The editorial board (sometimes known as an advisory board) typically consists of a group of prominent people in the journal’s field. Having an editorial board is very important: they act as ambassadors for journals. To some extent the quality of a journal is judged by the members and academic credentials of its editorial board.
Aside from providing prestige, the role of the editorial board is to advise and support the editor. Functions may include:
Editorial board members must be peers whose judgement is highly regarded within the journal’s main discipline; or their decisions may not be regarded as valid. Publication number and academic aptitude are the top factors for editorial board membership.
Identifying potential candidates
Internationalizing your board
Editors are ultimately accountable for the quality of their journal’s content. Editors are responsible for identifying important ‘hot topics’, sourcing high quality manuscripts, handling day-to-day paperwork, and organizing the flow of manuscripts (i.e. from author to referees and back and finally to the publisher).
The two most important attributes of a good editor are (1) having a detailed knowledge of the subject area and (2) being organized. Depending on the size of the journal, the number of editors can range from one or two people to many more.
Common roles and responsibilities of journal editors include:
In reality, many of these roles have overlapping responsibilities, especially in small journals where one person may be responsible for running the entire journal.
If there are other editors, expect to have regular interaction with them as you are working with them as a team. It is important to have people who you trust to carry out whatever is required to get the papers peer reviewed, edited and published with consistent levels of quality and timekeeping. Some editors may be specialists who only deal with certain journal topics; some may manage specific regions of the world and others may only handle certain types of articles.
Editorial board meetings are useful opportunities to meet with some or all of the editorial board members to brief them on issues, take questions and also gain ideas for policies and upcoming journal editions. They can be done face to face, or via telephone or video conferencing.
Where board meetings are not possible, try to arrange to meet with board members on an individual basis at conferences or other events. Meeting board members is a key way of networking and building and strengthening the relationship with your editorial board.