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 2018

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

In many ways, operations at American Sociological Review have been stable over the past several years. The journal continues to receive a high number of submissions and those submissions are handled efficiently.  We (the editorial team) have aimed to make decisions on all papers in a timely manner while also providing authors with thorough and constructive feedback that will help them to improve their papers, even if they are ultimately published in another journal.  We have continued to publish content that is diverse in terms of substantive areas as well as methodologically. The journal’s impact factor topped 5 for the first time in its history (5.063), and published papers attracted unusual attention from the media.

Decisions, Decisions. From January 1 through December 31, 2018, American Sociological Review (ASR) received 722 submissions. Of those, 44 were accepted unconditionally, 33 conditionally accepted, and 54 were given invitations to revise and resubmit. Given the high standards at ASR, the vast majority of papers were rejected--400 were rejected after going through the peer-review process and another 190 were desk rejected. Among new (first) submissions to the journal, 439 (or 69.8 percent) were sent out for peer review. Among those that underwent the peer review process, 386 (88.1 percent) were rejected outright.  48 (11.0 percent) received an invitation to revise and resubmit, and 2 papers were accepted subject to minor revisions, and 2 were accepted unconditionally. Among the 93 submissions that were invited revisions, the majority were either accepted subject to minor revisions (33.3 percent) or accepted outright (45.2.6 percent). 6 papers received a second revise and resubmit decision, and only 13 were rejected outright.  Only 1 paper was rejected after a second revision.  

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 6.1. 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 6.9 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 5.2 weeks. Counting only papers that went through the peer review process, the average time from submission to decision was 7.4 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 8.8 weeks.  

Visibility of Journal Content. ASR maintains its topmost rank among sociology journals according to all well-established quantitative measures of scholarly impact available. The 2018 impact factor (IF) score (published by Journal Citation Reports) rose for the second year in a row to 5.03 using data from papers published in 2016 and 2017. ASR also ranks as the top journal in sociology according to SCIMago's Journal Rank Score (JCR) for the year 2017 (6.33), which weighs citing journals according to prestige, and according to Google's Scholar h-index, with 58 articles published between 2013 and 2017 receiving at least the same number of citations (the median number of citations received for articles in this group is 87 and the maximum is 228).   

Some of our recent publications have received a substantial amount of media attention, scholarly engagement and consideration by policy stakeholders outside of academia. Rene Flores and Ariela Schachter's timely October issue piece, "Who are the “Illegals”? The Social Construction of Illegality in the United States" has been downloaded almost four thousand times and received extensive coverage from a variety of national media outlets including The Los Angeles Times and Vox.com. Another timely piece by Oliver Hahl, Minjae Kim, and Ezra Zuckerman published in the February issue entitled "The Authentic Appeal of the Lying Demagogue: Proclaiming the Deeper Truth about Political Illegitimacy" has received almost six thousand downloads and has been featured in dozens of local, national, and international media outlets. These include The Guardian, CNN, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and Vox. Natasha Quadlin's April issue article "The Mark of a Woman’s Record: Gender and Academic Performance in Hiring" has also made a big media splash, receiving coverage in more than 30 national news media outlets and blogs, including the New York Times, Fortune, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Fox News. Daniel Schneider, Orestes (Pat) Hastings, and Joe LaBriola's June issue article "Income Inequality and Class Divides in Parental Investments" has been downloaded more than four thousand times and was widely discussed in the news media, inclusive of being prominently featured in not one but two New York Times's Upshot columns. Elizabeth Korver-Glenn's August issue piece, "Compounding Inequalities: How Racial Stereotypes and Discrimination Accumulate across the Stages of Housing Exchange" has been downloaded more than two-thousand times and was featured in an interview with the author in Houston Public Media. Daniel Guinea Martin, Ricardo Mora, and Javier Ruiz-Castillo's October issue paper "The Evolution of Gender Segregation over the Life Course" was featured and summarized in the prestigious general social science journal Nature Human Behaviour. These are just some of the most prominent examples of the way that ASR content is attracting attention beyond academia.

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 3,000 followers, and now stands at 3,254 (as of April 18, 2019) up from 2,162 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 2018, the journal published 6 papers that were primarily ethnographic, 1 article that was primarily a theoretical contribution, 3 that were comparative historical, and 5 that utilized an experimental design.

Editorial Board and Reviewers. ASR continues to benefit from a diverse and talented editorial board. In 2018 the board had 8 deputy editors and 65 regular board members. The total editorial board (including deputy editors) includes 55.0 percent women and 37.0 percent racial and/or ethnic minorities. We also benefited from outstanding work of our managing editor, Mara Nelson Grynaviski, our coordinating editors Audra Nakas Dugandzic, Bridget Ritz, Brandon Sepulvado, Sara Skiles, Dustin Stoltz, and Marshall Taylor, and assistant editors Emmanuel Cannady, Nancy Diaz, Jennifer Dudley, and Brianna McCaslin.   

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 755 books from publishers during 2018. The total number of books that the editor examined was 755.

Review Process: Of the 755 books submitted, 347 were screened by the editor and accepted for review. 408 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: 281 regular reviews were finished and published in Volume 47, plus 24 review-essays, 6 Featured Essays, 16 “Briefly Noted” reviews (250-500 words), 1 comment and 1 Editorial Essay. 329 total items were published, covering a total of 363 books. 

Editorial Board Members and Reviewers: The editorial board was comprised of 26 women and 11 men in 2018. This included 9 minority and 3 international editorial board members.

Michael Sauder, Editor

 

Contexts

Founded in 2002, Contexts has a reputation for publishing rigorous, yet accessible, accounts of sociological research, and it has become one of the ASA’s trademark publications. In this report, we narrate last year’s activities, provide some numbers, and report on a replication of prior research.

Narrative: Our goal is to continue the good work of our editorial predecessors and expand upon it. In our first year as editors, we have strived to cultivate content that catches the imagination and draws the public toward the rich field of sociology. We have focused on themed issues: “Trump 365,” which examined tumultuous political culture; the Limits of Education; Resistance; and Asian America/ns, guest edited by Anthony Ocampo. We retired viewpoints and introduced “Policy Brief,” a section in which sociologists offer policy proposals and weigh the evidence. Our interview section, “Q & A,” has featured some amazing people: activist-scholar Melissa Harris-Perry, sociologists Arlie Hochschild and Mario Luis Small, California Supreme Court Justice Mariano Florentino Cuellar, artist Ayana Jackson, public intellectual Cornel West, and Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen.

Our efforts to expand the profile of Contexts and the sociological profession more generally include hosting our first policy summit this summer at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. The summit will focus on income inequality, the theme of our Winter 2019 issue (our remaining 2019 issues will focus on migration, conceptions of freedom, and digital sociology). We hit nearly one million views and downloads across our platforms: ctx.sagepub.com and contexts.org, and we engaged with audiences on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. We also released longer-form video interviews, innovating in how we bring sociological voices to the public. So far, contexts.org this year has garnered 130,000 views as of April 2019. Our remaining 2019 issues will focus on migration, conceptions of freedom, and digital sociology. 

By the numbers: In 2018, Contexts published 83 pieces, including 17 peer-reviewed features and 66 articles in our viewpoints and in briefs sections (each of which contains up to 12 individual entries), book reviews, interviews, culture and trends, and other sections. Our acceptance rate, while harder to calculate given our unusual process (many proposals are rejected before we even get to a full submission), stands at about 17.1%, and some 42.7% of full submissions went out for review. That means if your proposal is approved for development into a feature submission, you have a good chance of seeing that submission go through the peer review process. Just under 40% of pieces that go through peer review eventually find their way into print.

Replication study: Here, we wish to report a replication of a finding described in the April 2006 edition of Footnotes. Ross M. Stolzenberg (2006: 11), then editor of Sociological Methodology, described data he had collected on the “Thin-Skinned Scholar Movement (TSSM)” which “serves the needs of scholars who object to publication of opinions that contradict their own.” Our own data, obtained through a participant-observation ethnography of an academic journal, replicates Professor Stolzenberg’s finding and extends it in new directions. We, too, encountered the TSSM, but within it, we found a subspecies previously unknown to science. The Litigious Thin-Skinned Scholar is so enraged at the publication practices of modern sociology that they conspire with Juris Doctors, another dangerous species, to write colorful emails of exasperation. Further research will explore the ecological impact of these scholars and investigate methods for curbing their impact.

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

 

Journal of Health and Social Behavior

Journal of Health and Social Behavior has an established reputation as a leading forum for research on social dimensions of health and illness. In 2018, JHSB published 35 articles and four open-access policy briefs. These articles, appearing across four issues, included qualitative and quantitative examinations of US and international (including cross-national) topics that spanned the breadth of medical sociology and extended into 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. The policy brief appears at the front-end of the issue and on JHSB’s home page. It is also distributed to media outlets and non-profit and governmental organizations across the country.
 
Journal Operations. In 2018, we completed our second year as the JHSB editors. As we detailed in our 2017 report, a key focus of our first year was reducing the backlog that had accumulated in recent years due to a substantial increase in the number of submitted manuscripts, while the annual number of published papers remained unchanged. By the beginning of 2018, we had successfully eliminated this backlog. As for journal changes, as announced in our December 2018 issue, the Leonard I. Pearlin Award paper (which is usually featured in the December issue of each volume) will now be published by Society and Mental Health, the official journal of ASA’s Sociology of Mental Health Section, which selects the winner of this annual section award for distinguished contributions to the sociological study of mental health. During 2018, we also requested and implemented a permanent page increase for the journal, which will reduce the probability of future backlogs in production.

In 2018, JHSB received 354 new manuscripts. This is a slight decline from the 396 papers received in 2017, but is consistent with the 348 papers received in 2016. After initial review by the editors—either by themselves or in consultation with a deputy editor—44.6 percent were rejected without being sent out to peer reviewers. Desk rejection decisions continue to average 1-2 business days. 

Of the 55.4 percent (n=196) that were sent out for peer review, 13.8 percent received a revise and resubmit decision while 82.1 percent were rejected after initial review. Overall, the average time from initial submission to first decision was 5.0 weeks. This was consistent with or better than the previous three years (4.5, 5.2, and 5.9 weeks in 2017, 2016, and 2015, respectively). While we continually strive for ways to obtain ever-faster turnaround times, we are pleased that this rate remains competitive with other public health and medical forums—which generally publish shorter manuscripts (e.g., 3,500-5,000 words versus JHSB’s 10,000 word limit). 

For papers that were eventually accepted, the production lag time—i.e. the time between when a paper is accepted and appears in print (i.e. in an issue)—declined to 4.9 months, reflecting our abovementioned efforts to curtail the backlog we experienced in 2016 and 2017. This 2018 estimate is a substantial, continuing reduction from 12.5 month lag for 2017 overall, with a lag time of 14 months for the March 2017 issue (the first issue of volume 58), but then 8.5 months for the December 2017 issue. It is important to emphasize that this estimate does not include time-to-online publication. Though we do not have access to those statistics, as we arranged with Sage last year, accepted papers have been posted online ahead of print as soon as possible so that they 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 seven Deputy Editors (Jason Beckfield, Sarah Burgard, Robert Faris, Hedwig Lee, Bruce Link, Sara Shostak, and Margaret Weden) were invaluable assets in adjudicating difficult decisions, managing conflict-of-interest submissions, and providing advice on the journal’s operations. Unfortunately, Sara Shostak’s election to ASA Council in 2018 required her to resign as Deputy Editor, as per ASA policy. However, we are very pleased to have Karen Lutfey Spencer (University of Colorado-Denver) join us to fill this vacancy for 2019. 

In addition to our deputy editors, we are greatly aided by the valuable contributions of our associate editors, whom we rely 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, 2018: Shawn Bauldry, Susan E. Bell, Piet Bracke, Deborah Carr, C. Andre Christie-Mizell, Kathryn J. Lively, Tetyana Pudrovska, Kate W. Strully, Jennifer Van Hook, and David Warner. Beginning on January 1, 2019, the following individuals joined us as JHSB’s associate editor roster: jimi adams, Christy LaShaun Erving, Elaine Hernandez, Hui Liu, Andrew S. London, Shirin Montazer, Jennifer Karas Montez, Krysia Mossakowski, Amelie Quesnell-Vallee, Stef M. Shuster, Florencia Torche, Michael Vuolo, and Ming Wen. 

To create opportunities and facilitate diversity in our editorial board, we select some of our editorial board from an open call for nominations. This enables us to reduce potential selection biases based on professional networks and recruit from a wider pool of individuals. Overall, our editorial board composition was diverse with respect to gender (64 percent women in 2018, compared to 58 percent in 2017), and race-ethnicity (21 percent minorities in 2018 and 2017).

JHSB values its many supportive and attentive peer reviewers. To recognize their efforts, we instituted annual awards for “Outstanding Contributions to Peer Review.” Awardees are selected via their peer review evaluations conducted during the calendar year of the award. The 2018 recipients were Taylor Hargrove, Tania Jenkins, Richard Miech, Rourke O’Brien, Jarron Saint Onge. We acknowledged these awardees in the March 2018 issue, sent each of them a letter of recognition (and notified their academic unit administrators about this distinguished service to the academic community).

We extend our sincerest thanks to the outgoing editorial board members, the new and continuing board members, and the many additional ad hoc reviewers who have contributed their time and expertise so generously to the journal.

Finally, we wish to acknowledge our talented editorial office team: Managing Editor for Reviews Stephanie Wilson (who replaced Ty Miller in July 2018, when he became Assistant Professor of Sociology at Winthrop University); Managing Editor for Production Ryan Trettevik; Copyeditor Andrea Polonijo; and Editorial Assistants Madison Sauerteig and Phoenicia Fares. 

Overall, JHSB’s success is due to a broad and highly supportive community. We are grateful to all of these individuals for their contributions.

Richard Carpiano and Brian C. Kelly, Editors

 

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 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 five new manuscript proposals in 2018. Two were accepted for publication: Collateral Damages: Saving and Losing the City by Meredith Greif and Becoming an Adult in Uncertain Times by Robert Crosnoe and Shannon E. Cavanagh. We look forward to seeing these exciting projects in their full, published form. 

We continued to work with the authors of four additional forthcoming manuscripts. Two book projects, one by Reginald Byron and Vincent Roscigno, and a second by Jennie Brand are working towards a full manuscript in 2019. A manuscript by Grace Kao, Kara Joyner, and Kelly Stamper Balistreri is in the process of final revision. Finally, Deborah Carr’s book on aging and the life course came out in April 2019.

In July 2018, Sites Unseen: Uncovering Hidden Hazards in American Cities by Scott Frickel and Jim Elliott was published. This book was also featured at the Rose Series Author-Meets-Critic session at the 2018 ASA Annual Meeting. The panel, which included Chris Mele, David Pellow, Jeremy Pais, and Lori Peek, added their unanimous praise and insightful comments on this rigorous, timely, and important research. It was well-attended, with a spirited Q&A segment following the critics’ commentaries.

We are grateful for the 28 members on our 2018 editorial board and would particularly like to thank outgoing members Joyce M. Bell, Sylvia A. Fuller, Alexandra Hrycak, Tomas R. Jimenez, John T. Lang, Lori Peek, Andres Villarreal, Sara Wakefield, and Geoff K. Ward for their service. We brought on 9 new members who will start January 2019:

  • Leisy Abrego, University of California-Los Angeles
  • Edwin Amenta, University of California-Irvine
  • R. Khari Brown, Wayne State University
  • Filiz Garip, Cornell University
  • Roberto G. Gonzales, Harvard University
  • Michael Hout, New York University
  • Peggy Levitt, Wellesley College
  • Fernando Rivera, University of Central Florida
  • Wendy Roth, University of British Columbia

The Rose Series managing editor is Kyla Bender-Baird (The Graduate Center, CUNY).

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

 

Social Psychology Quarterly

This report covers the first 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 81 is the first volume of our co-editorship. Volume 81 contains 15 articles and 1 Research Note. We continued to publish research that reflects the diversity of the social psychology research community. The manuscripts in Volume 81 focus on such varied topics as legitimacy, romantic relationships, norms, social capital, gender, exchange, group polarization, political values, power, and status, among others.

Editorial Board. We would like to thank the following editorial board members whose term ended in December 2018 for their service to the journal: Karen Heimer, Maggie Kusenbach, Ross L. Matsueda, David M. Merolla, Jeylan T. Mortimer, Christin L. Munsch, Scott V. Savage, Jane Sell, Sarah Thebaud, and Christopher Wildeman. 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 Doug Maynard.

We maintained a board that had a good balance of subareas and methodological approaches within social psychology. Demographically, the 2018 editorial board had 39 members (including the Deputy Editors) with 11 minority individuals and 21 women.

Social Media. We persisted with a social media presence for the journal. 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 2017 was 2.341, up from 1.89 in 2016. The five-year impact factor from 2017 was 2.870, up from 2.551 in 2016.

Editorial Statistics. During the calendar year 2017, Social Psychology Quarterly received a similar number of submissions as in past years. From January 1 through December 31, 2018, 210 manuscripts were submitted to the journal compared to 205 in 2017, and 231 in 2016. These numbers reflect new submissions (165 in 2018), as well as revisions.

We asked our reviewers to evaluate a manuscript within three weeks. As a result, we averaged 34 days from submission to an editorial decision in 2018. This turnaround time is due to both the hard work of our colleagues who reviewed for the journal and our editorial board. In 2018, we received reviews from 221 members of the scientific community, not including reviews from our 39 members of the 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 9.1 percent compared to 6.8 percent in 2017, and 10.6 percent in 2016.

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.

Matthew E. Brashears and Brent Simpson, Editors

 

Sociological Methodology

The year 2018 marked the third 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 48 became available online in its entirety in October 2018 and in print soon after. This volume featured a dedication to Allan McCutcheon, who passed away in 2016, and one symposium on model uncertainty and model selection, which included two main papers, 4 commentaries, and two rejoinders from the symposium authors. In addition, the volume contained papers on integrating event history and sequence analysis, network interference models and causal interference, analysis of residential segregation survey measurement, latent variable approaches, and aggregation and statistical estimation.

For the entire year of 2018, 76 manuscripts were considered, 53 of which were new submissions, and 23 were resubmissions. Of the 53 new submissions, 18 were rejected without peer review, and 35 were placed into the review process. Of the 35 manuscripts reviewed, 19 were rejected and 14 were invited to resubmit a revised manuscript (1 was accepted subject to minor changes and 1 was accepted unconditionally). 

The acceptance rate based on all the submissions and resubmissions in 2018 was 17.1%. The average number of weeks to decision was 7.5, ranging from 2.6 weeks for papers rejected without peer review, to 9.8 weeks for papers rejected after review, to 12.8 weeks for papers invited to revise and resubmit, to an average of 3.4 weeks for papers accepted unconditionally, and an average of 7.9 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 healthy flow of new and revised submissions.

In preparation for Volume 49, we have most of the manuscripts in copyediting or production. The plan is to complete this work in summer 2019, and we anticipate that this volume will come out some time in late summer 2019.

Duane F. Alwin, Editor

 

Sociological Theory

This past year saw the second-highest number of new submissions ever for Sociological Theory. One hundred seventy-one papers were newly submitted to the journal, up from 166 the year before and 153 the year before that (see table below). The average number of new submissions for the past five years was 165, as compared to 109 for the preceding five-year span—a nearly 50% increase. 

YearNew Submissions
200999
2010120
201196
2012118
2013112
2014184
2015150
2016153
2017166
2018171

The total number of editorial decisions made also has been increasing. In 2018, I made 216 decisions, significantly higher than the total from five years ago: 151.

To some extent, this is a trend also encountered at several other ASA journals. But it does have significant ramifications for ST. Perhaps most important, the expert reviewers to whom we most often turn will, in the future, be burdened more than ever with review requests. The editorial board will have to increase in size in order to help lessen this burden and to keep the journal supplied with reliable and willing reviewers, enough to accommodate the growing need. There will have to be more desk rejects. And even with dramatically increased selectivity, the need will grow for more pages to be allocated to the journal. 

In the past, I have stressed that one of my intended innovations as editor is to publish manuscripts of widely varying lengths, including a few slightly longer than our usual 14,500 word count limit but many others considerably shorter, all under the motto that ideas don’t always come in standard-size packages. In 2018, ST published a few longer-than-usual pieces as well as several shorter papers, including four that average just 5,000 words each in a symposium on “Events and Networks”—four exciting theory papers in the same space as a standard-length paper and a half. In the future, this journal may need if anything to redouble its efforts to encourage authors to be concise and to present their strongest ideas in a more streamlined fashion. 

Another of my personal missions as editor has been to make sure that important work is published that advances theoretical discussions concerning race and gender. This past year, ST featured groundbreaking articles on such topics as “The Feminist Question in Realism,” “The Heterosexual Matrix as Imperial Effect,” and “Against Teleology in the Study of Race: Toward the Abolition of the Progress Paradigm.” But as always, the journal ranged widely in subject matters and theoretical perspectives. We published work on causal chains, the theory of suicide, the sociology of epistemologies, the micro-macro link, schemas and frames, theories of international migration, changing ideas of epistemic vice and virtue in science, the study of revolutions, interaction-level theories of situations and of outings, and the classic contributions of Adam Smith and of Karl Polanyi. Sociological theorizing today is remarkably vibrant in many different areas of the discipline, and during the remainder of my editorship I want to continue publishing significant work that reflects that intellectual diversity and range. 

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 four 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

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, 2018, through December 31, 2018. After a slight dip in submissions last year we’ve seen our numbers rebound. As shown in the table below, SOE received 264 original submissions and 50 revised submissions in 2018. In total we received 314 manuscript submissions, a new record for the journal. 

 

 

 

 

 

New Manuscripts

Revised Manuscripts

Weeks from Submission to Decision

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

2013

179

195

17

30

12

8

2014

211

34

5

2015

214

38

5

2016

237

32

5.5

2017

2018

195

264

44

50

9.2

9.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The overall acceptance rate for SOE--the number of unconditionally accepted articles in 2018 (21) divided by the number of final decisions (246, which excludes “revise and resubmit” decisions)—was 8.5 percent. Among revised manuscripts, 84 percent were ultimately accepted. About 20.5 percent of new manuscripts were desk rejected—rejected without undergoing external peer review. However you calculate it, SOE’s acceptance rate was low in 2018. 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 16 articles and used all the pages. 

During 2018 the time from manuscript submission to the delivery of a decision email averaged approximately 9.0 weeks. There was a slight decrease in time to decision from the previous year, and though the editorial team and I are pleased with the pace, we continue to work on ways to reduce the time even further 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 3 months. By the end of 2018 I accepted 21 papers while publishing 16 over the course of the year. Ideally, we would like to have an approximately a one-issue backlog of accepted papers, which it looks like we will be on track for in 2019. This will allow us to maintain the desired short time frame from acceptance to publication, while not bumping against deadlines in the production process. 

Editorial Team. Thad Domina, Karoyln 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. There were seven conflicts of interest in 2018 for me – papers submitted by coauthors with whom have previously submitted work or former students I advised. Deputy editors have stepped in to ensure a fair and just review process. 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: Pamela R. Bennett, Douglas B. Downey, Stella M. Flores, Roberto G. Gonzales, Amy Hsin, Simone Ispa-Landa, Joscha Legewie, Andrew Penner, Daisy Isabel Verduzco Reyes, Jenny M. Stuber, Gregory C. Wolniak and Christine Min Wotipka.

I also appreciate the efforts of continuing Board members: Janice Aurini, Littisha Antoinette Bates, Regina Deil-Amen, Nicole Deterding, John B. Diamond, Jeremy E. Fiel, Glenda M. Flores, Nilda Flores-Gonzalez, S. Michael Gaddis, Lingxin Hao, Brandon A. Jackson, Mads Meier Jaeger, Florian Kiuppis, R. L'Heureux Lewis-McCoy, Roslyn A. Mickelson, David B. Monaghan, Edward W. Morris, Lisa Michele Nunn, Hiroshi Ono, Sarah M. Ovink, Maria T. Paino, Anthony A. Peguero, Katherine Phillippo, Elizabeth Stearns, Will Tyson, Regina E. Werum and Melissa Wooten.

Finally, SOE welcomes several new members to the Board in 2018: Patrick Denice, Jeffrey Grigg, Yader R. Lanuza, Elizabeth M. Lee, Ann Owens, Meredith Phillips, Natasha M. Quadlin, Douglas Ready, and Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj. 

In all, the Board includes 23 women, 17 men, and 14 minorities.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly: My Managing Editor Rebecca Boylan 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. 

Reviewers and Reviewing. I sincerely thank the nearly 480 people who reviewed for SOE in 2018. 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 24 days with a minimum of 0 days and maximum of 148 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 2019. 

I have agreed to stay on as editor past my term. I thank the board for the vote of confidence in my work and I look forward to reading the contributions to the field. Rebecca Boylan will be stepping down as Managing Editor and has agreed generously to help train the incoming managing editor—Amy Petts, a PhD student in sociology at Purdue. We will also have a new social media coordinator. Jordan Foster graduated from Purdue and is currently training Sherry Ye to help grow the journal’s social media presence. 

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

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. 

Review Process. Socius received a total of 293 papers in calendar year 2018. We desk-rejected (rejected immediately) 52 of those papers. Of the remaining papers, we accepted 64 and rejected 11. 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. 

 Number
Accepted64
Rejected Immediately52
Rejected After Review11

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 completed a collection on a contemporary challenge to science: the publication of findings based on fully- or partially-fabricated data with David Grusky serving as guest editor. 

In addition, we are continuing 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 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 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 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. 

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. 

Under the editorship of Stephen Sweet and with deputy editor Michele Lee Kozimor-King, Teaching Sociology, Volume 46 (2018) published 56 works, including conversations (5), articles (12), notes (8), as well as book and film reviews (31). 

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 2017, 80 manuscripts were received (54 new manuscripts and 26 revised manuscripts).  This volume is somewhat lower than the previous two years. For new submissions, 35 percent were rejected without peer review.  Some rejections 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, 9 percent were accepted unconditionally, 32 percent were accepted conditional on minor changes, 26 percent rejected but invited to revise and resubmit, and 34 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 2018 was somewhat lower than 2017 or 2016. An additional 10 manuscripts, not reported in the above statistics, were returned to authors with guidance to improve the manuscript.  Some of these manuscripts were later submitted in 2019 and more may be submitted in the future. 

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 35 days (5 weeks).  For new manuscripts that were rejected without peer review, decisions occurred within 2 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 31 members on the Editorial Board. 76 percent were women and 14 percent were minorities.  Individual members of the editorial board commonly performed 2-3 reviews in 2018.

Stephen Sweet, Editor
teachingsociology@ithaca.edu

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