Each summer, the ASHA Journals team begins the process of recruiting editors-in-chief (EICs), editors, and editorial board members (EBMs). EICs and editors serve 3-year terms. EBMs serve for 1 year, and this year can be renewed as long as the EBM is interested in serving and is invited by the editor to continue.
For those looking to get involved with the ASHA Journals, this 1-year period is the perfect amount of time to determine if serving on the editorial board is right for you, without making a long-term commitment. Serving as an EBM for the ASHA Journals could also be a first step toward making a greater impact on ASHA’s scholarly journals as an editor or EIC.
When Laura Dreisbach Hawe was first asked to review for Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, she wasn’t sure she’d end up serving as an editor for the ASHA Journals. “I don’t know what my expectations were,” she said.
However, after a few years reviewing, she was eventually approached about becoming Special Interest Group (SIG) 6 editor in 2019. She soon decided that this was the next step for her, and she hasn’t regretted her decision.
ASHA Journals Board Chair Sumitrajit (“Sumit”) Dhar also served as an editor for Perspectives before becoming editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Audiology (AJA), then beginning his term on the board. “It is tremendously satisfying to be able to shape a publication,” Dhar said. “It is work, but it is rewarding work.”
Reviewing for the ASHA Journals can be a valuable resource on a CV. In the past, verifying reviews while maintaining the integrity of the peer review process was difficult, but now, through ASHA’s partnership with Publons, all peer review records can be easily verified without compromising the anonymity of the peer review process.
Serving on an editorial board can also benefit your professional career in other ways. Dhar said that serving on an editorial board stretches intellectual boundaries and allows a reviewer to interact with people from a variety of backgrounds with many scientific interests. Dreisbach Hawe agreed that she has met and been able to work with a larger variety of people, and that her work reviewing and editing has helped in other facets of her professional life, such as gaining more experience in grant writing and being given more opportunities to serve on committees.
For early-career professionals, getting started reviewing can be daunting. Dreisbach Hawe said that once she performed her first review, the opportunities to perform more reviews presented themselves. “I was surprised at how quickly they find you,” she said.
Dreisbach Hawe stressed the importance of finding a balance for new reviewers. “You can’t overcommit,” she said. She also stressed that new reviewers shouldn’t be afraid to ask mentors and peers for help, although this may be counterintuitive to those newly out of grad school who are used to being asked to “sit with” an issue and work their way through it alone. “It doesn’t have to be scary,” she said. For more tips for early-career researchers, see our blog post on the subject.
We recommend that, before filling out an expression of interest form, prospective EBMs read more about the role of the EBM and determine which journal they’d like to serve. You can also learn more about the ASHA Journals Board structure, peer review basics, performing a review, and publication ethics with the ASHA Journals’ PREP Development Modules.
Once you’ve decided which ASHA journal is right for you, you can submit your expression of interest. Those interested in becoming reviewers or EBMs can submit an expression of interest year-round. If you’d like to be considered to serve on an Editorial Board in 2021, please submit your expression of interest by August 15, 2020.