Editorial Board Descriptions for USURJ

Editors-in-Chief (positions filled)

Time commitment: 10-15 hours per week, with busier periods in September, November and March.

Two editors-in-chief co-manage the journal, with the graduate editor-in-chief taking a mentorship role and doing the bulk of the work. Editors-in-chief provide leadership, decision-making, and training to the USURJ staff. They work very closely with the Staff Advisor and the Faculty Advisor to the journal.

Frequent Core Tasks:

  • Participate in spring and summer maintenance of the journal, journal assessment, and planning editor training (graduate editor-in-chief).
  • Create agendas for and chairing of senior editor meetings (1x a week) and editorial board meetings (1-2x a month, usually evenings).
  • Create and implement strict timelines leading up to journal publication. Guide, remind, and support the editorial board along the way. Revise this timeline as needed.
  • Regularly communicate with USURJ’s Faculty and Staff Advisors, via email and strategic meetings.
  • Delegate tasks to senior editorial board members.
  • Maintain and supportively encourage open lines of communication throughout the editorial team. Stress the importance that associate editors provide their senior editors with weekly submission status updates, and that senior editors provide these updates to the editors-in-chief.
  • Handle author questions or concerns via email; when appropriate, ask the editor in charge of the author's submission to respond to the author.
  • At weekly meetings and by email, troubleshoot problems that USURJ staff encounter, providing decisions and solutions
  • Attend editorial section meetings when requested by the senior editor, when the team is experiencing difficulties, or when you have not attended one in some time.
  • Maintain OJS* database of reviewers and submissions (training available).
  • In the weeks leading up to publication, you will spend a substantial amount of time completing the final edit of each paper accepted for publication, after section editors have completed their edits and author revisions are complete. This includes collaboration with the staff and faculty Advisors.

Occasional Core Tasks:

  • Learn USURJ’s mandate, focus and scope, and existing policies and procedures. Make new policy and procedural decisions, in conjunction with the staff and faculty advisors, which adhere to the journal’s mandate, focus, and scope.
  • Assist with design and delivery of training sessions.
  • Assist with design and delivery of proofreading and editing sessions.
  • Advise section editors on how to proceed when a submission poses problems or presents a unique situation. Occasionally, decide whether or not a submission should be rejected.
  • If needed, meet with senior editors individually, and with layout editor(s) closer to publication.
  • Co-write one letter from the editors-in-chief for inclusion in each USURJ issue.
  • Bring staffing issues and staff concerns to the attention of the Staff Advisor. Discuss possible outcomes and implement methods of resolution.
  • Communicate with libraries, deans, and department heads, seeking opportunities to promote the journal and solicit submissions. Communicate with faculty across campus to diversify and keep the journal multidisciplinary.
  • Communicate with faculty reviewers via OJS*, or direct, sometimes in-person follow-up.

Special Projects and/or One-time Tasks:

  • Take an online course in Open Journal Systems Management. This course is found at http://pkpschool.sfu.ca/ojs-for-journal-managers/
  • Set up OJS accounts for the new editorial team.
  • Brainstorm and plan future goals and directions of USURJ, including disciplinary areas, mini issues, and special issues.
  • In conjunction with the staff advisor and faculty advisor, conduct interviews to staff the journal for the following academic year. This typically occurs in April.

Senior Editors

Time commitment: Average 5 hours a week

Senior editors each manage an academic section of the journal (natural science, health science, humanities and fine arts, social science, or interdisciplinary), providing leadership, decision making, and mentorship to their associate editors. Associate editors report to their section's senior editor, while senior editors report to the editors-in-chief and the faculty advisor.

Frequent Core Tasks:

  • Delegate tasks to and chair weekly meetings of your section's associate editors.
  • Organize and communicate a time and place for weekly section meetings.
  • Maintain and supportively encourage open lines of communication within your editorial section.
  • Follow strict timelines leading up to journal publication. Guide, remind, and support your section along the way.
  • In consultation with the editors-in-chief, make decisions about what moves forward for review, and then what moves forward for publication.
  • Communicate with faculty reviewers via OJS*, or direct, sometimes in-person follow-up.
  • Attend meetings of the full USURJ editorial team for orientation, training, and editing sessions.

Associate Editors

Time commitment: Average 3 hours a week

Associate editors each work within an academic section of the journal, reporting to their section's senior editor.

Frequent Core Tasks:

  • Regularly communicate with your section's senior editor and associate editors, via email and your section's weekly meetings. Provide weekly updates to your section's senior editor on the progress of the submissions in your care. Request help and advice if needed.
  • Attend meetings of the full USURJ editorial team for orientation, training, and editing sessions.
  • Communicate with faculty reviewers via OJS*, or direct, sometimes in-person follow-up.
  • Through OJS, provide authors with periodic updates on their submissions.
  • Follow strict timelines leading up to journal publication

Occasional Core Tasks for Both Senior and Associate Editors:

  • Communicate with libraries, deans, and department heads, seeking opportunities to promote the journal and solicit submissions. Communicate with faculty across campus to diversify and keep the journal multidisciplinary.
  • Help the communications team promotion of the journal amongst personal and academic contacts, and via information tables and launch organization.
  • Through OJS*, provide authors with periodic updates on their submissions.
  • Handle student author questions or concerns via email, in a timely, tactful fashion.
  • Provide authors with helpful, constructive feedback. This can involve both the feedback of your section's editorial team and the feedback of reviewers.
  • Edit and proofread submissions (training provided).
  • Check citations and facts in manuscripts. Report instances of plagiarism to Editors-in-Chief.
  • Maintain OJS database of reviewers and submissions (training provided).

Layout Editors

Time commitment: Average 10 hours a week late-November and early December, and then again in late March and early April.

Senior Layout Editor and Associate Layout Editors: Positions Held in Conjunction with an Associate Editor Role in One of the Five Disciplinary Sections (e.g., ½ Time Social Sciences Associate Editor + ½ Time Layout Editor).

Layout editors prepare accepted submissions for publication, using existing USURJ layout templates. Layout editors are encouraged to be associate editors in other sections; during layout, their associate editor duties are reassigned. If you are assigned as a layout editor, you will receive training from the current senior layout editor and the staff advisor will provide a set of instructions and guidelines.

Senior Layout editor:

Positions Held in Conjunction with an Associate Editor Role in One of the Five Disciplinary Sections (e.g., 1/3 Time Social Sciences Associate Editor + 2/3 Time Communications Coordinator).

  • The senior layout editor keeps in communication with the senior editorial board and editors-in-chief, leads and delegates amongst the other layout editors, and trains new layout editors in the spring.

All Layout editors:

Positions Held in Conjunction with an Associate Editor Role in One of the Five Disciplinary Sections (e.g., ½ Time Social Sciences Associate Editor + ½ Time Layout Editor).

  • Sometimes work against tight deadlines, particularly in late November, early December, late March, and early April.
  • Use Microsoft Word templates to complete layout. Finalized documents should be saved as both a Word document and a PDF, and both document formats should be uploaded to galleys in OJS*.

Communications Editor

Positions Held in Conjunction with an Associate Editor Role in One of the Five Disciplinary Sections (e.g., ½ Time Social Sciences Associate Editor + ½ Time Communications Coordinator).

Time commitment: 5-10 hours per month

Communications Coordinators organize events, manage the journal’s social media accounts, and communicate to the public by, among other tasks, sending out invitations and advertising calls for papers. They may also do some postering on campus. In the event that there are no officially designated communications coordinators, senior and associate editors will coordinate with the staff advisor and share communications tasks.

*OJS stands for Open Journal Systems, a commonly-used online journal management system.