Along with the infamous “Reviewer 2,” journal editors are a leading cause of angst among scholars. When editors are bad at their jobs, careers are damaged, reputations of journals suffer, and the overall scholarship within a field is weakened. Yet, despite their importance to the practice of academia, most editors do not receive any formal training on the editing process. Even well-published authors face a steep learning curve when navigating all of the moving parts of a scholarly journal and providing quality feedback to authors.
This book is intended to be a guide for scholarly journal editors. It walks current and prospective editors through the various steps of the editing process, including establishing an editorial vision, creating editorial teams/boards, interpreting reviewers’ comments and writing decision letters, and publicizing published articles and improving journal metrics. A secondary goal of the book is to provide authors with a peek inside the process of journal editing. By better understanding the decisions that editors make, authors can make more informed choices about which journals they should submit their work, as well as improve their chances for publication.
Wayne Journell is Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Since 2016, he has served as editor of Theory & Research in Social Education, the premier empirical journal in the field of social studies education.
Foreword by Sue Starfield
Chapter One: Why Would Anyone Want to Be a Journal Editor?
Chapter Two: Getting Started: Developing the Structure of the Journal
Chapter Three: To Review or Not to Review: Desk Rejects and Assigning Reviewers
Chapter Four: The Buck Stops Here: Making Editorial Decisions
Chapter Five: Marketing Articles and Making an Impact
About the Author
What Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential did for culinary arts, Wayne Journell’s indispensable volume does for the labyrinthine world of scholarly publishing. Too many young authors find themselves identifying with Kafka’s Josef K, finding themselves enmeshed in an arcane proceeding no one ever stops to fully explain. Now, in straightforward, tell-all prose, Journell demystifies this whole murky process—an act of altruistic transparency for which all of us, experienced and novice researchers alike, should be eternally grateful.
Filled with powerful personal reflections as a long term journal editor, Journell has produced an important book that authors and journal editors across disciplines will find useful. The book sheds light on enormously complex processes of journal editing and authoring as well as illuminates moral, ethical, and professional responsibilities journal editors face in their journey to co-construct knowledge necessary to advance fields of education and beyond. Making so much of the implicit explicit, earlier and more seasoned authors and editors should read this book – questioning and critiquing why the structures and systems are what they are while learning about how to navigate and negotiate them in the production and dissemination of high quality research
Academia provides formal training across numerous professions. Yet, apprenticeship, rather than formal training, is the hallmark of many aspects of the academic enterprise itself—such as publishing in professional journals. What Wayne Journell takes on in his book is the fact even apprenticeship is not available to some academicians who serve in key roles, in this case, as professional journal editors. I know; I edited the Journal of Research in Science Teaching and had to piece together various aspects of the job indirectly—through publishing, reviewing, and serving as associate editor for the journal—while on the job. Drawing on his personal experience, Journell has put together a valuable resource and roadmap—complete with nuts and bolts—for future journal editors, who will benefit tremendously from this primer. In particular, the book covers key decisions that editors need to tackle when setting up their overall processes, as well as their daily operational decisions, all the way to positioning their journals for prominence and impact in the complex world of bibliometrics. Along the way, Journell provides equally valuable advice to young scholars who will be better positioned to place their work in top-tier refereed journals.
This book is a must-read for academics to consider the magnitude and scope of being an editor. Although of primary use for current and aspiring editors, this book is also extremely helpful for authors. It helps us uphold a standard of academia that has both rigor and heart!