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Editorial Board Structure

Every journal depends upon its editor(s) and board for its success.


One essential task for every editorial office is to develop good working relationships with their colleagues and to assist them in their editorial office tasks. It is also important to stay informed of changes to the editorial board and to ensure that updates are made to editor and editorial board listings online and in print. The editorial office administrator is often a key contact for new editors and/or board members who may need assistance in learning the journal’s workflow and the editorial office system.


Editor-in-Chief/Editor

The editor-in-chief is the lead editor and ultimately responsible (usually by a contractual arrangement) for the academic content of the journal. His/her primary responsibilities usually include:


  • Directing the overall strategy of the journal (in cooperation with the publisher and the society, as applicable).
  • Reviewing and deciding upon submitted manuscripts to ensure sustainable and timely copy flow.
  • Acting as an ambassador for the journal, commissioning content and fielding submission enquires as appropriate.

Associate Editors

Depending on the size of a journal and its topic breadth, a journal may have one or more associate editors. The editor-in-chief delegates work to these associates and may deputize some decisions to them. The exact role of the associate editor will vary from journal to journal, and manuscripts will often be assigned to them based on the topic or country of origin.


Section Editors

A journal may also appoint section editors, who are responsible for reviewing only specific manuscript types, such as book reviews or brief reports. Often, these editors make final decisions on their assigned manuscripts, but the editor-in-chief may wish to review decisions for all sections.


Editorial Board

The composition of a journal’s editorial board may have various objectives:


  • to bring together a range of key individuals within the field who can advise on journal strategy.
  • to act as a ready team of potential reviewers with an active interest in the success of the journal.
  • to add credibility to the journal and/or celebrate important experts in the field. (in this case the editorial board member’s position is largely honorific).

Individuals should be made aware of their responsibilities when invited to join the board.


Editorial Board Meetings

Members of the editorial board meet periodically to evaluate the journal’s health and to discuss overall goals. The frequency of these editorial board meetings varies depending on the specific needs of a journal. Attendees of the meeting also vary from journal to journal.