American Sociological Association

ASA Footnotes

A publication of the American Sociological AssociationASA News & Events
September/October 2019

Applications Invited for ASA Editorships

Applications are invited for the editorships of the American Sociological Review, Social Psychology Quarterly, and Sociological Theory.

The official terms for the new editors (or co-editors) will commence in January 2021 (the editorial transition will begin in summer 2020) and is for a minimum of three years (through December 2023), with a possible extension of up to an additional two years.

  • The American Sociological Review, published six times per year, is the flagship journal of the ASA. The ASA founded the journal in 1936 with the mission to publish original works of interest to the sociology discipline in general, new theoretical developments, results of research that advance our understanding of fundamental social processes, and important methodological innovations
  • Social Psychology Quarterly, published quarterly, publishes theoretical and empirical papers on the link between individual people and society—including the study of the relations of people to one another, to groups, to collectivities, and to institutions. It also includes the study of intra-personal processes insofar as they substantially influence—or are influenced by—social structure and process. Genuinely interdisciplinary, SPQ publishes work by both sociologists and psychologists.
  • Sociological Theory, published quarterly, publishes work in all areas of theory, including new substantive theories, history of theory, metatheory, formal theory construction, and synthetic contributions. Although aimed at a sociological readership, its orientation is pluralistic, and it welcomes contributions by scholars in other fields.


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 are encouraged, and proposals for both sole editorships and co-editorships are equally welcomed.

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

  1. An established record of scholarship;
  2. Evidence of understanding the mission of the journal and its operation, indicated by experience with the journal/series across any of a wide variety of activities (e.g., publication, reviewing, editorial board experience);
  3. Assessment of the present state of the journal, its strengths and challenges, and a vision for the journals’ future;
  4. Openness to the different methods, theories, and approaches to sociology; and
  5. 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. 

Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed by the ASA Committee on Publications in January 2020. 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 March 2020. Council appoints the editors.

Interested candidates should carefully review the guidelines at for suggestions on streamlining the application process.

Institutional Support

It is important for candidates to consider and address the feasibility of serving as editor considering the resources ASA can provide, and other resources likely to be available to the candidate. The ASA does not typically pay for office space, teaching release, or tuition, but does provide financial support for office resources as necessary. This support may include funds for editorial assistance, office supplies, postage, and telephone beyond what will be provided by the editor’s home institution. Alternative models of funding may be possible as long as the impact on the overall cost for ASA support is minimal (e.g., institutional support for the managing editor or editorial assistant position could allow for use of the ASA budgeted funds for course release or tuition).

The support offered by different institutions varies widely and candidates are encouraged to contact Karen Gray Edwards, ASA Director of Publications, by at or (202) 247-9858 as necessary to determine the level and type of ASA support that is available. At this point in the submission process, letters of support from deans or other appropriate institutional officials are not required. Specific arrangements with a potential new editor and with that individual and his or her institution will occur after the ASA Council makes a selection and the ASA Secretary, with support from the ASA Executive Officer, works out the final agreement with the candidate.

Additional information and examples of successful past proposals are available on the ASA website (

Application packets should be emailed by December 1, 2019, to