American Sociological Association

Sociological Theory Call for Editorship Applications


Extended Call for Applications for Editorship of Sociological Theory

The Committee on Publications has extended the deadline for applications for the next editor of Sociological Theory until January 15, 2015.

The official terms for the new editors (or co-editors) will commence in January 2016 (the editorial transition is anticipated for summer 2015) and is for a minimum of three years (until December 2018), with a possible reappointment of up to an additional two years.

Sociological Theory publishes work in all areas of social thought, including new substantive theories, history of theory, metatheory, formal theory construction, and syntheses of existing bodies of theory. It also publishes research notes and occasional review articles.  Sociological Theory is published quarterly (March, June, September, and December).



Candidates must be members of the ASA and hold a tenured position or equivalent in an academic or non-academic setting. Applications from members of underrepresented groups as well as from institutions where resources and support for research are not prioritized are encouraged.

In accordance with ASA’s mission to publish high-quality scholarship, the following criteria are considered in selecting editors:

  • An established record of scholarship;
  • Evidence of understanding the mission of the journal and its operation, indicated by experience with the journal across any of a wide variety of activities (e.g., publication, reviewing, editorial board experience);
  • Assessment of the present state of the journal/series, its strengths and challenges, and a vision for the journal/series’ future;
  • Openness to the different methods, theories, and approaches to sociology; and
  • A record of responsible service to scholarly publishing and evidence of organizational skill and intellectual leadership.

The time demands associated with these responsibilities vary from week to week, but, in general, require one to two full days per week.

ASA encourages applications for both sole editorships and co-editorships, including those located in different institutions.  Applicants whose institutions are limited in their ability to provide resources, releases, and support for the journal are encouraged to contact the ASA Journals and Publications Manager about the possibilities of additional support from ASA (see details below). In order to minimize conflicts of interest if you are chosen as editor, we ask that you do not submit any of your own work to the journal for which you apply after December 31, 2014, until the decision has been announced.


Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed by the Committee on Publications in January 2015. Prospective editors may be contacted to clarify issues raised in the deliberations. A list of potential editors will be forwarded to ASA Council for review in early February 2015. Council appoints the editors. The chosen editors are contacted by the ASA Secretary.

Given that the Committee on Publications receives a number of qualified applications, appointment to the editorship of an ASA journal is highly selective. The guidelines below offer suggestions to streamline the application process.

The application packet should be no more than six pages (excluding vitae) and include:

  • Vision Statement: Set forth specific ideas for goals and plans for the content of the journal. These may include an assessment of the current strengths, weaknesses, or gaps that need to be addressed and how the candidate will implement these plans.
  • Abbreviated Anonymous Vision Statement: Also include an abbreviated vision statement that focuses on the candidate’s ideas for moving the journal forward, including any weaknesses the candidate perceives, and any plans s/he envisions for addressing them. These statements will be posted anonymously on the ASA website and members will be invited to comment on them. The Committee on Publications will take this feedback into consideration in the selection process.
  • Editor/Co-Editor Background Information: The name, affiliation, and other important information about the potential editor and, if applicable, co-editors is required. Describe the qualifications of each person that support her/his inclusion. Evidence of the ability and experience of the editor and editorial team to provide sound judgment and guidance to potential ASA authors is central to the application. Provide a clear description of and justification for the structure of the editorial office and responsibilities, as envisioned at this point. Name only those individuals who will serve as editor/co-editor. Please do not include names of individuals on the larger editorial board. Contacting potential editorial board members can be a time-consuming task that should be done only after an editor is selected.   
  • Organizational/Operational Plan:  Applications should provide specific plans for how the journal will be managed, such as whether the tasks of identifying reviewers and processing reviews will be handled by the editors alone or in collaboration with associate editors or an editorial team and how timely reviewing will be accomplished.  Applications that propose co-editors at different institutions should specifically address how editorial tasks will be divided between editors and institutions and in which institution(s) the editorial staff will be located.


Institutional Support

It is important for candidates to consider and address the feasibility of serving as editor in light of financial resources ASA provides and other resources likely to be available to the candidate at their home institution. ASA provides financial support for editorial office resources as necessary to journal editors. ASA support may be used for editorial assistance, office supplies, postage, and telephone beyond what may be provided by the editor's home institution.

ASA typically does not pay for office space, release time, or tuition. In addition to paying for the staff determined necessary for the work involved in processing and reviewing manuscripts (including copyediting), incoming editors have the opportunity to request ASA support for special initiative and extra features (although most do not choose to do so).

Because the support offered by different host institutions varies widely, potential candidates are encouraged to contact the ASA Executive Office as necessary to discuss the specific level and type of ASA support that is available. Letters of support from deans or other appropriate institutional officials are not required in the submission process. Specific arrangements with a potential new editor and with that individual and his or her institution will occur after the ASA Council makes its selection and the ASA Secretary, with support from the ASA Executive Officer, works out the final agreement with the successful candidate(s).

Examples of successful past proposals are available on the journals page of the ASA website (; click on the Journals/Publications link and then Editorships).

Application packets should be sent by January 15, 2015, to Karen Gray Edwards, Director of Publications and Membership, ASA, 1430 K Street NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20005;


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