American Sociological Association

ASA Editorships

The Committee on Publications of the American Sociological Association is charged with the selection of editors of its journals and series.

In consultation with the ASA Executive Office and with the approval of Council, the Committee on Publications issues calls, evaluates applications from potential editorial candidates, selects editors, and assists the editors-elect in their transition.

 

How to Apply for an ASA Editorship

Upcoming ASA editorships are announced each spring. An announcement, including full editorship details and a call for applications, is published in the September/October issue of Footnotes. Applicants are required to follow the guidelines below.

 

Editor Selection Guidelines 

ASA editors provide intellectual leadership, while adhering to the mission of the journal or series. Although the quality of a journal or series depends on the quality of submissions, good editors enhance the significance and breadth of work published through outreach, openness to communicating with scholars about diverse ideas, and a zest for building new bridges and connections.

Appointment to an ASA editorship requires skill in reviewing, processing, making publication decisions, and following accepted manuscripts through the publication process. In addition, editors are required to name an editorial board in a way that is consistent with ASA policies and the particular character of the journal or series. For a full description of editorship responsibilities and expectations, download the letter of agreement (PDF).

Each year during their term, editors hold a board meeting at the annual meeting of the ASA and receive an invitation to attend meetings of the ASA Committee on Publications. Attendance of editors at these meetings serve several goals. These include assisting the editor and the Committee on Publications alike in maintaining the high quality of publication, providing the Committee with input from editors and vice versa, providing a forum for editors and the Committee to jointly address any problems that may arise, and, more generally, fostering positive communication between editors and the Committee.

Eligibility: Candidates must be members of the ASA and hold a tenured position or equivalent in an academic or non-academic setting. Applications from members of historically underrepresented groups are encouraged.

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

  • established record of scholarship;
  • evidence of understanding the mission of the journal or series and its operation, as indicated by experience with the journal or series through publication, reviewing, editorial board experience, or other activities;
  • assessment of the present state of the journal, its strengths and challenges, and a vision for the journal's future;
  • openness to different methods, theories, and approaches to sociology;
  • record of responsible service to scholarly publishing and evidence of organizational skill and intellectual leadership; and
  • evidence of commitment to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The time needed to meet these responsibilities vary from week to week, but, in general, require one to two full days per week.

ASA encourages applications for both sole editorships and co-editorships. In order to minimize conflicts of interest, we request that you do not submit your own work to the journal or series for which you are applying after December 31 until the decision has been announced.

Deadline for receipt of applications: December 1

Selection Process: The Committee on Publications reviews all applications at their meetings (typically held twice a year, at the ASA annual meeting and at a mid-winter meeting). Prospective editors may be contacted to clarify issues raised in the deliberations. The Publications Committee forwards a list of appointable candidates (which may be ranked or unranked) to the ASA Council. The Council appoints the editor.

 

Preparing the Application Packet

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

The application packet should be no more than five pages (approximately 2,500-3,000 words) and should include:

Vision Statement: Set forth your goals and plans for the content of the journal or series. This may include an assessment of the current strengths, weaknesses, or gaps that you plan to address and how you will implement your plan.

Editor/Co-Editor Information: Provide your name, affiliation, and other important information about yourself and, if applicable, co-editors. Describe the qualifications of the potential editor(s) and include vitae for the potential editor(s).

Editorial Board: If appointed, editors will assemble an editorial team by nominating new editorial board members to take the place of those who rotate off at the end of the year. Some editors also nominate deputy editors.

  • Editorial board members typically review several manuscripts (or, in the case of Contemporary Sociology, suggest names of scholars to write book reviews) for the journal in a given year and sometimes assist the editor in selecting other reviewers. Do not contact potential editorial board members until your appointment has been confirmed and ASA staff has instructed you to do so. Once confirmed as editor, you will be responsible for proposing to the Committee on Publication names of new editorial board members to take the place of those who rotate off the board at the end of the year.
  • Deputy editors work closely with editors to assist in editorial decision-making and problem solving. Deputy editors also sometimes assume the role of editor in cases where editors have a conflict of interest. By appointing several deputy editors with varied areas of expertise, you can expand your ability to provide in-house feedback to authors. You may (but are not required to) provide names of potential deputy editors. The Committee does not expect you to get commitments to serve from those people as part of your application process.

The Committee on Publications must approve all appointments of editorial board members and deputy editors once the editor selection has been made.

In your application, please discuss how you plan to use editorial board members and any deputy editors as part of your larger editorial team.

Professional Ethics and Scientific Integrity Self-Disclosure. All nominees for Council, standing committees, and editorships are required to answer a self-disclosure question regarding professional ethics and scientific integrity. If you submit an application for an editorship, please click here to complete the disclosure online. This is required.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Please describe how you plan to approach issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion as an editor.

Institutional Support: It is important for candidates to consider the feasibility of serving as editor in light of the available resources from both ASA and other sources. To this end, candidates are strongly encouraged to discuss possible resource allocation with their institutions in advance of submitting an application. The document Department/University Benefits to Hosting an ASA Journal may be helpful when discussing available resources with your institution.

Letters of support from deans or other institutional officials are encouraged as part of your application materials but are not required. Detailed financial arrangements are not developed until after ASA Council appoints the editor.

The ASA does not typically pay for office space, teaching release, or tuition, but does provide financial support for office resources as necessary. This support may include funds for editorial assistance, office supplies, postage, and telephone beyond what will be provided by the editor's home institution. Alternative models of funding may be possible as long as the impact on the overall cost for ASA support is minimal (e.g., institutional support for the managing editor or editorial assistant position could allow for use of the ASA budgeted funds for course release or tuition). In addition to the staff determined necessary for the work involved in processing and reviewing manuscripts (including copyediting), incoming editors have the opportunity to request additional funding or staff support for special initiatives or extra features (although most do not choose to do so). Please contact the ASA Publications Department (publications@asanet.org) to discuss the level and type of ASA support could be available to you in the context of your institutional package.

The application packet should be emailed by December 1 to publications@asanet.org.

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