capture what the editors believe to be useful in making decisions about manuscripts. Posted on our website, the guidelines are very helpful for first time reviewers as well as more seasoned ones to remind them of both the nature and tone of reviews and the need for constructive criticism. We employ them as a form of teaching tool to assist advanced graduate students who have been invited to review and seek advice on how to do so.
A long standing goal of our coeditorship was to create bridges between social psychology and other subareas of social psychology. Publishing papers that deal with issues of health, crime, education, gender, race and ethnicity, and the like is one way we have enhanced the visibility of social psychological processes. Additionally, in 2013 sought submissions for a special issue entitled, “Social Psychology and Culture: Advancing Connections.” Board member Jessica Collett and her colleague Omar Lizardo of Notre Dame were guest editors of the special issue. Publicizing the call for submissions via the Listservs of a number of sections of the ASA (social psychology, culture, and emotions) and activation of the guest editors’ networks proved successful. We had 25 submissions to the special issue, with 6 papers to appear in print in 2014.
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 2013 SPQ received a record number of submissions. From January 1 through December 31, 2013, we considered a total of 251 manuscripts submitted to the journal. This number exceeds that of 2012 by 80. Even considering the extra submissions owing to the special issue, it is clear that the submission rate for 2013 is much higher than in previous years. Of these, 20 carried over from the previous year and 231 were submitted in 2013 (including 174 new submissions).
Using the new acceptance rate in which acceptances are divided only by final decisions, SPQ’s acceptance rate for the year was 10.83 percent. This is lower than the 14.42 percent from last year, owing largely to the increase in manuscript submissions. Using the traditional indicator for the acceptance rate in which acceptances are divided by the number of overall decisions, SPQ’s acceptance rate was 7.69 percent (down from 9.93 percent, owing to the higher submission rate).
As in previously years, we endeavor to conduct 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 2013 than in the previous year, going from 10.6 to 11 weeks. We attribute this increased length to the juggling of the record number of submissions. We believe, however, that 11 weeks remains a respectable time frame.
Editorial Team, Board, and Reviewers: During 2013, dedicated and long-standing deputy editors Deborah Carr and Timothy Hallett augmented our expertise and provided wise counsel. Because of the departures of Drs. Johnson and Hallett from the editorial team, in August 2013, Drs. Doug Schrock and Amy Kroska joined as Deputy Editors. Dr. Schrock’s replaces Dr. Hallett as the team’s anchor in qualitative methods and Dr. Kroska helps to cover submissions focused on identity processes. Each Deputy Editor handles 10–15 manuscripts each year and shares with us reviewers’ comments and their editorial decisions prior to informing authors. Graduate editorial assistants Lesley Watson (January–August) and Deena Isom (September–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 copyediting review, Ms. Mosser also worked hourly to copyedit manuscripts that lacked the quality of writing that we desired.
The composition of the board strikes a balance in terms of the representation of subspecialties, topics, and methodological approaches within social psychology. In composing the board, we are cognizant of ensuring diversity in terms of race/ethnicity and gender as well as a broad representation of expertise. According to the ASA materials our 33-member editorial board in 2013 had four minorities and 17 women; our 2014 34-member board includes six minorities and 16 female members.. We also have good international representation. We wish to acknowledge the dedication and critical guidance of the outgoing 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. Over the years, the number of scholars reviewing for SPQ has increased: in 2010, 186 scholars reviewed; 2011, 273 reviewers; 2012, 253 reviewers; and 2013, 327 (183 men and 144 women) reviewers. The significant increase in 2013 stems, in part, from the new reviewers invited by special issue editors as well as from the increase in submissions. 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 scholarship in a variety of areas within social psychology.
Karen A. Hegtvedt and Cathryn Johnson, Editors
The year 2013 marked the fourth full year for Sociological Methodology editor Tim F. Liao and managing editor Lisa Savage at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Volume 43, which became available in its entirety online and in print in August 2013, features seven articles in three important areas: interviewing and survey analytic methods; new modeling approaches; and composition, context, and structure, as well as a symposium of three papers on marginal models for categorical data, accompanied by six commentaries and three rejoinders.
For the entire year of 2013, 46 submissions and resubmissions were considered, and 37 of these were new submissions. Of the 46 submissions or resubmissions accepted for review in 2013, 20 were rejected outright, 15 were given a revise and resubmit, and one was given conditional acceptance. The traditional acceptance rate was 14.00% and the new acceptance rate was 20.59% (by not counting resubmissions separately). The manuscripts considered took an average of 8.68 or a median of 7.36 weeks in the review process. On January 1, 2012, 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 including a symposium already accepted for volume 44. We project that volume 44 will come out some time in late summer 2014, similar to the publication date in 2013.
Tim Liao, Editor
In terms of editorial activity, 2013 was much like any other year at Sociological Theory (ST). We received 112 new submissions, as compared to 118 in 2012, and considered an additional 39 manuscripts that were carried over from a previous year. We published a total of 16 papers, for an acceptance rate, according to the “new” ASA measure, of about 9 percent.
In 2013 our editorial lag increased to 14 weeks, although our production lag held steady at 5.2 months. We’re hoping to get our editorial lag back down in 2014, although as of the writing of this report, in March, our submission rate is way up—double what it was at this point last year—which poses new challenges.
Among the many papers I’m pleased to have been able to publish in 2013 are Peeter Selg’s piece responding to the work of Gabriel Abend, Julian Go’s paper on the postcolonial roots of Bourdieusian sociology, Peter Baehr’s essay on the neglect of Raymond Aron, and a Vanina Leschziner and Adam Green paper on deliberate cognition. Isaac Reed contributed a fascinating article on power, Emily Erikson an insightful one on network analysis, Benjamin Snyder weighed in with an exploration of clock time, Francesca Polletta and Pan Ching Bobby Chen wrote compellingly on gender and public talk, and Mathieu Desan offered a provocative critique of Bourdieu and capital. (I very much like all the papers we published, of course; this is just a sampling.)
Let me take this opportunity to thank all those sociologists who reviewed for ST last year. I also want to extend a hearty thanks to members of our editorial board. I’ve been consistently impressed, during my time as editor, by the professionalism of the theory community as it shows itself in the review process.
I also want to acknowledge publicly the important contributions of ST’s managing editor, Joe Wiebe. His organizational skill and eye for detail have been essential to the journal.
Neil Gross, Editor
On July 1, 2013, my team and I took over day-to-day operations of Sociology of Education (SOE) from outgoing Editor David Bills and his team. I cannot imagine how Editor Bills and his team could have done more to facilitate a smoother transition. They showed my team the ins-and-outs of their day-to-day operations, they were incredibly well-organized, they offered advice that turned out to be invaluable, and they left us the ideal number of manuscripts in the pipeline. David and his team set a high bar.
Few others sub-areas of sociology can match the breadth of sociology of education’s substantive areas, the diversity of its theoretical perspectives, or the variety of its high-quality methodological approaches. As I wrote in my application to edit SOE, my team’s goal for the next few years is “to continue and expand SOE’s tradition of attracting and publishing high-quality scholarship that employs a diverse set of theories and methods to understand the many ways in which the processes and institutions of education shape and are shaped by broader social, economic, political, cultural, and other contexts.”
While my team embarks on new initiatives—to attract more and more diverse submissions, to reduce turn-around time while simultaneously providing good feedback, to publish more articles, and to use social media more effectively—we do so fully aware that our predecessors have built and nurtured a great journal. Former Editors Sussman, Trow, Bidwell, Kitsuse, Entwisle, Kerckhoff, Hallinan, Wexler, Wrigley, Walters, Pallas, Alexander, Schneider, and Bills are responsible for making SOE the top journal in its subfield and one of the best in both sociology and education research. We hope to maintain their momentum and we commit to leaving the journal at least as strong and vibrant as when we inherited it.
Manuscript Flow: This report covers the manuscript activity of the journal from January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013. As shown in the table below, SOE received 195 new submissions and 225 submissions total. As far as I can tell, both are records for the journal.
Weeks from Submission to Decision
The acceptance rate for SOE, calculated in the “old” manner (which equals the percentage of all decisions made in 2013 that were acceptances) was 4.2 percent. Using the “new” method of calculation (which excludes “revised and resubmit” decisions from the denominator), our acceptance rate was 4.8 percent. However you calculate it, SOE’s acceptance rate was lower in 2013 than in any recent year.
During 2013 the time from manuscript submission to the delivery of a decision email averaged about 8 weeks, a significant improvement from last year’s 12 weeks. How have we managed to reduce the journal’s response time in a year with an editorial transition and a record number of submissions? One answer: Outgoing Editor Bills’ excellent stewardship of the journal and his thoughtfulness and effort in leaving the journal in great shape. Another answer: Very hard and quick work by members of the Editorial Board, by the Reviewers, and by the Managing Editors.
Our production lag (the time it takes for an accepted manuscript to actually appear in the journal) is still about 5 months.
Reviewers and Reviewing: When I took over the journal I had several serious misconceptions. First, I was sure that most people would say “no” when I invited them to review manuscripts. Second, I feared that people who agreed to review manuscripts would take forever to do so. Third, I thought that many people would write reviews that were unhelpful (for me or the authors). While there are certainly “those” reviewers in our midst, the vast majority of people I have invited to review have been accommodating, conscientious, professional, and relatively quick. People do decline to review manuscripts, but they do so quickly and they suggest alternative reviewers. People take their time to submit their recommendations, but they usually try hard to adhere to deadlines. Some reviews are better than others, but the vast majority of them are constructive, insightful, and very helpful to me in making decisions. I sincerely thank the nearly 400 people who reviewed for SOE in 2013.
Finally, I want to acknowledge the five exceptional reviewers to whom David Bills gave “Revise and Resubmit” (Reviewer of the Year) Awards in August of 2013. They are Carlo Barone, Jessica Calarco, Bill Carbonaro, Tom DiPrete, and Keith Robinson. I look forward to continuing this tradition in 2014.
Editorial Team: A bad joke might begin, “An ethnographer, a comparative-historical scholar, and a quantitative researcher walked into a bar…” In the case of my team of Deputy Editors, however, the punch line has been amazingly productive and constructive. Amy Binder, Eric Grodsky, and Hyunjoon Park have served valiantly as Deputy Editors. They advise on tough decisions, they spread the word about our desire to expand the number and breadth of manuscripts coming into the journal, they set me straight when I mess up, they fill in as spot reviewers in a pinch, and they talk me off the ledge when things go wrong. They have helped me to better, more clearly, and more liberally define what counts as good “sociology of education.”
In my first months on the job I leaned heavily on SOE’s fantastic Editorial Board. I want to first thank the following people who completed three year terms on the Editorial Board at the end of 2013: Megan Andrew, Fabrizio Bernardi, Simon Cheng, Stefanie Ann DeLuca, Thomas J. Espenshade, David J. Harding, Melissa Herman, Takehiko Kariya, Stephen L. Morgan, R.S. Oropesa, C.J. Pascoe, Maria G. Rendon, Lisa Michele Stulberg, David F. Suarez, and Will Tyson.
I also appreciate the efforts of continuing Board members: Brian An, Irenee Beattie, Karen Bradley, Christian Brzinsky-Fay, Soo-yong Byun, Sin Yi Cheung, Wade Cole, Thurston Domina, Kevin Dougherty, George Farkas, Michelle L. Frisco, Ruben Gaztambide-Fernandez, Michelle Jackson, Jennifer Jennings, Leticia Marteleto, Amy Orr, Justin Powell, Francisco Ramirez, Linda A. Renzulli, Catherine Riegle-Crumb, Arthur Sakamoto, Maryellen Schaub, Laura Tach, Tony Tam, and Florencia Torche.
Finally, SOE welcomed several new members to the Board for three year terms that began on January 1, 2014: Katerina Bodovski, Jessica Calarco, Jaap Dronkers, Kimberly Goyette, Emily Hannum, Jacob Hibel, Yasmiyn Irizarry, ChangHwan Kim, Irena Kogan, Amy Langenkamp, Jennifer Lee, Ervin Matthew, Jal Mehta, Hiroshi Ono, Keith Robinson, Argun Saatcioglu, Karolyn Tyson, Wout Ultee, Elizabeth Vaquera, and Raymond Wong.
In all, the Board includes 23 women, 22 men, and 16 minorities.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly: My Managing Editors Stefanie Lightner and Megan Landberg have made this transition (mostly) smooth, easy, and fun. They probably deserve most of the credit for whatever has gone well.
SOE welcomes submissions from across the broad substantive concerns of the field and is receptive to a wide array of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches. Send your education-related manuscripts to SOE, and have your colleagues do the same.
Rob Warren, Editor
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 had a special edition (January 2013) on the role of writing in the teaching of sociology. The manuscripts for that edition, however, were all processed in 2012. Suzanne Hudd was the guest editor for that edition. And in 2013 we also announced a special edition on graduate students and writing that became the January 2014 edition of Teaching Sociology.
Teaching Sociology, Volume 41 (2013) published 52 works, including 18 articles, 12 notes, 21 book, web, and film reviews, and one review essay about the film career of Richard Broadman and how his films can be used in classes. In addition, there were five editorial comments, four by me and one by Dr. Hudd in the special edition, and two calls for the next editor of Teaching Sociology.
Manuscript Flow: In 2013, 156 manuscripts were submitted. Of these, 89 were new manuscripts, 57 were revised manuscripts, and 10 had not yet received a decision from the previous year. The manuscript statistics are: 30 percent were either accepted or conditionally accepted; 24 percent were invited to revise and resubmit, 31 percent were rejected, 6 percent were rejected without review, less than 3 percent were withdrawn by the authors, and 6 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 2013, 29 percent were accepted, 55 percent were rejected, 5 percent was withdrawn by the author, and 11 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 29 days and 13 weeks to 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 David Blouin and Alison Moss’s hard work as guest editors, manuscripts submitted for the special edition on writing had only a 5 day additional time to first decision.
Editorial Board: There were 35 members on the Editorial Board. Twenty-six were female and nine were male, and seventeen percent were minorities. I want to express my gratitude to those members of the Editorial Board who transitioned off in December 2013: Nancy Berns, Timothy Kubal, Tracey McKenzie, A. Fiona Pearson, Daphne Pedersen, Rosemary Powers, and David Purcell.
The year 2013 was my fourth 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 begin working with the incoming editor, Stephen Sweet, as I end my term in 2014.
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 Chris Wellin, my Deputy Editor. Chris 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 Chris will be there for me, and for the journal.
Second, I also want to thank my past Managing Editor, Roseanne Ponce. Rosie was a graduate student here at Valdosta State University until this past May and balanced 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. Taking ably over from Rosie has been R. Garrett White. Garrett has been wonderful in the position while also a graduate student at VSU. 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 Jesse Stoll at SAGE, with whom I worked for most of this year. He is a wonderful copyeditor/production editor and I will miss our interactions.
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