Editors' Reports for 2014
Review Process: The American Sociological Review (ASR) continued to receive a large number of high quality submissions during calendar year 2014. From January 1 through December 31, 2014, we considered a total of 735 manuscripts, including both submissions (603) and manuscripts carried over from the previous year (132). 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 735 manuscripts submitted, 664 were screened by the editors and submitted to the review process. Another 71 manuscripts were screened by the editors and rejected outright. Of the 664 manuscripts reviewed, 382 were rejected, 85 were invited to revise and resubmit, 47 were offered conditional acceptances, 46 were accepted, 3 were withdrawn, and 101 are pending. (Note, however, that some manuscripts are represented more than once in these data, for example, as a manuscript is conditionally accepted and then accepted.) The journal has 72 revise and resubmit manuscripts outstanding.
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 7.29 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 9.16 percent with prejects and 10.67 percent without prejects.)
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 11 weeks. The production lag (time from acceptance to publication) was 7.2 months.
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 web site (http://asr.sagepub.com/) where articles can be viewed online. This provides easy electronic access for subscribers to the journal’s content.
We also provide Spanish translations of article abstracts and a translation of one full article per volume. These appear on the ASR SAGE web site 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 web site. 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 web site. 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 4.266 (2013 data are most recent available), the highest article influence score in our discipline.
In 2014 the ASA Council and Publications Committee granted ASR a 200-page increase in annual page length for the journal (from 1,098 to 1,298 pages per year). This is allowing ASR to include longer articles when appropriate as well as some additional articles in its 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 2014, 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, André Christie-Mizell (Vanderbilt University) who joins our outstanding team of deputy editors: Robert Boyd (Mississippi State University), John Reynolds (Florida State University), Jason Schnittker (University of Pennsylvania), Sandra Smith (University of California-Berkeley) and Yang Claire Yang (University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill).
In addition, the 2014 ASR editorial board was composed of 75 members. Of these, 51 percent were women and 25 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 2014. 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 1,081 books from publishers during 2014. The total number of books that the editor examined was 1,081.
Review Process: Of the 1,081 books submitted, 350 were screened by the editor and accepted for review. 702 books were classified as "No Review." The decision on 29 books is pending.
The total number of items published is 417 and covers a total of 541 books. Of these, 298 regular reviews were finished and published in Volume 43, plus 28 review-essays, 7 Critical Retrospective Essays, and 12 symposium reviews. In addition, 72 “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 43 contain the following: 298 book reviews, 28 review-essays, 7 critical retrospective essays, 12 symposium reviews, 6 editor's remarks, and 72 books reviewed in "Briefly Noted."
Editorial Board Members and Reviewers: 17 women and 19 men comprised the editorial board in 2014. This included 12 minorities and 4 foreign editorial board members.
Michael Sauder, Editor
One of the highlights for 2014 has been increased open access for Contexts: each issue is fully available online for 30 days after initial publication. We are excited about this expanded access for public sociology and appreciate the opportunity we’ve had in working with the executive office of the ASA to make this a possibility. Another highlight was our special issue on food. The enthusiastic response to the call for submissions and the resulting range of work we published indicates that the sociology of food is a rich and robust area of study.
Once again we offered our “Writing for Contexts” workshop at the 2014 ASA Annual meeting. This event was well attended and participation was lively. 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 over the last three years.
We published a total of 95 items in 2014, 21 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.
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.
Editing and publishing Contexts is very much a collaborative effort. In 2014, our highly skilled and dedicated staff included: managing editor, Carly Chillmon; graduate associate editor; Jess Streete; webmaster, Jon Smadja; and department editors, Syed Ali (Viewpoints), Katie Hyde (Photo Essays), Tom Linneman (Trends), Gary Perry (Pedagogies), Karen Sternheimer (Meditations), and Matt Wray (Book Reviews). ThinkDesign provides the slick, stylish look of Contexts. We are especially grateful for the conscientious work of our editorial board, as well as those others who generously review for Contexts. These constructive reviews are the heavy-lifting of the peer review process and we appreciate our colleagues who take on this service. We also appreciate the support of the ASA office and their commitment to Contexts.
2014 was our last year as editors. We celebrated with the Claude Awards presented at the annual ASA meetings. Named for founding editor, Claude Fisher, these awards recognize outstanding material published during the term of an editorship. The awardees are nominated and voted on by the editorial board. The award recipients for 2012-2014 include: “India's Reproductive Assembly Line” by Sharmila Rudrappa, Spring 2012 (Best Feature Article, International); “Can't Ask, Can't Tell: How Institutional Review Boards Keep Sex in the Closet” by Janice M. Irvine, Spring 2012 (Best Feature Article, US focus); “Reality Queens” by Joshua Gamson, Spring 2013 (Best Mediations Essay); “C-section Epidemic” by Theresa Morris, Winter 2014 ((Best Trends Essay); “Teaching a Hip-Hop Ecology” by Michael J. Cermak, Summer 2012 (Best Pedagogies Essay); “Juvenile In Justice” by Richard Ross, Spring 2013 (Best Photo Essay); “Neurodiversity” by Micki McGee, Summer 2012 (Best Jargon Essay); “Got Power?” by Christine Williams, Spring 2012 and “A Populist Sociology” by Monte Bute, Spring 2013 (Co-winners, Best Unplugged Essay).
We are delighted to welcome new editors, Syed Ali and Philip Cohen. They have already introduced new, exciting dimensions to the Contexts website and we look forward to the innovations they will bring as they continue the Contexts mission of promoting and expanding public sociology.
Jodi O’Brien and Arlene Stein, Editors
The Journal of Health and Social Behavior 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 2014 we have published and accepted for publication papers reflecting a broad range of issues in health, illness, and healing. The articles published spanned a broad range of theoretically informed empirical research. Topics included the study of the organization of health care; health insurance; inequities in access to care; genetic risk; stigma; racial, gender, and sexual orientation discrimination; stress; social relationships. Many of these studies employed a life course perspective and looked at a variety of social contexts, including schools, neighborhoods, workplaces, prisons and families.
These articles used a wide range of quantitative as well as qualitative methods. Reflecting JHSB’s mission statement, published 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: The journal’s operations ran smoothly in 2014. The average turnaround time from receipt of submission was unchanged from 5.92 weeks in 2013 to 5.96 weeks in 2014. The production lag time (time between acceptance of a paper to its appearance in print) rose slightly from 2.98 weeks in 2013 to 3.23 weeks in 2014. The lag was 4.2 weeks in 2012, so these production times are within historical boundaries.
The number of manuscripts processed increased from 360 in 2013 to 495 in 2014. This number represents 461 new submissions and 34 carried over from the prior year.
The “traditional” acceptance rate, which counts all decisions, went from 8.31 percent in 2013 to 7.95 in 2014. The “new” acceptance rate, which counts only final decisions, went from 10.76 percent in 2013 to 11.01 percent in 2014. In 2014, we published 34 articles, 1 commentary and 4 policy briefs. The editor selects one paper from each issue that has significant policy implications and asks the authors to craft a one-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 (Brittany Morey) and Managing Editors for Production (Alanna Hirz) with the help of two Editorial Assistants (Jesse Damon and Kathleen Manimtim at UCLA).
Editorial Board and Deputy Editors: I sincerely thank the Journal’s thoughtful Deputy Editors: Carol S. Aneshensel, Pamela Herd, Anne R. Pebley, David T. Takeuchi, Stefan Timmermans, and Andrea E. Willson. They have played an invaluable role in adjudicating difficult decisions, managing conflict-of-interest submissions, and providing advice on the journal’s operations.
At the end of 2014, 13 editorial board members rotated off: Benjamin Cornwell, Matthew E. Dupre, Brian Karl Finch, Thomas LaVeist, Kyriakos S. Markides, Kei Nomaguchi, Sigrun Olafsdottir, Christian Ritter, Kristen W. Springer, Kristen Turney, Koji Ueno, Rebecca L. Utz, and Zhenmei Zhang. 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 nineteen new members whose terms run from January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2017. These members include Ilana Redstone Akresh, William R. Avison, Terje Eikemo, Tyrone A. Forman, Bridget Goosby, Steven Haas, Terrence D. Hill, Allen J. LeBlanc, Karen D. Lincoln, Ka-Yuet Liu, Karen Lutfey, Jane D. McLeod, Jill Quadagno, Janet K. Shim, Sara Shostak, David Stuckler, Edna A. Viruell-Fuentes, Emily Walton, and Anna Zajacova. 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 remains diverse in terms of gender (61 percent female in 2014; 58 percent in 2013), and race/ethnicity (27 percent in 2014; 29 percent in 2013). 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.
In 2014, Lee Clarke continued to serve as the lead editor of the Rose series. He was joined by co-editors Judith Gerson, Lauren Krivo, Paul McLean, and Patricia Roos. Judith Gerson stepped down as a Rose editor at the end of 2014.
Our editors reviewed nine manuscript proposals in 2014 and we were pleased to accept one for publication: Golden Years? Inequalities in Later Life by Deborah Carr.
In addition, The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth and the Transition to Adulthood by Karl Alexander, Doris Entwisle, and Linda Olson were published by the Russell Sage Foundation in the Spring of 2014. This book was featured at an Author-Meets-Critic session at the 2014 ASA annual meeting. Alexander also highlighted his research at a colloquium hosted by the Rose editors and the Rutgers University Department of sociology.
We continue to work with Rose authors on five forthcoming manuscripts. The editorial team has also been actively engaged in reaching out to scholars whose work could be a promising addition to the Rose Series. In the past year, we contacted over twenty potential authors and invited them to submit proposals.
In 2014, we had 24 members of our editorial board. We are grateful to our editorial board and would like to thank our outgoing members (Julia Potter Adams, Kathleen M. Blee, Dana M. Britton, C. Andre Christie-Mizell, Korie L. Edwards, Rebecca Joyce Kissane, William Marsiglio, R. Tyson Smith, and Matt Wray) and welcome Asaf Bayat, Yen Le Espiritu, David John Frank, Judith Gerson, Zsuzsa Gille, Enid Logan, Kris Marsh, Anthony Paik, and Leslie S. Paik.
Lee Clarke, Lauren Krivo, Paul McLean, Patricia Roos, Editors
In 2014, SPQ continued to achieve its goal of publishing a wide variety of work, on different substantive topics, using a range of methodologies. In addition, a special issue, “Social Psychology and Culture: Advancing Connections,” edited by guest editors Jessica Collett and Omar Lizardo of Notre Dame University, appeared. The year also saw the transition to the new editorial team, helmed by Richard T. Serpe (Kent State University) and Jan E. Stets (University of California-Riverside).
In the three regular issues, topics covered in the eleven articles ranged from experimental work on trust, to survey experiments pertaining to issues of stereotyping and of identity, and survey work on stress and mental health as well as intergroup processes. Of the articles appearing in those issues, four addressed issues of race in different ways, and others applied social psychological processes to domains such as juvenile delinquency and mental health. In addition, the March issue included the Cooley-Mead address by Gary Alan Fine (SPQ editor 2007-10) entitled, “The Hinge: Civil Society, Group Culture, and the Interaction Order,” which was introduced by Tim Hallett.
The five articles in the special issue also included an array of methodologies as well as variations on qualitative methods, including extensive ethnographies, in-depth interviews, and content analysis. Substantive topics pertained to issues of gender, identity, stereotyping, media and educational expectations. What is particularly striking about these articles is how the authors bring together theoretical tools of the sociology of culture and social psychological processes stemming from various traditions, group processes, symbolic interaction, and social cognition. Indeed, as the introductory remarks of the guest editors indicate, “an alliance between cultural sociology and social psychology is not only desirable and feasible, but required for the continuation theoretical and empirical development of both fields.”
During 2014, quarterly subscriber letters highlighted how the articles in each issue represent core theoretical domains within social psychology and sometimes linkages between those domains. The website also highlighted the contents of current issues as well as the “Snap,” which offers a shortened, lightened, and focused version of one paper from each issue that should be useful in teaching undergraduate courses. The extra effort and time that our Snaps authors take is much appreciated.
The Emory editorial team, consisting of Karen Hegtvedt, deputy editors Deborah Carr, Amy Kroska, and Doug Schrock, editorial assistant Deena Isom, and managing editor Gianna Mosser, functioned fully until July 31, after which the incoming editors began to receive new manuscripts. The Emory team handled incoming revisions until August 31 and decisions on previously processed manuscripts. In addition, we ensured that all accepted manuscripts were copy edited in preparation for their appearance in print. We also shepherded the Cooley-Mead address through the production process.
The new editorial office began to receive manuscripts on August 1. The editorial office for the new editors is located at the University of California-Riverside. Coeditors Richard Serpe and Jan Stets and managing editor Ryan Trettevik meet weekly via Adobe Connect. The deputy editors Linda George, Will Kalkhoff and Donileen Loseke meet monthly with the coeditors using Adobe Connect. In addition, the new editorial team includes Gianna Mosser as the copyeditor and two editorial assistants, Phoenicia Fares at University of California-Riverside and Elena Fox at Kent State University.
Review Process: During the calendar year 2014, Social Psychology Quarterly (SPQ) received a typical number of submissions. From January 1 through December 31, 2014, we considered a total of 200 manuscripts submitted to the journal. This number is 51 less than 2013 but a little higher relative to 2012 (N=171). The drop is not surprising given that the increase in 2013 stemmed in part from the special issue. Of the 200 manuscripts considered in 2014, 33 carried over from the previous year, and 167 were submitted in 2014.
Using the new acceptance rate in which acceptances are divided only by final decisions, SPQ’s acceptance rate for the year was 12.24 whereas for 2014 it was 10.83. Using the traditional indicator for the acceptance rate in which acceptances are divided by the number of overall decisions, SPQ’s acceptance rate was 9.42 percent (up from the 7.69 percent in 2013, but on par with the 9.93 percent in 2012).
Similar to SPQ editors of the past, we endeavored to conduct the review process in an efficient, fair, and timely manner. We know the importance of timeliness for all scholars, but particularly for newer scholars in the discipline. The journal’s mean turnaround time was shorter in the latter part of 2014; there was a change in turnaround time from 10.6 weeks in 2013 to 6.8 weeks in 2014.
Editorial Team, Board, and Reviewers: Doug Schrock, Amy Kroska, and Deborah Carr continued as Deputy Editors for 2014. Doug Schrock remained as the team’s anchor in qualitative methods, Amy Kroska assisted with submissions focused on identity processes, and Deborah Carr handled submissions focused on health. As the journal transitioned to the new editors in August, the three new Deputy Editors began providing advice on manuscripts. In the latter part of the year, Linda George helped with submissions focused on life-course processes and health, while Will Kalkhoff assisted with group processes manuscripts. Doni Loseke has taken the lead on manuscripts in qualitative methods. Each Deputy Editor in the new editorial team will handle 15-20 manuscripts each year and share reviewers’ comments and their editorial recommendations with the new editors. Graduate editorial assistant Deena Isom assisted in locating reviewers and maintained the website. Starting in August, the new editorial assistants, Phoenicia Fares and Elena Fox assisted the new editors in finding reviewers and compile reviewer summary forms. And, of course, SPQ remained in the good hands of our long-standing SPQ managing editor, Gianna Mosser. This year Gianna also played a large role in helping smooth the transition to the new managing editor, Ryan Trettevik.
The composition of the board has a good balance of subspecialties/topics and methodological approaches within social psychology. In composing the board, we also were cognizant of ensuring diversity in terms of race/ethnicity and gender. The 2014 board included six minorities and 16 female members of the 34 member board. We also had good international representation. At the end of the calendar year, we wrote to acknowledge the dedication and critical guidance of the outgoing board members.
We invited 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 continued to have a healthy number of international scholars as reviewers. Overall, our reviewer base remains healthy. In 2014, we received reviews from 267 reviewers (133 men and 134 women). We are sincerely grateful to our board members and reviewers for their invaluable service in ensuring that we publish the very best papers that demonstrate cutting-edge research in a variety of areas within social psychology.
Karen A. Hegtvedt, Editor
The year 2014 marked the fifth full year for Sociological Methodology editor Tim F. Liao and managing editor Lisa Savage at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Volume 44, which became available in its entirety online in September 2014 and in print not long after, features six articles in two important areas: modeling strategies and scaling, as well as a symposium of one paper on qualitative comparative analysis, accompanied by seven commentaries and a rejoinder.
For the entire year of 2014, 65 submissions and resubmissions were considered, and 47 of these were new submissions. Of the 60 submissions or resubmissions accepted for review in 2014, 15 were rejected outright, 24 were given a revise and resubmit, and 9 were given conditional acceptance. The acceptance rate based on all the submissions and resubmissions (i.e., editorial decisions) was 13.11 percent and the acceptance rate was 28.57 percent if we do not count resubmissions. Half of the manuscripts considered took 7.6 or fewer weeks in the review process, with the average review time being 9.08 weeks. Sociological Methodology currently uses the ScholarOne online manuscript tracking system for all new and revised submissions. However, we may occasionally process manuscripts in the traditional manner because they originated outside of ScholarOne. We currently have a healthy stream of new submissions and resubmissions. We have all of the manuscripts copy-edited for volume 45 and several manuscripts already accepted for volume 46. We project that volume 45 will come out some time in late summer 2015.
Tim F. Liao, Editor
2014 was a year of change at Sociological Theory. Although our editorial procedures remained the same, we saw a major spike in submissions. In 2013, we received 112 new papers; last year, 184, a 64 percent jump. We are not sure what drove the increase. It could be a random spike. Recent gains in our impact factor could have played a role, as could SAGE’s international marketing, which is making the journal more widely available. Or perhaps we are seeing a groundswell of theoretical interest! Whatever the reason, the result has been a flood of interesting manuscripts—and, inevitably, some delays in manuscript processing that do not show up in the 2014 numbers, but that will probably be apparent in 2015.
We were able to publish 18 pieces in 2014 as opposed to our usual 16. This reflects not a change in editorial policy, but the fact that we published a special issue of essays responding to Jiannbin Shiao’s 2012 article, “The Genomic Challenge to the Social Construction of Race.” These essays were a bit shorter than our normal articles, and the special issue also included a brief response by Shiao. Beyond these pieces, we published other interesting and exciting articles, including Andrew Abbott’s “The Problem of Excess,” J. Lotus Seeley’s “Harrison White as (Not Quite) Poststructuralist,” Kent McClelland’s “Cycles of Conflict: A Computational Modeling Alternative to Collins’s Theory of Conflict Escalation,” and Dan Hirschman and Isaac Reed’s essay on “Formation Stories and Causality in Sociology.” This is just a sampling.
We were able to accept about 11 percent of the manuscripts submitted in 2014, by the “new” ASA measure of acceptance rates. Our editorial lag held steady at just under 14 weeks.
2015 will also see changes at the journal. On August 1, Mustafa Emirbayer will take over as editor, and ST will shift its home base to the University of Wisconsin. I am thrilled to report that Mustafa’s first editorial decision was to hire as his managing editor the indefatigable Joe Wiebe, who has been working with me since 2009. Joe will work remotely, as he has done anyway for the last few years. I am happy to be handing the reins over to Mustafa, and look forward to seeing where the theory field will go in the years to come.
Neil Gross, Editor
2014 was a great year for SOE: The journal featured high-quality articles that were diverse with respect to theoretical orientation, methodological approach, geographic scope, and substantive topic. There were articles about Brazil, Canada, France, Mexico, and the United States; there were others that were broadly comparative. There were sophisticated causal models and experimental designs, and there were exceptional ethnographies and historical analyses. With your help, SOE will do even more in 2015 to reflect the rich diversity of scholarship in the area.
In 2015 my team will seek to attract more diverse submissions, to maintain low turn-around times while simultaneously providing good feedback, to publish more articles, and to use social media more effectively. But we do so with continuing awareness 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 among the best in both sociology and education. Our goal continues to be maintaining their momentum; in 2015 we re-commit to leaving the journal at least as strong and vibrant as when we inherited it.
We want to make sure you are aware of some changes at SOE that happened in 2014. First, we unveiled a new cover thanks to the design expertise of Jennifer C. Lee (Indiana). Second, as you may have noticed from the January 2015 issue, my intention is for SOE to feature 5 articles per issue instead of 4; this can be accomplished with no new page allocation simply by “encouraging” authors to write more concisely and to put material of secondary importance in online appendices. This initiative will help raise the acceptance rate to a more reasonable level despite a higher number of submissions. Third, we streamlined and modernized the submission instructions (no more references to sending floppy disks!) See a recent issue for details. Fourth, we now require all new submissions to verify that research on human subjects has been conducted in a manner that conforms to professional guidelines on research ethics.
Manuscript Flow: This report covers the manuscript activity of the journal from January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014. As shown in the table below, SOE received 211 new submissions and 245 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 2014 that were acceptances) was 7.0 percent. Using the “new” method of calculation (which excludes “revised and resubmit” decisions from the denominator), our acceptance rate was 8.5 percent. About 21.0 percent of manuscripts were desk rejected - rejected without undergoing external peer review. Of those that went out for peer review, the “new” acceptance rate was 10.8 percent. However you calculate it, SOE’s acceptance rate was low in 2014. The bottom line: SOE has been getting about 200 new submissions in recent years but has only been publishing 16 articles per year. Our new initiative to publish five articles per issue instead of four should help bring up acceptance rates.
During 2014 the time from manuscript submission to the delivery of a decision email averaged fewer than 5 weeks, a significant improvement from last year’s 8 weeks. Among manuscripts that underwent external peer review - that is, excluding desk rejects - the average was just under 6 weeks. Not a single author had to wait more than 7 weeks to get a decision. How have we managed to reduce the journal’s response time in recent years, despite the higher number of submissions? One answer: SOE’s reviewers are amazing. The average reviewer took about 20 days to submit their recommendation; most reviewers are as constructive and thoughtful as they are timely. Another answer: A shift in cultural expectations. As our submission-to-decision times have come down, reviewers are informed that they risk holding up the process if they delay. Also, authors who themselves receive quick and useful feedback tend to subsequently review thoughtfully and quickly when they are called on to do so.
Our production lag (the time it takes for an accepted manuscript to actually appear in the journal) is about 3 months.
Reviewers and Reviewing: In 2014, my staff and I sent 1,570 invitations to review manuscripts to 925 different people. Those invitations yielded 602 completed reviews by 389 different people. I sincerely thank the people who reviewed for SOE in 2014.
Finally, I want to acknowledge the six exceptional reviewers to whom I gave “Revise and Resubmit” (Reviewer of the Year) Awards in August 2014. They are Jennifer Jennings, Sean Kelly, Daniel Long, Amy Orr, Linda Renzulli, and Lisa Stulberg. I look forward to continuing this tradition in 2015.
Editorial Team: In 2014 I leaned heavily on my team of Deputy Editors. Amy Binder, Eric Grodsky, and Hyunjoon Park continued to serve valiantly in this capacity. 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.” At the end of 2014, Hyunjoon Park stepped down as Deputy Editor. In his place, Evan Schofer began as Deputy Editor to begin 2015. I sincerely thank Hyunjoon for his service, and I am already appreciating Evan’s great work.
In 2014 I also continued to lean 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 2014: Brian An, Christian Brzinskiy-Fay, Wade Cole, George Farkas, Michelle L. Frisco, Ruben Gaztambide-Fernandez, Linda A. Renzulli, Catherine Riegle-Crumb, Maryellen Schaub, and Laura Tach.
I also appreciate the efforts of continuing Board members: Irenee Beattie, Katerina Bodovski, Karen Bradley, Soo-yong Byun, Jessica Calarco, Sin Yi Cheung, Thurston Domina, Kevin Dougherty, Jaap Dronkers, Kimberly Goyette, Emily Hannum, Jacob Hibel, Yasmiyn Irizarry, Michelle Jackson, Jennifer Jennings, ChangHwan Kim, Irena Kogan, Amy Langenkamp, Jennifer Lee, Leticia Marteleto, Ervin Matthew, Jal Mehta, Hiroshi Ono, Amy Orr, Justin Powell, Francisco Ramirez, Keith Robinson, Argun Saatcioglu, Arthur Sakamoto, Tony Tam, Florencia Torche, Karolyn Tyson, Wout Ultee, Elizabeth Vaquera, and Raymond Wong.
Finally, SOE welcomed several new members to the Board for three year terms that began on January 1, 2015: Steven Alvarado, Elizabeth A. Armstrong, Ebony Bridwell-Mitchell, Susan A. Dumais, Jason Fletcher, Pat Goldsmith, Laura Hamilton, Melanie Jones Gast, Joshua Klugman, Lauren Rivera, Natasha Warikoo, and Xiaogang Wu.
In all, the Board includes 25 women, 22 men, and 21 racial/ethnic minorities.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly: In 2014 SOE transitioned from two amazing Managing Editors (Megan Landberg and Stefanie Lightner) to one new and equally amazing Managing Editor (Amy August). Amy, Stefanie, and Megan deserve much of the credit for whatever went well in 2014.
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 2014 we had a special edition (January 2014) on graduate students and teaching. The manuscripts for that edition, however, were all processed in 2013. David D. Blouin and Alison R. Moss were the guest editors for that edition.
Under the editorship of Kathleen Lowney, Teaching Sociology, Volume 42 (2014) published 53 works, including 22 articles, 5 notes, and 21 book and film reviews. In addition, there were five editorial comments, four by Lowney and one by the guest editors for the special edition.
Manuscript Flow: In 2014, 132 manuscripts were submitted, with 4 carried over from the previous year. The manuscript statistics are: 28 percent were either accepted or conditionally accepted; 23 percent were invited to revise and resubmit, 28 percent were rejected, 21 percent were rejected without review, none were withdrawn by the authors, and 0 percent was still out for review at the end of the year.
The transition to Stephen Sweet as the new editor officially began on August 1, 2014, with Lowney and Sweet working together. At that time, Lowney stopped making decisions on new manuscripts and worked solely with revised manuscripts and with Sweet on the transition and responsible for preparing the January 2015 edition for publication. Thanks to a wonderful set of reviewers, Lowney was able to have a mean time-to-first decision of 29 days and 13 weeks to time to final decision over time as editor. The mean time to first decision for year 2014 was 23 days and time to final decision was 8 weeks.
Editorial Board: There were 36 members on the Editorial Board. Twenty-seven were female and nine were male, and 19 percent were minorities. Lowney expresses gratitude to those members of the Editorial Board who transitioned off in December 2014: Meghan A. Burke, Lisa Handler, Tara Hardinge, Katrina C. Hoop, Suzanne S. Hudd, Shirley A. Jackson, Donna King, Matthew T. Lee, Robin D. Moreman, Sara O’Sullivan, and Chavella T. Pittman.
2014 was Kathleen Lowney’s fifth full year as editor and she shares this perspective as she exits her term:
“I reminded myself how lucky I am. Not only did 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 hope that Stephen Sweet will have the same wonderful experiences as I did. I also want to thank several people. First, is Chris Wellin, my Deputy Editor. Chris handled all film, book, and web reviews for the past two years quietly and efficiently. And when I needed a fast review or someone to help me think through an issue, I knew that Chris would be there for me, and for the journal. Second, I also want to thank my Managing Editor, R. Garrett White. Garrett was wonderful in the position while also a graduate student at VSU. Third, I want to thank publicly ASA Staff Karen Edwards and Janine Chiappa McKenna, 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 2014. He was 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.”
Stephen Sweet, Editor