The varying roles of Editorial Boards

When deciding where to submit a manuscript, authors are well-advised to read the “mission” or “focus” of the journal as well as recent articles. The Editorial Board, list of Associate Editors, and other affiliated journal staff provide another source of information for what sort of work the journal might be interested in publishing. Editorial Boards generally consist of well-established scholars who have been invited, elected, or appointed to the journal’s board by the editor or other members of the board.

Associate Editor Boards and Editorial Boards vary according to the governance structure of a journal. For instance, for some journals the Associate Editors constitute a policy-making body. They deliberate about decisions that affect the processes and future directions of the journal. For others, the Associate Editors function much like co-editors or area editors. They will receive the manuscript (from the editor, a managing editor, or an automated system) and assign appropriate referees.

The Editorial Board is often the first stop for an Editor in selecting referees for a manuscript. Editors may look to that board directly to provide the valuable service of evaluating papers. In addition, however, Editorial Board members are frequently consulted for advice for additional reviewers within a given area or field. Authors are well advised to consult that board list as a potential source of referees for their work.

In general, the Editorial Board reflects the general priorities of the journal.

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