The Role of Journal Editors
Editor Roles & Responsibilities
Each editor for an ASHA journal manages the peer review of approximately 15 to 18 submissions per year. Each submission will likely travel through multiple rounds of review (typically two to three rounds at most). The editors-in-chief rely on the editors to do the following:
- assign manuscripts to editorial board members (EBMs) for review;
- monitor the peer-review process to ensure fairness, timeliness, thoroughness, and civility; and
- serve a multiyear term, for which the editor will be provided financial support of up to $2,500 per year (note: these funds are for reimbursement of travel on behalf of the journal or for payment of an assistant to help enable the editor perform the duties specified above).
The editors are empowered to make final editorial decisions regarding their assigned manuscripts after weighing comments from the reviewers.
- An editor should give unbiased consideration to all manuscripts offered for publication, judging each on its merits without regard to race, gender, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the author(s).
- An editor should process manuscripts promptly.
- The editor has the responsibility and authority to accept a submitted paper for publication or to reject it. The editor may confer with the editor-in-chief as well as EBM or ad hoc reviewers for an evaluation to use in making this decision.
- The editor and the editorial staff should not disclose any information about a manuscript under consideration to anyone other than their editor-in-chief, reviewers, potential reviewers, and ASHA’s editorial administrator.
- An editor should respect the intellectual independence of authors.
- Editorial responsibility and authority for any manuscript authored by an editor and submitted to the editor’s journal will be handled by one of the other editors of that journal. Editors should avoid situations of real or perceived conflicts of interest.
- Editors should avoid situations of real or perceived conflicts of interest.
- Unpublished information, arguments, or interpretations disclosed in a submitted manuscript should not be used in an editor’s own research except with the consent of the author.
- Editors should inform their editor-in-chief if they have ethical questions or concerns about a reviewer’s behavior or about ethical aspects of a work.
ASHA’s Peer Review Process
ASHA journals have added structure to the peer review process in the form of review templates that are built into the ScholarOne Manuscripts submission and peer review system. The review templates are meant to help provide both reviewers and authors greater clarity on how submissions are evaluated. Complete details on the specific steps a manuscript goes through and the expected timelines for review can be found in what to expect in peer review in our Author Resource Center. Guidance on Selecting Reviewers and Assigning Reviewers are included in the Editor Resource Center.
To help facilitate faster overall review, ASHA’a editorial board is structured so that each editor has a committed group of editorial board members (EBMs) to call on when inviting reviewers. In most cases the number of EBMs per editor is four. EBMs serve a 1-year term and are provided an honorarium of $400 issued in two payments over the course of the year of service. They are expected to provide reviews on 8–10 manuscripts per year and to do so according to timeliness and quality expectations.
Editors need to recruit the individuals to serve as their EBMs. A new editor should confirm with the journal’s editor-in-chief both the number of EBM slots available and the main coverage areas they should be looking to address.
EBMs should possess a high level of expertise in their specialty (or specialties), have experience with reviewing manuscripts, and a commitment to participating in the review process of the journal. These individuals are named on the journal masthead. ASHA membership or certification is not required.
- Research expertise, typically through a PhD
- Expertise in content areas to be covered
- Some review experience
- Record of scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals
- No requirement for ASHA membership
- No requirement for U.S. citizenship or residency
- Allowed to serve on non-ASHA editorial boards during term length
When recruiting an editorial board member, the editor must first look at who is already serving on ASHA journals’ and other relevant editorial boards so that they know who not to recruit. Links to the editorial board rosters for ASHA journals are provided below:
Once the editor has the names and e-mail addresses of the individuals who will serve as EBMs, they should notify the Director of Serial Publications and Editorial Services at ASHA so the ASHA staff can help the EBM get set up and ready to begin taking assignments.
Editors will also on occasion need to make use of ad hoc reviewers. There are tools built into ScholarOne Manuscripts that can help locate such individuals. Additional information and guidance is provided in the Selecting Reviewers section of the Editor Resource Center.
New editors join an online Community run by ASHA and accessible by the editors-in-chief of the journals, all journal editors, and all EBMs (though not accessible to ad hoc reviewers).
This site supports editors’ ongoing work and allows discussions that can begin on the site and continue via e-mail (similar to a Listserv but with messages archived on the site for future reference).
Key resources on the ASHA Community include the following (requires access and login):
A great feature of ASHA Community participation is the ability to respond to discussions through e-mail. Editors can respond to discussion items and have their response logged in the thread for anyone accessing the site to read later, and anyone set up to also receive e-mail notifications of discussions will get the response.
ASHA Journals Academy
In addition to being a resource for editors, ASHA’s Journals Academy is a developing resource designed to support the continued growth and evolution of ASHA’s peer review quality and culture. With input from the Journals and Editorial Boards, ASHA intends to further develop the PREP Modules to provide in-depth guidance to editorial board members and reviewers.
Editors are also encouraged to consult the Author Resource Center within the Journals Academy as needed when working with authors or seeking to share information about our program.