American Sociological Association

Annual Editors' Reports

ASA requires that editors of its journals and the Rose Series in Sociology provide annual reports at the end of each calendar year. In addition to these narrative reports, journal editors are also required to provide information on manuscripts received and editorial decisions. The summary table presented is intended to provide authors with information on the chances of having a manuscript accepted and the length of time an author can expect to wait for a decision.

For a list of previous Editor's Reports, click here.

 

Editors' Reports for 2016

For further details on the information presented below, please see the Summary of Editorial Activity table.

American Sociological Review

Contemporary Sociology

Contexts

Journal of Health and Social Behavior

Rose Series in Sociology

Social Psychology Quarterly

Sociological Methodology

Sociological Theory

Sociology of Education

Socius

Teaching Sociology

 

 

American Sociological Review

From January 1 through December 31, 2016, American Sociological Review (ASR) received a total of 765 submissions. Of those, 145 were rejected without being sent out for review. An additional 482 submissions were rejected outright after going through the peer review process. 63 submissions received invitations to revise and resubmit, 31 were accepted subject to minor revisions, and 44 were accepted outright. Among new (first) submissions to the journal, 507 (or 78.8 percent) were sent out for peer review. Among those that underwent the peer review process, 451 (89.0 percent) were rejected outright. 54 (10.7 percent) received an invitation to revise and resubmit, and 2 papers were accepted subject to minor revisions. No first submissions were accepted unconditionally. Among the 113 papers that were revised and resubmitted (with the resubmission coming to the ASR office in 2016), the majority were either accepted subject to minor revisions (25.7 percent) or accepted outright (38.9 percent). 8.0 percent received another invitation to revise and resubmit, while 27.4 percent were rejected. In 2016, very few papers were given multiple revise and resubmit decisions. Indeed, only six papers came into the office that were either the third or fourth submission (which were all papers that were “conditionally accepted”), and each of these was accepted unconditionally.

Manuscripts were also processed in a timely manner. Among first submissions, the average time from submission to decision was 5.9 weeks. Counting only papers that went through the peer review process, the average time from submission to decision was 7.5 weeks. Using the traditional ASA indicator for the acceptance rate (the number of accepted manuscripts divided by the number of overall decisions, multiplied by 100), the acceptance rate for 2016 was 5.8. If we instead calculate the acceptance rate as accepted papers divided by final decisions, multiplied by 100 (as suggested by England in the March 2009 issue of Footnotes), the acceptance rate was 7.0 percent.

Focus on an Efficient and High Quality Review Process. 2016 was the first full year in which we were able to implement our new approach to streamlining the review process in a way that not only produces a timely turnaround time for authors, but also sharply reduces the need for multiple revise and resubmit decisions on submissions. Our approach starts with initiating the reviewer selection and invitation process the same day in which a submission arrives in our office. By lining up reviewers very soon after the paper has been received, we are usually able to reach decisions on submissions within a couple months of receiving them. Getting an early start also frees up additional time that we have used to provide extra guidance to authors who receive invitations to revise and resubmit. For example, it frees up time to bring in a member of our editorial board to evaluate the most promising papers and also provide authors with guidance on how to effectively revise the paper in light of the feedback received from other reviewers. The journal co-editors also have time to write detailed decision letters that help focus the authors’ attention on the most significant issues that need to be addressed. “Frontloading” the expertise in this way has produced positive results. In fact, in 2016 only nine papers received a second revise and resubmit invitation and only 27.4 percent of revised papers were rejected. The initial revision process for authors, after a first revise and resubmit decision, typically involves significant work, but the extra guidance provided at that stage seems to be helping authors to reach successful outcomes.

Visibility of Journal Content--Continuity and Change. ASR maintains its high rank among sociology journals in terms of its impact factor. The most recent figures for 2014 show an impact factor of 3.989 (Thomas Reuters, 2016), placing it second among 142 sociology journals (Annual Review of Sociology was first). Some of our recent publications have received a substantial amount of media attention and scholarly engagement. Two publications from the October of 2016 issue (River and Tilcsik’s “Class Advantage, Commitment Penalty” and Desmond and Papachristos’s “Police Violence and Citizen Crime Reporting in the Black Community” have upwards of 3600 and 2900 downloads from the Sage website respectively. A number of articles published since August of 2016, including the aforementioned, have received extensive features in popular media outlets, including The New York Times and The Atlantic. One article from the August 2016 issue (Friedman and Laurison’s “The Class Pay Gap in Higher Professional and Managerial Occupations”) was covered (twice) in the general science journal Nature. The ASR twitter feed (@asr_journal) continues to be active and receives quite a lot of engagement, having become one of the primary ways through which its 1,300 plus followers keep abreast of new publications as well as popular press coverage of published articles.

Generating Diverse Content. In 2016 ASR also continued implementation of its new practices designed to increase the methodological diversity of papers published in the journal, so that journal content better reflects the diversity of work being carried out within the discipline. This involves not only signaling a desire to publish papers utilizing methodology that better represents the range of approaches in the discipline, but also providing reviewers with specialized guidelines for evaluating papers that are primarily ethnographic, comparative-historical, theoretical, or that aim to be groundbreaking articles that are empirically driven and policy relevant. Because authors, as well as reviewers, indicated that the guidelines are helpful, they are now available on the ASR SAGE website. Articles published in the first half of 2016 were primarily drawn from a backlog inherited from the previous editorial team. These articles are excellent, but display relatively little methodological diversity. Our efforts to attract more methodologically diverse work, however, seem to be paying off as we published several outstanding ethnographies and other qualitative papers in the second half of the year---a trend that has continued at an accelerated pace into 2017.

Editorial Board and Reviewers. ASR continues to benefit from a diverse and extraordinarily talented editorial board. In 2016 the board had 8 deputy editors and 61 regular board members. The total editorial board (including deputy editors) includes 55.1 percent women and 39.1 percent racial and/or ethnic minorities. As stated above, these board members have taken on a different role in their work for the journal, being primarily asked to evaluate papers that receive invitations to revise and resubmit while helping authors to successfully navigate the revision process.

We also benefited from outstanding work of our managing editor, Mara Nelson Grynaviski, our coordinating editors Paige Ambord and Will Cernenac, and editorial associates Mary Kate Blake, Emmanuel Cannady, Kevin Estep, and William Kye.

Finally, we are extraordinarily grateful for the outstanding work of ad hoc reviewers who have impressed us with their expertise, thoroughness, and a clear desire to help authors to improve their papers, even if those papers don’t end up in the pages of ASR.

Omar Lizardo, Rory McVeigh, and Sarah Mustillo, Editors

 

Contemporary Sociology

Books Considered. The editorial office of Contemporary Sociology received 773 books from publishers during 2016. The total number of books that the editor examined was 773.

Review Process. Of the 733 books submitted, 371 were screened by the editor and accepted for review. 324 books were classified as "No Review." The decision on 38 books is pending.

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 10 weeks after the materials arrive, and after consultation with the Editorial Board. This process occurs every two months. The journal’s managing editor copyedits and formats all the work received electronically in preparation for publication. The copyedited materials are sent to SAGE for typesetting, and several sets of proofs are corrected prior to publication. The production lag represents the time between receipt of the review and the publication date. The production lag averages 4 months.

Items Published. The number of reviews received for the year was 417. 391 regular reviews were finished and published in Volume 45, plus 21 review essays, two symposia, and three featured essays. In addition, 25 “Briefly Noted” reviews (250-500 words), three comments, and one reply were published. The total number of items published was 472 and covered a total of 478 books.

Editorial Board Members and Reviewers. The editorial board was comprised of 21 women and 16 men in 2016. This included 13 minority and 5 international editorial board members.

Michael Sauder, Editor

 

Contexts

As the pretty, public face of sociology, we continue to publish reader-friendly pieces by sociologists, filmmakers, journalists, librarians, and medical doctors, among others. As we’ve said before, we publish cutting-edge social research, and we’ll take it from whoever’s going to give us the good stuff. (And yes, sociologists, yours is still the good stuff!)

We published a total of 77 items in 2016, 20 of which were peer-reviewed feature articles. The others are non-peer-reviewed pieces in the viewpoints, culture, books, trends, teaching and learning, in pictures, interviews, and backpage sections. We continue to publish a fair amount of web-only, rapid-response sociological content.

Team Contexts® in 2016 was held together by our resident wordsmith and senior managing editor, Letta Page, and our managing editor, Margaret Austin Smith. Letta edits every word (best editor ever!) and Meg kept the ship afloat and everyone on point. If you wrote for Contexts you dealt with them and you’re better off for it. Our section editors are the best and are responsible for most of the content in the magazine. Szonya Ivester brings us great book reviews, Andrew Lindner finds fantastic trends pieces, Shehzad Nadeem wins an award for organizing brilliant viewpoints forums every issue, and Nathan Palmer gets us lovely teaching and learning articles. Kristen Barber started at the end of the year with the culture section, and is putting out lots of fun, interesting articles. Our magazine is a work of art because of all the work ThinkDesign puts into it. They rock. And our editorial board members are great. We put a lot of demand on them to review and write, and they do these things, and they do them really well.

Syed Ali and Philip Cohen, Editors

 

Journal of Health and Social Behavior

The Journal of Health and Social Behavior has a long-standing reputation as an outlet for cutting edge research on social aspects of health and illness. Reflecting JHSB’s mission statement, our articles use health issues to inform our broader understanding of many sociological topics, including inequalities, identities, social ties, and systems. In 2016, our papers reflected this focus, with many papers touching on issues of social inequalities, employing multiple levels of analysis, and adopting a life course perspective. All studies sought not only to employ theory, but to expand it. The articles employed a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methods to study the social origins of health in the United States and other countries including China, Malawi, Mexico, Russia, and Sweden.

Journal Operations 

In 2016, JHSB transitioned from the UCLA office under Gilbert C. Gee to the new Editors Richard Carpiano and Brian C. Kelly. They have shared some exciting new ideas that should improve the journal further. We worked closely with their staff to ensure a smooth transition. This began with initial discussions in April, included a two-month training period where the two teams jointly processed manuscripts, and a visit by Carpiano and staff to UCLA. On September 1, Capriano and Kelly handled all JHSB operations. Gee’s office was available for questions and remained the editor of record until December 31, 2016.

Despite these transitions, the journal’s operations ran smoothly in 2016. The average turnaround time from receipt of submission to first decision was 5.2 weeks, a schedule similar to prior years (5.8 weeks in 2015).

The production lag time (time between acceptance of a paper to its appearance in print) rose from 4.5 months in 2015 to 9.1 months. This increase was due to having articles wait in queue—we had more articles accepted than we could publish. Our page allocations (i.e. pages given to each issue) remained constant, but the increase in submissions has led to a backlog of articles awaiting publication. Our backlog was about two issues. I recommend that we monitor this backlog. Should it continue to grow, we might entertain the idea of increasing the page allocation.

The journal received 348 new manuscripts in 2016, a decrease from 433 in 2015. This decrease might be attributable to the journal’s transition, whereby some authors might be hesitant to submit during this period. Of the 348 new submissions, 43 percent were invited for peer review, with the remainder rejected without review. Among reviewed articles, 22 percent were invited for a revise and resubmit and 77 percent were rejected. One article was withdrawn by the author.

In addition, 59 articles submitted prior to 2016 were undergoing various stages of peer review. Of these, 41 percent were accepted, 27 percent invited to revise and resubmit, and 32 percent rejected. Further details are in the attached table.

In 2016, JHSB published 30 articles, 2 corrigenda, and 4 policy briefs. Regarding the latter, 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.

Editorial Board and Deputy Editors

Reflecting the editorial transition, many members of the board are rotating off effective December 31, 2016. These include the journal’s 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.

Also rotating off are the following Editorial Board members: Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, Renee Anspach, Richard Carpiano, Virginia Chang, Margaret Enminger, Jeremy Freese, Mark Hatzenbuehler, Patrick Heuveline, Pamela Jackson, Brian Kelly, Neal Krause, Bruce Link, Janna Nobles, Sara Shostak, and Katrina Walsemann. The editorial board was diverse in terms of gender (59 percent women in 2016; 65 percent in 2015), and race/ethnicity (25 percent minorities in 2016; 23 percent in 2015). I thank these members, the continuing board members, and 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.

Beginning on January 1, 2017, Deputy Editors are: Jason Beckfield, Robert Faris, Hedwig Lee, Bruce Link, Sara Shostak, and Margaret Weden. New Editorial Board members include: Rene Ameling, Sarah Burgard, Sean Clouston, Armanda Gengler, Jason Houle, Rachel Kimbro, Jooyoung Lee, Dawne Mouzon, Brea Perry, Corrine Reczek, Jason Rodriques, Markus Schafer, Jason Schnittker, and Patricia Thomas.

It has been a true privilege to serve as Editor for the past three years. I have been so fortunate to have worked with such a talented team. Alanna Hirz and Brittany Morey have been exemplary Managing Editors. Anna Hing, Jesse Damon, Shirley Lin and Kathleen Manimtim provided solid support as Editorial Assistants. Karen Gray Edwards and many others at ASA have provided steadfast guidance and support. And of course, there was all of the work by the editorial board members, reviewers, and authors. It is because of such a broad and supportive community that JHSB continues to thrive, and to all of these people I will be forever grateful.

Gilbert C. Gee, Editor (2014-2016)

 

Rose Series in Sociology

The ASA Rose Series in Sociology continues to publish highly visible, accessible books that offer synthetic analyses of substantive fields in sociology, challenge prevailing paradigms, and/or offer fresh views of enduring controversies. 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. The Russell Sage Foundation (RSF) 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.

We were pleased to have an exceptionally busy year, reviewing 14 new manuscript proposals in 2016. One, Who Benefits from College? by Jennie Brand, was accepted for publication and we look forward to seeing this exciting project in its full, published form.

We continued to work with the authors of four additional forthcoming manuscripts. Scott Frickel and James Elliott submitted a full draft of their book at the end of 2016 and scheduled a seminar at the Russell Sage Foundation in early 2017. Two other book projects, one by Grace Kao, Kara Joyner, and Kelly Stamper Balistreri and a second by Deborah Carr, were scheduled for early 2017 seminars. Finally, a manuscript by Judith Seltzer, the late Suzanne Bianchi, and Emily Wiemers is in the process of final revision.

In June 2016, Alexes Harris’ volume, A Pound of Flesh: Monetary Sanctions as a Permanent Punishment for the Poor, was published. This book was also featured at the Rose Series Author-Meets-Critic session at the 2016 ASA Annual Meeting. The panel, which included Dorothy Roberts, Bruce Western, and Justice Mary Yu, added their unanimous praise and insightful comments on this rigorous, timely, and important research.

We are grateful for the 24 members on our 2016 editorial board and would particularly like to thank outgoing members Steven Gold, Arne Kalleberg, and Vicki Smith for their service.

2016 marked the final full year of the Rose Series’ tenure at Rutgers University. In 2017, our editors, including Lee Clarke, Lauren Krivo, Paul McLean, and Patricia Roos, will begin handing over the reins to a new editorial group at the City University of New York Graduate Center. We are excited work with the incoming editors and facilitate a smooth transition to the series’ new home.

Lee Clarke, Lauren Krivo, Paul McLean, and Patricia Roos, Editors

 

Social Psychology Quarterly

In 2016, we published a wide variety of work using a range of methodologies. We averaged 35 days in review from original submission to first decision letter. Twenty-one articles were published in Volume 79, five of which were Research Notes. Volume 79 included a special issue, “Methodological Advances and Applications in Social Psychology” coedited by Kathy Charmaz (Sonoma State University) and Jane Sell (Texas A&M University). 

The 16 articles in Volume 79 included Murray Webster’s Cooley-Mead Address, which was introduced by Alison Bianchi. The articles covered a wide range of topics including race, aging and the life course, mental health/well-being, interpersonal relationships, religion, prejudice, gender, life course, justice/injustice, discrimination, network processes, status, emotions, trust, socialization, inequality, and identity processes. The special issue had five articles published in December 2016, and two articles published in March 2017. It included methodological advancements in statistical applications, qualitative applications of conversational analysis using secondary data, measurement bias in surveys, the use of online experiments, and the use of matching in survey data and archival data.

We continued to add manuscripts to SNAPS, the online teaching resource. In an effort to increase the usage of the SNAPS articles, we included a description of each article in the quarterly subscriber letter and social media through tweets and Facebook postings. We experienced a modest increase in usage, but the level of activity remained very low.

During our tenure, we have been committed to developing a social media presence for the journal.  We have been using both Facebook and Twitter to promote each issue of the journal. We do this by making two Facebook posts and two tweets over a short period of time for each of the articles that are about to be published in the journal. We currently have 282 “Likes” on Facebook and 115 “Followers” on Twitter.

The editorial team of coeditors Richard Serpe and Jan Stets, and managing editor Ryan Trettevik (University of Utah), met periodically via Adobe Connect. We also met with our Deputy Editors, Michael Flaherty (Eckerd College), Linda George (Duke University), and Will Kalkhoff (Kent State University) when issues emerged. We were assisted by Gianna Mosser as the copyeditor, and the two editorial assistants, Phoenicia Fares (University of California, Riverside), and Elena Fox (Kent State University).

The editorial board for Volume 79 had a good balance of subspecialties and methodological approaches within social psychology. Demographically, the 2016 editorial board consisted of 39 members (including our Deputy Editors) with eight minorities and 20 women. 

During the calendar year 2016, Social Psychology Quarterly received about the same number of submissions as in past years. From January 1 through December 31, 2016, 231 manuscripts were submitted to the journal. This number is very close to the 233 manuscripts submitted in 2015.

Using the acceptance rate in which acceptances are divided only by final decisions, SPQ’s acceptance rate for 2016 was 16.3 percent whereas the acceptance rate was 11.81 percent in 2015 and 12.24 percent in 2014. Using the traditional indicator for the acceptance rate in which acceptances are divided by the number of overall decisions, SPQ’s acceptance rate was 10.6 percent compared to 7.4 percent in 2015 and 9.42 percent in 2014.

We continued to ask our reviewers to evaluate a manuscript within three weeks. As in 2015, in most cases, we have received reviews in less than 21 days. As a result, we averaged 35 days from submission to an editorial decision in 2016. We want to acknowledge that this turnaround time is due to both the hard work of our colleagues who review for the journal and our editorial board. In 2016, we received reviews from 274 members of the scientific community, not including reviews from our 39 members of the editorial board. 

Richard T. Serpe and Jan E. Stets, Editors

 

Sociological Methodology

The year 2016 marked the first year for Sociological Methodology editor Duane F. Alwin, located at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, PA, and working alongside managing editor Lisa Savage.

Volume 46 became available online in its entirety in September 2016 and in print soon after. This volume featured a dedication to Edgar F. Borgatta, who passed away in 2016 at age 91, and a symposium on interviewing, which included one main paper, along with three commentaries and a rejoinder. In addition, the volume contained an additional paper on interviewing; two papers each on survey measurement, hidden populations, aggregation issues in statistical models, and methods for demographic and economic data; and two comments.

For the entire year of 2016, 70 manuscripts were considered, 46 of which were new submissions, and 24 were resubmissions of one sort or another. Of the 46 new submissions, 19 were rejected without peer review, and 27 were placed into the review process. Of the 27 manuscripts reviewed, 9 were rejected and 16 were invited to resubmit a revised manuscript (1 remained undecided and 1 was withdrawn by the author).

The acceptance rate based on all the submissions and resubmissions in 2016 was 11.6 percent. The average number of weeks to decision was 8.9, ranging from 2.4 weeks for papers rejected without peer review, to 13.5 weeks for papers rejected after review, to 12.8 weeks for papers invited to revise and resubmit, to an average of 3.8 weeks for papers accepted unconditionally, and an average of 12.9 weeks for papers accepted subject to minor changes.

Sociological Methodology continues to benefit from the ease and organization of the ScholarOne online manuscript tracking system for all new and revised submissions. We currently have a steady flow of new and revised submissions.

In preparation for Volume 47, we have most of the manuscripts in production. The aim is to complete this work in summer 2017, and we project that this volume will come out some time in late summer 2017.

Duane F. Alwin, Editor

 

Sociological Theory

This past year saw overall continuity at Sociological Theory, albeit also with some significant new developments. In our submissions rate and number of articles published, there was striking continuity. We received 153 new submissions, exactly the same number as in 2015. This total was somewhat lower than our number of new submissions in 2014, a record-breaking year when we had 183 papers come in, but still higher than the number we received in 2013 (112), 2012 (118), or earlier years at ST.  In addition, we considered 38 manuscripts carried over from 2015, almost exactly the same number as last year (39). And we published a total of 17 papers, two more than in 2015.

One of my intended innovations as editor has been to publish manuscripts of widely varying lengths, including a few slightly longer than our usual 14,500 word count limit and others considerably shorter, all under the motto that ideas don’t always come in standard-size packages. In 2016, there were significant new developments along this front. We published excellent papers both above and below the standard length, and an exciting symposium will be coming out shortly with four short papers, roughly 4,500-5,000 words in length each, all addressing the general theme of “What is Good Theorizing?” The headliner of the symposium is Kieran Healy’s much anticipated paper, “Fuck Nuance,” about which a feature article was written in The Chronicle of Higher Education after Healy presented it at a recent ASA Annual Meeting.

Sociological Theory continues to present work that spans the entire spectrum of substantive and empirical concerns and analytic agendas. The one feature these papers all share is that their specifically theoretical dimension is particularly strong, that the theory building or theoretical development in which they engage makes compelling new contributions, regardless of whether the papers do “pure theorizing” or tackle empirical problems in a theoretically innovative or creative way. We are a theoretically eclectic journal, one that makes sure not to specialize in any particular approach or way of doing theory. During my editorship I hope to publish important work in all or nearly all the major areas of present-day sociological theorizing.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank some colleagues who in the past year have contributed to maintaining ST’s standing as a successful and flourishing ASA journal. Many sociologists around the country and, indeed, throughout the world have reviewed papers for us in timely fashion and with great thoughtfulness and insight. Members of our editorial board also have been willing to set aside their other work, sometimes on short notice, and to assist us with reviews and sometimes also with guest editing. Their help is greatly appreciated. Finally, since well before I started editing ST, and throughout the two years I’ve been on the job, our managing editor, Joe Wiebe, has been of tremendous help to me. I can’t thank him enough for his dedication to the journal and for all he does behind the scenes to make sure our operation runs smoothly and efficiently.

Mustafa Emirbayer, Editor

 

Sociology of Education

On July 1, 2016 my team and I took over day-to-day operations of Sociology of Education (SOE) from outgoing Editor Rob Warren and his team. Editor Warren and his team made the transition as smooth as possible. They showed my team the ins-and-outs of their day-to-day operations; they were incredibly well-organized. Warren created spreadsheets and organizational tools that make the managing part of the journal straightforward and smooth. We are keeping those protocols in place.

Few others sub-areas of the discipline 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 goal is that journal continue expand the research mission and be sure to embark on educational aspects broadly not just the sociology of schools. A diverse set of theories and methods is necessary to do so. We are accomplishing this and hope to continue to do so. Former Editors Pallas, Alexander, Schneider, Bills, and Warren are responsible for making SOE the top journal in its subfield and one of the best in both sociology and education research. It is a journal where authors get insightful and timely feedback from a set of thoughtful reviewers. Even what we can’t publish is better for being submitted to the journal given our reviewer efforts.

Manuscript Flow: This report covers the manuscript activity of the journal from January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016. As shown in the table below, SOE received 269 new submissions and 32 revised submissions.


Shows SOE weeks from submission to decision from 2012-2016.
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The acceptance rate for SOE is about 10 percent. 3.5 percent of original submissions were accepted and 67 percent of revised manuscripts were accepted. About 27 percent of new manuscripts were desk rejected—rejected without undergoing external peer review. However you calculate it, SOE’s acceptance rate was low in 2016. The bottom line: SOE has been getting more than 200 new submissions in recent years but has only been publishing 16 to 18 articles per year.

During 2016 the time from manuscript submission to the delivery of a decision email averaged approximately 5.5 weeks. Among manuscripts that underwent external peer review—that is, excluding desk rejects—the average was just over 7 weeks. Though there was an increase in time to decision, the editorial team and I are still pleased with the pace. The transition process was part of the increase – learning the stride and ebbs and flows as well as just the mechanics of the system inevitably slowed us down a bit. Nevertheless, now that we are in a rhythm, I still expect the pace to remain about 6-8 weeks for a decision.

Our production lag (the time it takes for an accepted manuscript to actually appear in the journal) is about 2.5 months.

Editorial Team. Thad Domina, Karolyn Tyson, Katerina Bodovski, and Jennifer C. Lee agreed to be on my editorial team as deputy editors. I couldn’t be more grateful. Since July, I have relied on each of them to advise on tough decisions, review in their area of expertise, and take manuscripts in which I had a conflict. I provide them with a report after each issue is finalized. This report outlines the manuscripts submitted by gender, rank, and methodological type. This report and their feedback at each issue has created consistent dialogue and feedback. They have been the strength of the journal.

I have also leaned heavily on SOE’s fantastic Editorial Board and will continue to do so. My managing editor helps identify editorial board members to select for reviewers for each manuscript. I want to first thank the following outgoing members of the Editorial Board: Amy J. Binder, Jessica McCrory Calarco, Jaap Dronkers, Kimberly Ann Goyette, Eric Grodsky, Emily Carroll Hannum, Jacob Hibel, Yasmiyn Irizarry, ChangHwan Kim, Irena Kogan, Amy Gill Langenkamp, Ervin (Maliq) Matthew, Jal D. Mehta, Hiroshi Ono, Keith D. Robinson, Argun Saatcioglu, Evan Schofer, Wout Ultee, Elizabeth Vaquera, and Raymond Wong.

I also appreciate the efforts of continuing Board members: Steven Elias Alvarado, Janice Aurini, Ebony N Bridwell-Mitchell, Douglas B. Downey, Susan A. Dumais, Jason Fletcher, Stella M. Flores, Melanie Jones Gast, Pat Rubio Goldsmith, Roberto G. Gonzales, Amy Hsin, Simone Ispa-Landa, Joshua Klugman, Joscha Legewie, Andrew Penner, Daisy Isabel Verduzco Reyes, Lauren Rivera, Jenny M. Stuber, Natasha Kumar Warikoo, Gregory C. Wolniak, Christine Min Wotipka, and Xiaogang Wu.

Finally, SOE welcomes several new members to the Board in 2017: Littisha Bates, Pamela Bennett, Regina Deil-Amen, Nicole Deterding, John Diamond, Michael Gaddis, Florian Kiuppis, L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy , Roz Mickelson, Lisa Nunn, Sarah Ovink, Maria Paino, Anthony Peguero, Kate Phillippo, Elizabeth Stearns, Will Tyson, and Regina Werum.

In all, the Board included 23 women, 22 men, and 19 minorities.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly: My Managing Editor Rebecca Boylan has made this transition smooth, easy, and fun. Not only the transition was smooth because of Rebecca, but she keeps me on top of manuscripts with monthly updates on what needs to done, manuscripts to watch out for, and reviewers to bug. She makes this journal run! I would like to thank Amy August for teaching us the ins and outs of the administrative secrets.

Reviewers and Reviewing. I sincerely thank the nearly 400 people who reviewed for SOE in 2016. The pool of reviewers is international, disciplinary diverse (schools of education, sociology, policy, etc.), and methodologically sophisticated. I have been impressed with the speed at which reviewers (mostly) respond and provide consistent and insightful reviews. The notes to me are often very helpful. I also would like to note that reviewers are critical but not callous. This helps the review process for the authors to revise and for me to make decisions.

Finally, I want to acknowledge the five exceptional reviewers to whom Rob Warren gave “Revise and Resubmit” (Reviewer of the Year) Awards in August of 2016. They are Patrick Denice, Benjamin Dalton, Geoff Wodtke, Christina Ciocca Eller, and Melanie Gast. I look forward to continuing this tradition in 2017.

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.

Linda Renzulli, Editor

 

Socius

Review Process: Socius, an open access journal, is an outlet for innovative, rigorously-reviewed scholarship that spans sociology subfields and provides free and rapid access to users across the world. We aim to publish high-quality, rigorously-reviewed research online.

Socius received a total of 88 papers in calendar year 2016. We desk-rejected 36 papers. Of the remaining 52 papers, we accepted 33 and rejected 19. This gives us an acceptance rate of 37 percent. Our desk reject rate is higher than in traditional print journals; however, two important objectives for Socius are a quick turnaround (from submission to publication) and limited R&Rs. Both of these goals are intended to respect the time of authors and reviewers, to move promising papers through the review process more efficiently, and to avoid spending inordinate reviewer and editor time on manuscripts that are unlikely to be published. We have been very successful at this goal. The table below lists the time in review for each paper.


Table reflecting the mean, median, min and max time for final decisions on papers submitted to Socius.
Credit: 

 

The median time-in-review for all papers is 21 days. The median time to first editorial decision is 2 days, of papers sent out for further review the median times for decision is 30 or 35 days for rejected and accepted papers respectively. This is a little longer than we’d like, but we still think this is quite good.

We continue to work closely with reviewers to convey that our review process is intended to be slightly different from the traditional process: although we seek to review manuscripts thoroughly and with high standards, continuing to turn papers around quickly requires that reviewers complete reviews more efficiently than has become the case at many other journals. To accomplish this, we send potential reviewers a detailed invitation including information on our goals and evaluation criteria. We explain that we will not forward papers to be reviewed if the work is obviously not up to current social science standards of writing or analysis; we prefer short, clear evaluations of papers rather than development review; and we seek clear recommendations to authors and editors. We also explain that we use four criteria for review: accuracy, novelty, interest, and presentation (i.e., quality of writing and organizing). Many reviewers voiced support for this new model, and we were pleased that our reviewers followed these guidelines and offered timely, high-quality, focused reviews.

The online format in which Socius is published means that papers are also not restricted by print page limits or traditional manuscript format. We can, for example, easily accommodate papers that do not follow the traditional structure (introduction, theory, methods, etc.), include multiple color figures, have various linked appendices, etc. We have begun to see submissions that take advantage of this flexibility, and we anticipate that authors will become even more creative as they grow accustomed to the new publication format.

Visibility and Successes:
We have continued to attract and publish high-quality papers and have provided both authors and reviewers a straightforward publication experience. We have also continued to work with ASA media relations staff to publicize the journal and published articles. Some notable recent publications include:

  • “Is There a ‘Ferguson Effect?’ Google Searches, Concern about Police Violence, and Crime in U.S. Cities, 2014–2016” by Neil Gross and Marus Mann. Summary: Studies whether the events in Ferguson and the Black Lives Matter Movement were potentially causal of the recent uptick in violent crime rates. They found that increases in cities' crime rates was associated with Google search activity about police brutality and black lives matter, net of other factors that are typically associated with higher rates of crime.
  • “Multiple Dimensions of Peer Effects and Deviance: The Case of Prescription Drug Misuse among Young Adults” by Brian C. Kelly, Mike Vuolo, Alexandra C. Marin. Summary: Studies which peer effects are most important for abusing drugs. With an innovative quantitative and qualitative survey dataset of prescription drug abusers in the nightlife scene, the authors compare the effects of peer network accessibility, peer drug associations, peer pressure, and the pursuit of pleasant times with peers on individual's drug use. Although peer pressure has long been theorized as a central influence in deviant behavior, it was found to be one of the least deterministic factors of substance abuse in their study.
  • “Venus, Mars, and Math - Gender, Societal Affluence, and Eighth Graders’ Aspirations for STEM” by Maria Charles. Summary: Uses longitudinal data to study the relationship between gender and aspirations for scientific, technical, engineering, and mathematical work across 32 countries. Somewhat surprisingly, finds a tendency towards greater difference in gender aspirations for STEM work in more affluent nations.
  • “The Social Determinants of Conspiratorial Ideation” by Joseph DiGrazia. Summary: Studies demographic factors that are associated with the adoption of conspiratorial beliefs. Using Google search data, finds that conspiratorial ideation is associated with contexts that amplify feelings of threat and insecurity, such as unemployment, change in partisan control of the government, and demographic changes throughout one's community.
  • “A Nation Divided: Science, Religion, and Public Opinion in the United States” by Shiri Noy and Timothy L. O’Brien. Summary: Uses GSS data to examine how perspectives religion and science influences attitudes towards a range of social issues including race, gender, criminal justice, government assistance, and parenting. The authors find that while individuals whose worldviews are oriented towards either science or religion stand in opposition to each other on most attitudes examined, individuals who incorporate both science and religion stand apart for holding unexpected attitudinal combinations that do not follow a traditional liberal/conservative divide.

We are organizing two specialized paper collections (i.e., special issues). David Grusky is serving as guest editor on a collection on a contemporary challenge to science: the publication of findings based on fully- or partially-fabricated data. Pamela Paxton and Melanie Hughes are serving as guest editors on a special collection on women in politics. We have issued calls for papers for each special collection and anticipate that the collections will be published in 2018.

In addition, we have begun a discussion with Matthew Salganik about organizing a special issue on a project called the Fragile Families Challenge (http://www.fragilefamilieschallenge.org/). The challenge is a scientific mass collaboration that combines predictive modeling, causal inference, and in-depth interviews to improve the lives of disadvantaged kids in the US. We are considering being the journal where the results of the challenge are published, a strategy that works well with Socius’ online format, that will help publicize this important project, and that will bring additional visibility to the journal.

Range of Submissions: The topics of manuscripts submitted to Socius have been wide-ranging reflecting the diverse ideas and issues studied by sociologists. We have received papers from nearly all sociological subfields and using various forms of argument and analysis.

Editorial Board, Reviewers, and Staff: We have a strong and diverse editorial board, and the journal has been well-received by reviewers as well allowing us to attract a strong pool here as well. Our board is overwhelmingly male, and we aim to attract more female board members in future years. We have also made efforts to attract board members from underrepresented groups, and we have had some success; however, we hope to improve the diversity of the board as well. The Socius staff is comparatively lean. We have three Editorial Associates, graduate students who give papers a first read and help decide whether to review or desk reject papers. The Associate Editors also help identify reviewers.

Challenges: Of course, we still face important challenges. One challenge we have faced already is ensuring that reviewers are on-board with our efforts to review articles more quickly than has been the case in traditional print publishing. As we noted above, we have been pleased at the initial response of reviewers on this issue. Another important challenge is continuing to attract high quality papers. We have attracted a relatively large number of excellent papers from both highly-visible scholars of all ranks and new professors/graduate students. However, we hope that continuing to do targeted advertising, including of published papers, will encourage authors to submit their highest-quality work to the journal. We are a bit frustrated with the time to publication after a paper is accepted, on average it takes about 50 days for a paper to appear in print after it has been accepted.

We are excited about a new article format called “data visualizations.” Data visualizations will be a single graphical image or analysis figure and 500 words, designed to make a clear and punchy point about some empirical question of interest. We anticipate these being very nice ways for sociologists to bring empirical rigor to policy questions in a way that can be communicated easily to the press. Each visualization will include a longer supplemental information document that describes the process used to generate the finding and why it matters.

Finally, we are hoping to expand comment sections and make it easier for authors to add supplementary material—all things that can be done in different scales and timeframes than is traditional

Lisa A. Keiser and James W. Moody, Editors

 

Teaching Sociology

Teaching Sociology 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 a special edition in the next year.

Under the editorship of Stephen Sweet and with deputy editor Michele Lee Kozimor-King, Teaching Sociology, Volume 44 (2016) published 58 works, including 11 articles, 4 conversations, 5 notes, and 34 book and film reviews. In addition, there were four editorial comments that provided guidance on successful submission strategies. One commentary identified the assessments common to publications in the journal, which has proved helpful in guiding prospective authors and authors whose manuscripts need improvement in the scholarship of teaching and learning. A special issue on “Teaching Sociology in the Community College Context” was published in October 2016.

The Teaching Sociology editorial team worked with the editorial team of the Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology to create linkages between these two resources. This linkage was initiated in Summer 2016, in which searches performed in TRAILS now identify Teaching Sociology citations. A reciprocal arrangement is planned to begin in Sumer 2017, with citations for new TRAILS resources published in a one-two page promotion in future editions of Teaching Sociology.

The editor, deputy editor, and editorial board members also presented at regional and national conferences on prospects and logistics of publishing in the scholarship of teaching and learning in the journal.

Manuscript Flow. In 2016, 52 new manuscripts and 36 revised manuscripts were received, a significant increase from the prior year. For new submissions, the manuscript statistics are: 58 percent were either accepted or conditionally accepted; 17 percent were invited to revise and resubmit, 23 percent were rejected, and 2 percent were withdrawn by the authors. Nearly all revised manuscripts were accepted or conditionally accepted (94 percent).

The volume of submissions in 2016 was higher than in 2015. To address lower submissions as identified in the prior year, in 2016 editorial teams presented workshops on how to publish in Teaching Sociology at regional conferences and the editorial board has committed itself to encourage submissions. The editor has also worked closely with authors to help them identify strategies of enhancing potential and revised manuscripts. This may explain the increase.

Thanks to a wonderful set of reviewers and strong commitment from members of the editorial board, the mean time-to-first decision of new manuscripts was 5.6 weeks. Because many of the revised manuscripts did not need to receive a second round of peer review, the turnaround was even faster, averaging less than one week. Reviewers were almost always assigned and committed within 5-7 days of initial receipt of any manuscript and guided to return their reviews within 4 weeks of assignment.

Editorial Board. There were 43 members on the Editorial Board. 70 percent were female and 26 percent were minorities. Individual members of the editorial board commonly performed 3-4 reviews in 2016.

Stephen Sweet, Editor
teachingsociology@ithaca.edu

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