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 Editors' Reports, click here.
Editors' Reports for 2019
For further details on the information presented below, please see the Summary of Editorial Activity table.
In 2019 the editorial team at American Sociological Review maintained its focus on efficient processing of submitted manuscripts, providing constructive feedback to authors, and publishing groundbreaking research articles that are diverse in terms of subjects addressed and in terms of methodology. The journal’s impact factor rose to an all-time high of 5.39 and the five-year impact factor score jumped to 7.38. Many of the articles published also address timely and important substantive topics and have received coverage in major media outlets.
Submissions. From January 1 through December 31, 2019, American Sociological Review (ASR) received 748 submissions, slightly up from the 728 submissions received in 2018. Of those, 44 were accepted unconditionally, 28 conditionally accepted, and 63 were given invitations to revise and resubmit. Given the high standards at ASR, the vast majority of papers were rejected--391 were rejected after going through the peer-review process and another 221 were desk rejected. Among new (first) submissions to the journal, 438 (or 66.5 percent) were sent out for peer review. Among those that underwent the peer review process, 375 (85.6 percent) were rejected outright. 58 (13.2 percent) received an invitation to revise and resubmit, and 1 paper was accepted subject to minor revisions, and 3 were accepted unconditionally. Among the 89 submissions that were invited revisions, the majority were either accepted subject to minor revisions (30.3 percent) or accepted outright (46.1 percent). 5 papers received a second revise and resubmit decision, and only 16 were rejected outright. Importantly, no papers were rejected after a second revision. One of our important goals while editing the journal has been to eliminate scenarios where authors submit multiple revisions—especially multiple revisions that do not lead to publication.
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 2018 was 5.9. 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 6.7 percent.
Focus on an Efficient and High-Quality Review Process. We remain focused on giving authors a timely decision with quality feedback. We are grateful to our board members as well as ad hoc reviewers for making it possible for us to reach that goal. Among first submissions, the average time from submission to decision was 4.8 weeks. Counting only papers that went through the peer review process, the average time from submission to decision was 7.1 weeks. Papers that receive a revise and resubmit decision typically take a little bit longer since we aim to reduce the need for multiple revisions by providing extensive feedback and direction for a successful first submission. It is at this stage that our board members can be particularly helpful. But even with this extra work, the average turnaround time for papers that received a revise and resubmit decision is 8.9 weeks.
These figures are strikingly similar to those that we have reported for the past four years. Because we typically invite reviewers to evaluate papers on the same day that papers are submitted to our office, we are able to turn papers around quickly even in cases when reviewers are unable to meet their deadlines.
Visibility of Journal Content. ASR maintains its topmost rank among sociology journals according to all well-established quantitative measures of scholarly impact available. The 2019 impact factor (IF) score (published by Journal Citation Reports) rose again to 5.39 using data from papers published in 2017 and 2018. The five-year impact score rose to 7.38. ASR also ranks as the top journal in sociology according to the Google Scholar h-index, with 59 articles published between 2014 and 2018 receiving at least the same number of citations (the median number of citations received for articles in this group is 89).
Articles published in 2019 received a substantial amount of media attention, scholarly engagement and consideration by policy stakeholders outside of academia. The following articles have already been downloaded from the SAGE/ASR website more than 5,000 times as of April 10, 2020: “Aggressive Policing and the Educational Performance of Minority Youth,” by Joscha Legewie and Jeffrey Fagan (9,500 downloads); “A Theory of Racialized Organizations,” by Victor Ray (7,900); “The Relation between Inequality and Intergenerational Class Mobility in 39 Countries,” by Florian R. Hertel and Olaf Groh-Samberg (over 7,000); “The Sociology of Gaslighting,” by Paige L. Sweet (over 6,000); “Race and Networks in the Job Search Process,” by David S. Pedulla and Devah Pager (5,400); “The Global Increase in the Socioeconomic Achievement Gap, 1964 to 2015,” by Anna K. Chmielewski (over 5,000); and “The Geometry of Culture: Analyzing the Meanings of Class through Word Embeddings,” by Austin C. Kozlowski, Matt Taddy, and James A. Evans (more than 5,000). These, and several other articles such as “Consequences of Routine Work-Schedule Instability for Worker Health and Well-Being,” by Daniel Schneider and Kristen Harknett, have attracted significant media attention from major outlets such as the New York Times, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, Vox, and many others.
The ASR twitter feed following continues its steady growth and now has become one of the primary ways in which thousands of scholars engage with and disseminate the work published in the journal. This year the account surpassed 4,000 followers, and now stands at 4,657 (as of April 10, 2020) up from 3,100 at about the same time last year. Updates in the form of new articles coming out “Online First” in the SAGE website as well as issue publication updates get a wide amount of engagement and attention in the forms of dozens (and for the most impactful articles hundreds) of “likes” and retweets.
Generating Diverse Content. We continued to publish papers that reflect the methodological diversity in our discipline. In 2019, the journal published 8 papers that were primarily ethnographic, 3 articles that primarily made theoretical contributions, and 1 historical piece.
Editorial Board and Reviewers. ASR continues to benefit from a diverse and talented editorial board. In 2019 the board had 7 deputy editors and 66 regular board members. The total editorial board (including deputy editors) includes 55.0 percent women and 40.0 percent racial and/or ethnic minorities. We also benefited from outstanding work of our managing editor, Mara Nelson Grynaviski, and our coordinating editors and editorial assistants Emmanuel Cannady, Nancy Diaz, Jennifer Dudley, Lindsay Heldreth, Bridget Ritz, Sara Skiles, Dustin Stoltz, Marshall Taylor, and Lilly Watermoon.
As always, 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
Books Considered: The editorial office of Contemporary Sociology received 502 books from publishers during 2019. The total number of books that the editor examined was 502.
Review Process: Of the 502 books submitted, 231 were screened by the editor and accepted for review. 271 books were classified as “No Review.”
Production Lag: Between the day 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 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: 279 regular reviews were finished and published in Volume 47, plus 22 review-essays, 3 Featured Essays, 1 Symposium, 17 In Retrospect reviews, 13 “Briefly Noted” reviews (250-500 words), 4 comments and 2 Editorial Essays. 388 total items were published, covering a total of 411 books.
Editorial Board Members and Reviewers: The editorial board was comprised of 28 women and 10 men in 2019. This included 11 minority and 3 international editorial board members.
Michael Sauder, Editor
Contexts has been published for the last 16 years with the goal of presenting rigorous, yet accessible, social science, and it has become the public face of professional sociology. In this report, we explain the journal’s goals and accomplishments.
Narrative: For nearly two decades, the editorial teams at Contexts have cultivated a broad audience for sociology. In 2019, we expanded on that success with a series of themed issues on wealth and inequality, migration, freedom, and computational sociology. These special issues speak to public concerns and our discipline’s evolution. Our Winter wealth and inequality issue included discussion of how housing policy impact racial gaps in wealth and gender and the 1%. Our migration issue explored the damaging impact of migration policies and our summer issue explored freedom from a sociological perspective. The Fall issue on computational and digital sociology explores the everchanging world of the Internet.
By the numbers: In 2019, Contexts received 85 submissions for our feature section and accepted 17 articles, for an acceptance rate of approximately 16%. We published four in brief sections, five interviews, one solicited commentary, 21 feature articles, four photo essays, nine book reviews, eight culture pieces, ten trends pieces, four policy briefs and four opinion pieces (“One Thing that I know”). We also kept track of our digital footprint. In 2019, we had over one million page views and article downloads.
Gratitude: We are proud of the diversity of our board, reviewers, editorial team, and contributors, having sought to include a wide range of voices in the magazine throughout our first year, from academics to authors, artists, and entrepreneurs.
Rashawn Ray and Fabio Rojas, Editors
The Journal of Health and Social Behavior has long been recognized as the leading forum for research on the many social dimensions of health and illness. In 2019, JHSB published 32 articles and four open-access policy briefs across four issues. These articles included qualitative and quantitative studies of US, international, and cross-national topics that spanned the breadth of medical sociology and intersected with other areas of sociology as well as medicine, public health, public policy, and other fields. For each issue’s policy brief, we select one paper that has significant policy implications and ask the author(s) to craft a one-page brief directed at policymakers, media outlets, and the general public. This brief appears at the front-end of the issue, on JHSB’s home page, and is open access.
Journal Operations. In 2019, we completed our third and final year as the JHSB editors. Hence, this past year entailed an editorial transition for the journal. Dr. Amy Burdette, Florida State University, was selected in Spring 2019 as the incoming editor and phased into the role over the summer of 2019. Starting in July, Amy and her new editorial team began handling new submissions and, beginning September 1, phased into adjudicating all submissions (i.e. new and revised and resubmitted papers). As the outgoing editors, we prepared the publication of the final (December 2019) issue of volume 60. The first (March 2020) issue of volume 61 was Amy’s first official issue under her editorship. We wish Amy and her team all the best of success in the coming years.
In 2019, JHSB received 391 new manuscripts, an increase from the submissions received in 2018 (354). After initial review by the editorial team—either by the editors themselves or in consultation with a deputy editor—51.9 percent were rejected without being sent out to peer reviewers. Desk rejection decisions continued to average 1-2 business days.
Of the 188 (48.1%) of papers sent out for peer review, 21.5 percent received a revise and resubmit decision while 78 percent were rejected after initial peer review. Overall, the average time from initial submission to first decision was 4.8 weeks. This was consistent with the previous three years (5.0, 4.5, 5.2 weeks in 2018, 2017, and 2016, respectively). Given that JHSB publishes longer manuscripts than what typically appears in other health and medical forums, we are pleased that this decision time is highly competitive and efficient for authors.
For papers that were eventually accepted, production lag time—i.e. the time between a paper being accepted and appearing in print in an issue—once again declined to 2.8 months (from 4.9 months in 2018), reflecting our previously reported efforts to address the backlog we experienced in 2016 and 2017. Time from acceptance to online (ahead of press) publication was faster, however, we do not have access to that statistic. In 2017, we arranged with Sage to have accepted papers posted online ahead of print as soon as possible so that authors do not have to wait for inclusion in one of the four issues published each year.
Deputy Editors, Editorial Board, Peer Reviewers, and Journal Staff. JHSB’s operation depends on more than just the efforts of the editor(s). It requires contributions from a large group of individuals who are deserving of thanks.
As always, our seven Deputy Editors (Jason Beckfield, Sarah Burgard, Robert Faris, Hedwig Lee, Bruce Link, Karen Lutfey, and Margaret Weden) were invaluable resources in helping us adjudicate difficult decisions, managing rare conflict-of-interest submissions, and providing advice on the journal’s operations.
Also, we were greatly aided by the valuable contributions of our associate editors, whom we relied on for reviews as well as consultations for matters that sometimes arise in the course of adjudicating papers. The following associate editors ended their terms on December 31, 2019: Rene Almeling, Sean A. P. Clouston, Amanda Marie Gengler, Jason N. Houle, Rachel Tolbert Kimbro, Jooyoung Lee, Dawne M. Mouzon, Brea Louise Perry, Corinne Reczek, Jason Rodriquez, Markus H. Schafer, Jason Schnittker, Patricia A. Thomas, Michael Vuolo, and Ming Wen. Beginning January 1, 2019, the following people joined JHSB’s associate editor roster: Matthew Andersson, Tyson H. Brown, Cindy L. Cain, Taylor W. Hargrove, Terrence D. Hill, Laura Ellen Hirshfield, Ning Hsieh, Margot Jackson, Tania M. Jenkins, Elizabeth Lawrence, Adam Matthew Lippert, Gregory Sharp, Mieke Beth Thomeer, and Deadric T. Williams.
In an effort to create opportunities and promote diversity in our editorial board, we continued to select some of our editorial board from an open call for nominations. This enabled us to reduce potential selection biases based on professional networks and recruit from a wider pool of individuals. Overall, our editorial board composition remains diverse with respect to gender (64 percent women in 2019, compared to 64 and 58 percent respectively for 2018 and 2017), and race-ethnicity (27 percent racial-ethnic minorities versus 21 percent in 2018 and 2017).
JHSB values its many supportive and attentive peer reviewers. We extend our sincerest thanks to the outgoing editorial board members, the new and continuing board members, and the many ad hoc peer reviewers who have generously contributed their time and expertise to JHSB.
Finally, we want to acknowledge our talented editorial office team: Managing Editor for Reviews Stephanie Wilson; Managing Editor for Production Ryan Trettevik; Copyeditor Andrea Polonijo; and Editorial Assistants Madison Sauerteig and Phoenicia Fares.
In closing, we thank Karen Gray Edwards and Jamie Panzarella at ASA for their invaluable assistance, and our readers for their support during our three and a half years as editors.
Richard Carpiano and Brian C. Kelly, Editors
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 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 a productive year, reviewing seven new manuscript proposals in 2019. One was accepted for publication: Learning to Lead: The Intersectional Politics of the Second Generation by Veronica Terriquez. We look forward to seeing this exciting project in its full, published form.
We continued to work with the authors of five additional forthcoming manuscripts. Three book projects, one by Reginald Byron and Vincent Roscigno, a second by Jennie Brand, and a third by Robert Crosnoe and Shannon Cavanagh are working towards a full manuscript by summer 2020. A manuscript by Meredith Greif is ready for its seminar, which will be scheduled in late May 2020. Finally, Grace Kao, Kara Joyner, and Kelly Stamper Balistreri’s book on interracial friendships and romantic relationships (The Company We Keep) came out in October 2019.
In January 2019, Golden Years? Social Inequalities in Later Life by Deborah Carr was published. This book was also featured at the Rose Series Author-Meets-Critic session at the 2019 ASA Annual Meeting. The panel, which included Pamela Herd, Kenneth F. Ferraro, Corey M. Abramson, and Madonna Harrington Meyer, added their unanimous praise and insightful comments on this rigorous, timely, and important book. It was well-attended, with a spirited Q&A segment following the critics’ commentaries.
We are grateful for the 20 members on our 2019 editorial board and would particularly like to thank outgoing members Shelly Brown-Jeffy, Shawna Hudson, and Brian Mayer for their service. We brought on 10 new members who started January 2020:
- Elizabeth Armstrong, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
- Japonica Brown-Saracino, Boston University
- Kathleen Gerson, New York University
- Jessica Halliday Hardie, Hunter College, City University of New York
- Ruth Horowitz, New York University
- Patrick Sharkey, Princeton University
- Fernando Rivera, University of Central Florida
- Quincy Thomas Stewart, Northwestern University
- France Winddance Twine, University of California-Santa Barbara
- Melissa Wilde, University of Pennsylvania
The Rose Series managing editor is Kyla Bender-Baird (The Graduate Center, CUNY).
Amy Adamczyk, Richard Alba, Lynn Chancer, Nancy Foner, Phil Kasinitz, and Leslie Paik, Editors
This report covers the second full calendar year of our term as editors. In this report, we share the status of the journal’s operation, our editorial initiatives, and the editorial review process.
Volume 82 is the second volume of our co-editorship. It contains 14 articles and 1 Research Note. In addition, the 4th issue of the volume is a special issue, The Social Psychology of Creativity, which includes 6 additional articles. We continued to publish research that reflects the diversity of the social psychology research community. The manuscripts in Volume 82 focus on such varied topics as education, gender, social identity, discrimination, leadership in organizations, turn-taking, social reproduction, collective memory, stereotype content, group structure, solidarity, and extensions of neuroscience to social psychological processes.
Editorial Board. We would like to thank the following editorial board members whose terms ended in December 2019 for their service to the journal: Philip S. Brenner, Tyson H. Brown, Sarah K. Harkness, Leslie Irvine, Janice McCabe, Dina G. Okamoto, Jerry Z. Park, Michael J. Shanahan, John Skvoretz, Lijun Song, Lin Tao, and Jeongkoo Yoon. We also would like to thank our Deputy Editors who were instrumental in identifying strong scientific contributions to the field, who served as Primary Manuscript Editors for multiple manuscripts, and who acted as Editor in Chief for submissions on which the Co-Editors had conflicts of interest: Jessica Collett, Monica Kirkpatrick-Johnson, and Douglas Maynard.
We maintained a board that had a good balance of subareas and methodological approaches within social psychology. Demographically, the 2019 editorial board had 40 members (including the Deputy Editors) with 11 minority individuals and 22 women.
Social Media. We maintained our social media presence during our second year. We used Facebook and Twitter to promote each issue of the journal. Specifically, we asked authors to provide short “hooks” for their articles’ major findings, or an interesting research question, to induce reader engagement with the journal. We also provided authors with information on how to effectively boost their social media presences through the media departments at their institutions; several of our authors were very successful at garnering attention for their research.
Impact Factor. The two-year impact factor for the journal for 2018 was 1.750, down from 2.341 in 2017. The five-year impact factor from 2018 was 2.747, down from 2.870 in 2017.
Editorial Statistics. During the calendar year 2019, Social Psychology Quarterly received substantially more submissions than in past years, partly due to a call for papers for our special issue on Social Networks and Social Psychology. From January 1 through December 31, 2019, 276 manuscripts were submitted to the journal compared to 210 in 2018, and 205 in 2017. These numbers reflect new submissions (197 in 2019), as well as revisions.
We asked our reviewers to evaluate a manuscript within three weeks. As a result, we averaged 33 days from submission to an editorial decision in 2019. This turnaround time is due to both the hard work of our colleagues who reviewed for the journal and our editorial board. In 2019, we received reviews from 320 members of the scientific community, not including reviews from the 41 members of our editorial board.
Using the traditional indicator for the acceptance rate in which acceptances are divided by the number of overall decisions, SPQ’s acceptance rate was 10.9 percent compared to 9.1 percent in 2018, and 6.8 percent in 2017.
Editorial Staff. Our editorial staff has provided exceptional support throughout our term. We wish to acknowledge and thank them. Dr. Laura Aufderheide Brashears’ expertise as the managing editor ensured each manuscript was processed effectively and in a timely fashion. Additionally, Gianna Mosser, with her long-time association with the journal as our copyeditor, ensured that each manuscript was clear and accessible to our readership.
Goodbyes. At the end of this summer, we will begin handing over the reins of SPQ to the incoming editors, Jody Clay-Warner, Dawn Robinson, and Justine Tinkler at the University of Georgia. We cannot imagine a better team for the journal.
Matthew E. Brashears and Brent Simpson, Editors
The year 2019 marked the fourth and final year for Sociological Methodology editor Duane F. Alwin, located at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, PA, and working alongside managing editor Lisa Savage and deputy editor Ashton M. Verdery.
Volume 49 became available online in its entirety in Fall 2019 and in print soon after. This volume featured a dedication to Stanley Lieberson, who passed away in 2018, and a memorial to SM copyeditor Stephanie Magean, who passed away in 2019. The volume also included one symposium on big data-innovations in computational social science, with two main papers, five commentaries, and two rejoinders from the symposium authors. In addition, the volume contained papers on a framework for model comparisons, multilevel models, models for diffusion in social networks, and a section of notes and comments. Along with a detailed review of the content appearing in the volume, the editors’ prologue examined the historical impact of SM as revealed by citation counts, reviewed SM’s “greatest hits,” and addressed the question of SM’s balance of content involving qualitative and quantitative methodologies.
For the entire year of 2019, 57 manuscripts were considered, 29 of which were new submissions, and 28 were resubmissions. Of the 29 new submissions, 11 were rejected without peer review and 18 were placed into the review process. Of the 18 manuscripts reviewed, 10 were rejected and 7 were invited to resubmit a revised manuscript (1 was accepted subject to minor changes).
The acceptance rate based on all the submissions and resubmissions in 2019 was 26.3%. The average number of weeks to decision was 5.6, ranging from 1.1 weeks for papers rejected without peer review, to 9.1 weeks for papers rejected after review, to 15.8 weeks for papers invited to revise and resubmit, to an average of 1.2 weeks for papers accepted unconditionally, and an average of 6.8 weeks for papers accepted subject to minor changes.
Sociological Methodology continues to benefit from the ease of the ScholarOne online manuscript tracking system for all new and revised submissions. We currently have a relatively healthy flow of new and revised submissions.
In preparation for Volume 50, almost all of the manuscripts are in copyediting or production. New editors David Melamed and Michael Vuolo plan to complete this work in early summer 2020, and we anticipate that this volume will come out in August 2020.
Duane F. Alwin, Editor
We received 141 new submissions last year, and the general quality of the manuscripts coming in remained as high as ever. Across the four issues of 2019, we published, all in all, 16 outstanding papers.
In the past, I have stressed that 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 but others considerably shorter, all under the motto that ideas don’t always come in standard-size packages. In 2019, we published a few longer-than-usual pieces as well as some shorter papers. One of our publications was only ten pages long, while another came in at more than three times that length. In the future, this journal may need if anything to redouble its efforts to encourage authors to be concise—we want authors’ strongest ideas in the most streamlined fashion possible—even as it also continues to publish longer pieces as warranted.
Another of my innovations these past five years as editor has been to publish papers based on Lewis Coser Award Lectures. The Lewis Coser Award is given annually by the ASA Theory section to scholars deemed to have made outstanding contributions to theoretical agenda-setting in the discipline. Each award winner delivers a lecture at the annual conference of the ASA. Since I became editor, we have been publishing (with peer review) papers based on these annual lectures. The papers present core ideas and insights of leading theorists in sociology, and their publication has been well received by the sociological theory community.
Yet another of my personal missions as editor has been to make sure that ST reflects the full diversity of the ASA in both the composition of its editorial board and the nature of the papers it publishes. The journal has built a highly diverse editorial board and currently is split equally among men and women. And this past year, it has featured important articles on such topics as the “gender revolution” and “teleology in the study of race,” while also publishing on theoretical issues in such other areas as the study of causal mechanisms, hermeneutic inquiry, social network analysis, and the sociology of morality, among numerous others.
I would like 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 assist us with reviews and sometimes also with guest editing. For their help I’m very grateful. Finally, during all these years I’ve served as editor, our managing editor, Joe Wiebe, has been a wonderful colleague and associate who’s made the editing process so much easier and more enjoyable than it would have been. I’ve told many people that the best thing I ever did at ST was to ask him to stay on when I first assumed the editorship. (He served as managing editor during the previous editorship as well.) I deeply appreciate Joe’s dedication to the journal and all he does behind the scenes to make our operation run smoothly and efficiently. Thank you, Joe, for all your help during my years as editor.
Mustafa Emirbayer, Editor
This year the journal has been healthy. We have attracted diverse scholarship, attentive reviewers, and published work by a breadth of scholars.
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. I have been pleased with our ability to showcase scholarship that is both quantitative and qualitative, international in nature, and related to current U.S. policy issues. My goal is that journal continue expand this research mission, engaging with educational issues broadly not just the sociology of schools.
Manuscript Flow: This report covers the manuscript activity of the journal from January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019. As shown in the table below, we continue to receive a high number of manuscript submissions. This year, we received 253 original submissions and 55 revised submissions. The time from submission to decision has decreased from around 9 weeks to about 7.
Weeks from Submission to Decision
The overall acceptance rate for SOE--the number of unconditionally accepted articles in 2019 (25) divided by the number of final decisions (243, which excludes “revise and resubmit” decisions)—was 10.3 percent. Among revised manuscripts, 80 percent were ultimately accepted. About 36 percent of new manuscripts were desk rejected—rejected without undergoing external peer review. However you calculate it, SOE’s acceptance rate was low in 2019. The bottom line: SOE has been getting near 200 new submissions in recent years but has only been publishing 16 to 18 articles per year. My goal is to use the pages allocated and publish 20 articles a year. Last year, we published 18 articles and used all the pages. We are now requiring submissions be under 10,000 words in order to get more good work published.
During 2019 the time from manuscript submission to the delivery of a decision email averaged approximately 7.0 weeks. This represents a large decrease in time to a decision and reflects the work our editorial team has implemented to streamline the review process while not compromising the editorial review process. Our production lag (the time it takes for an accepted manuscript to actually appear in the journal) is just under 4 months. This number will grow for 2020 as we do have a slight backlog of manuscripts. By the end of 2019, I accepted 25 papers while publishing 18 over the course of the year. Ideally, we would like to have an approximately a one-issue backlog of accepted papers, but we have a bit longer of backlog in 2020. This backlog does allow us to not bump against deadlines in the production process. And, we have been able to put manuscripts online prior to their publication in a print issue.
Editorial Team: Thad Domina, Karolyn Tyson, Katerina Bodovski, and Jennifer C. Lee make a great editorial team as deputy editors. I couldn’t be more grateful. 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 continue to provide the DE 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: Litisha Bates, Nicole Deterding, John Diamond, S. Michael Gaddis, Florian Kiuppis, R.L’Heureux Lewsi-McCoy, Roslyn Mickelson, Lisa Nunn, Sarah Ovink, Maria Paino, Anthony Peguero, Katherine Phillippo, Elizabeth Stearns, Will Tyson, and Regina Werum.
I also appreciate the efforts of continuing Board members: Janice Aurini, Patrick Denice, Jeremy Fiel, Nilda Flores-Gonzelez, Lingxin Hao, Brandon Jackson, Mads Meier Jaeger, Yader Lanuza, Elizabeth Lee, David Monaghan, Edward Morris, Hiroshi Ono, Ann Owens, Meredith Phillips, Natasha Quadlin, Douglas David Ready, Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj, and Melissa Wooten. Sadly, we also had a continuing member, Jeffrey Grigg pass away.
Finally, SOE welcomes several new members to the Board in 2019: Steven Brint, Stephanie Conizales, Sean Corcoran, Linsey Nicole Edwards, Pat Rubio Goldsmith, Andrew Halpern-Manners, Amy Gill Lagenkamp, Emily Penner, and Salvatore Saporito.
In all, the Board includes 23 women, 17 men, and 14 minorities.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly: My Managing Editor, Amy Petts, has been an asset to the journal. I was pleased to have her on the team to help reduce the time to decision and add intellectually to the journal. Sherry Ye, and undergraduate at Purdue has continued to help grow the journal’s social media presence.
Reviewers and Reviewing: I sincerely thank the nearly 500 (it was 486) people who reviewed for SOE in 2019. As the number of submissions has grown, so too has our reviewer pool. The pool of reviewers is international, disciplinary diverse (schools of education, sociology, policy, etc.), and methodologically sophisticated. The average reviewer took 25 days with a minimum of 0 days and maximum of 135 among those who completed their reviews. I used two reviews to make decisions at times, rather than our typical three, to increase the speed of decision when it would not disrupt the intellectual process. I have been impressed with the speed at which reviewers (largely) 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 will continue the tradition and acknowledge five exceptional reviewers to whom we will give the “Revise and Resubmit” (Reviewer of the Year) Awards in August of 2020.
This year marks the first year past my original term. I have agreed to one more year as editor I thank the board for the vote of confidence in my work and I look forward to reading the contributions to the field. I will be looking forward to helping ASA and publications committee solicit nominations and applications for my successor in the coming months.
Despite the uncertain in our world right now, SOE has been a steadfast for many. Reviewers have been kind to continue agreeing to review and authors are still submitting work. I hope the scientific community continues to increase our knowledge on educational issues as best we can during this time.
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
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 268 papers in calendar year 2019. We desk-rejected (rejected immediately) 73 of those papers. Of the remaining papers, we accepted 88 and rejected 26. 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.
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:
We also completed work with Matthew Salganik and Sara McLanahan on 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. Socius will publish the results of the challenge are published, a strategy that works well with the journal’s online format, that will help publicize this important project, and that will bring additional visibility to the journal.
Finally, we have continued our new article format called Data Visualizations. Our goal is to represent the growing field of visual social science and to give authors an opportunity to display important sociological findings in a creative, efficient, visual formation. We recommend that visualization submissions should include two parts. The main article will be a single figure (i.e. something that could be viewed on a single screen/page) and approximately 500 words (excluding caption and references) of expository text that highlights what is interesting and important about the figure. In addition, we recommend that authors should include a supplementary information file that contains details about the data and methods used to generate the figure. We have begun to publish visualizations and to receive additional submissions for this new format.
Range of Submissions: The topics of manuscripts submitted to Socius has 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 still predominantly 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 student 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.
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 continues to be at the forefront of the scholarship of teaching and learning in sociology.
Under the editorship of Stephen Sweet and with deputy editor Michele Lee Kozimor-King, Teaching Sociology, Volume 47 (2019) published 56 works, including conversations (3), articles (15), notes (5), as well as book and film reviews (37).
The Teaching Sociology editorial team continues to work with the editorial team of the Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology to create linkages between these two resources. Searches performed in TRAILS identify Teaching Sociology citations. A reciprocal arrangement began in Sumer 2017, with citations for new TRAILS resources published in one-two page promotions in each issue of Teaching Sociology as an ongoing practice.
Manuscript Flow. In 2019, excluding reviews, 72 manuscripts were received (49 new manuscripts and 23 revised manuscripts). This volume is somewhat lower than the previous years. For new submissions, 14 percent were rejected without peer review. Some rejections (33 percent) were accompanied with guidance from the editor to encourage future submission of a manuscript that would have greater prospects of receiving favorable reviews, often times requiring new data collection efforts. Of those manuscripts sent for peer review, 0 percent were accepted unconditionally, 23 percent were accepted conditional on minor changes, 56 percent rejected but invited to revise and resubmit, and 21 percent were rejected outright. Most manuscripts that were revised (92 percent) ultimately moved on a path toward publication after the first revision as either accepted or conditionally accepted. These statistics on acceptance and revision decisions are comparable to recent previous years.
The volume of submissions in 2019 was somewhat lower than in previous 2017 or 2016, but comparable to 2018.
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 sent to peer review was 27 days (4 weeks). For new manuscripts that were rejected without peer review, decisions occurred within 3 days of receipt. 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 38 members on the Editorial Board. 63 percent were women and 16 percent were minorities. Individual members of the editorial board commonly performed 2-3 reviews in 2019.
Editor Transition. The editorship transitioned at the end of 2019 from Ithaca College to Elizabethtown College into the editorship of Michele Lee Kozimor. The outgoing editor and incoming editor collaborated on issue 4. The outgoing editor expresses gratitude to the American Sociological Association for its support of his work and the journal.
Stephen Sweet, Editor